I love, love, love Animoto! Users simply upload digital images, arrange, add some text and music and before you know it Animoto has mixed a professional looking movie for you. Teachers can register for an education account (click on Education in the bottom right corner). Be aware it does take a while for the account to come through. I think I waited two weeks last year at the beginning of the school year.
Once you have your account, students need to register within about 30 days. You educator account is good for 6 months, however your access code is only valid for 30 days.
Students do need to have an email account to register. I created an account in Gmail. Gmail allows you to add + name to the email username. I registered email@example.com as my email, now each student uses this as the basis but adds their name. For example firstname.lastname@example.org. The email still comes to my original account. I maintain control.
My students enjoyed using Animoto to create a final novel project for Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. To allow for more text and for text on a page with a picture, students created the "slides" in PowerPoint and we saved these as pictures to upload to Animoto. We learned that one or two sentences was all we should put on a page. It became to hard to read otherwise. Students also learned about choosing text size and color that could be easily read.
I often create quick videos from pictures I have taken in class and email the link to parents. It gives them a glimpse into what we are doing during the day.