Animoto vs YouTube: Free Photo Slideshow Comparison

As an instructional technology specialist, educator, and avid technology user, I am always on the look out for free applications to use. I have been specifically interested in finding FREE online ways to create and share slideshows and video. One of the activities we were asked to do as a final “summary of learning” was to create a reflection artifact of our #etmooc learning experience. One suggestion was to create a six word story in response to the following prompt:

What does it mean to be an educator and digital citizen? What is our special role?

I chose to create a slideshow using Animoto to share my experience because I had heard so much about this online application, but had never used it. I chose the free version, which gives you 30 seconds to create your story. I found that it doesn’t really give you 30 seconds because Animoto puts their advertisement at the end. I felt 30 seconds was pretty restrictive in that I was sharing six words along with images for each word. I recorded the Animoto version using screenr for easier sharing.

Having not been too impressed with my Animoto experience. I was happy to come across Richard Byrne’s post, How to Create YouTube Photo Slideshows – A Good Alternative to Animoto, I decided to give it a try. As Richard noted in his post, the free version of Animoto has three major limitations for classroom use: for example, 1. the 30 seconds already noted above, 2. lack of space for text, and 3. students need user name and password. Richard shared step-by-step directions with images on how to create a YouTube Slideshow.

I found YouTube an easier application to use with more design options, for example, 1. there were no time limits, 2. the ability to adjust time each slide displays, 3. text was not limited, and 4. you can use your existing Google account to log in, which means students can use their Google log-ins.

– What do you think of the difference in quality of the two slideshows?
– Have you used these two? Which one do you prefer to use with students?
– How do these two compare with Haiku Deck?
– What is your favorite free online photo slideshow app to use with students?