As a general rule, I am not a big fan of tools that create a canned videos. I think they usually end up cliched and simplistic. However the variety, sophistication and ease of Animoto has me rethinking this stance. Animoto is great. They offer a free deal for educators (it took them about 3 days to process my request). The videos are easy to make they are really interesting. You can use their open source music, or you can upload your own. Give it a try the next time you are putting together pictures of you classroom...or life!

(If you use your school email for the education promotion make sure you use another address to play around on the site while you are waiting for the confirmation of the promotion.)