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How To Make A Slideshow Video With Photos And Music

Need to make a slideshow video with photos and music for graduation, the end of year, or any other special event? We review and compare 7 of the best free tools and apps. Find out how to use and share these tools plus learn about music copyright. | Edublogs | The Edublogger

Slideshow style videos can be a powerful way to bring together the best of your school experiences and share with others.

Millions of school and college students will be graduating in the coming months. Given the current pandemic, many graduation ceremonies will be held virtually. A slideshow video can be a core feature of a virtual graduation ceremony and serve as a useful memento.

There are many other occasions where special days, events, and milestones can be marked with a photo montage video.

There are many tools out there to put together slideshow videos with music. This post summarizes 7 free online tools and apps. We also look at the legalities of music and copyright. Finally, you’ll find out how to share your completed video with others or embed it on your blog.

The tools and apps we reviewed are:

AnimotoGoogle PhotosQuikClipsiMovieLumen5Adobe Spark

📌 Another option that’s currently popular with teachers is WeVideo. This is a fantastic tool but is only free to schools until June 30, 2020. So, it’s a tool you might want to explore depending on your timeline and budget.

How to make a slideshow video with photos and music for graduation, end of school year, or any special milestone. Find out how to use 7 free tools and apps plus learn about music and copyright | Edublogs | The Edublogger

Comparison Chart

Here’s a quick comparison of the 7 tools we review in this post. Read on to find more details and examples.

Comparison chart summarising 7 tools to create video slideshows as reviewed in the text.


URL: Use on: The web or iOS app (The Android app has been discontinued)

Animoto allows you to create videos from photos, video clips, and music. There are a number of pre-made video templates available that are designed to make the creation process quick and easy.

Animoto is an intuitive tool that allows you to create a professional-looking video in minutes.

Educators can sign up for a free account which allows you to create student accounts as well.

You can embed Animoto videos on your blog. This help guide shows you where to find the embed code.

Here’s some graduation inspiration from Animoto. Do you have a current example we can use? Let us know in a comment!

Google Photos Movies

URL: on: Best on the Google Photos app (iOS | Android)

Do you use Google Photos? It’s a free service to store, organize, and share all your photos and videos. If you’d like to learn more about this service that many of our team enjoy using, check out our beginner’s guide.

You might not know that you can easily make a slideshow of your photos with music using Google Photos.

This is best done on a phone or tablet. You can do it on a computer but the computer version only allows you to create a movie from one of the pre-set themes shown below. This is unlikely to be what you’re after.

To make a slideshow movie on your Google Photos app on your phone or tablet, go to “For you” at the bottom of the app.

From here, you’ll select “Movie” and then “New movie”.

You’ll be prompted to choose your photos or video clips (up to 50). You can then customize your creation by choosing your music and a variety of filters.

When you’re done, there are lots of sharing options. You can share your completed video with friends, save it to your device, publish it on social media, add it to your Google Drive, or share it to a service like YouTube.

Check out these instructions from Google for step-by-step directions.


URL: iOS app | Android appUse on: Phone or tabletNote: There is also a desktop app but it requires downloading software.

If you like creating on your phone or tablet, check out Quik by GoPro. It’s a free app with no in-app purchases.

The Quik app allows you to make video slideshows with professional transitions and music with minimal effort.

You simply select your photos or videos from your camera roll (up to 200). The app then analyses your footage to make smooth and effective transitions. You can choose from 26 themes and customize the video with 100+ music options. You can add your own music but beware of copyright. You can also add text and titles as needed.

Completed videos can be saved to your device or there are other sharing options like social media or text message.

Here’s a short tutorial video by Richard Byrne of Free Technology For Teachers.


URL: iOS app onlyUse on: iPhone or iPad

If you’re looking for a simple video creation tool to use on your iPhone or iPad, Clips might be the answer.

It’s a very intuitive app that lets you create videos out of photos and video footage. There are lots of additional features like text, stickers, emojis, and filters. Because this app is easy to use and has lots of fun features, it’s always a popular choice for students as well as teachers.

Clips now offers a few options for background music; you can create your own music in GarageBand as well as using their built-in soundtracks. Additionally, you can pull in music from your iTunes account but please be cautious of copyright.

One unique feature of Clips is Live Titles which is a built-in caption feature. Users can choose to have their words appear as they speak. The words can come up all at once as static text, or as animated text with each word highlighted as they’re spoken.

Here’s an example of a short video created in Clips by teacher-librarian Jo Martin from Brandon Elementary. It’s called LEGOmania in the Library.


URL: iOS app | macOSUse on: iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer

iMovie is a step-up from Clips with a lot more features that allow you to create anything from a short video slideshow to an impressive full-length movie.

Unlike a lot of the tools reviewed in this post, iMovie doesn’t do the work for you. There are handy templates to enjoy but you need to add your own photos, videos, titles, and music to put your video slideshow together.

Some of the special effects available include the ability to slow down or speed up footage, as well as picture-in-picture and greenscreen effects. While these are awesome, they may be more than you need to create a simple photo montage.

If you don’t have your own music to add to the video, iMovie offers 80+ soundtracks and there is also the option to add your own voice-over narration.

Here’s an example from teacher-librarian Amy Kincaid. She used iMovie to create a video that condensed her year with Jackson Elementary students into 7 minutes.


URL: https://lumen5.comUse on: Computer (or on a phone/tablet via the web browser)

Lumen5 is a free drag and drop video creator. It’s most known for its ability to turn blog posts into videos, however, it can also be a handy tool for creating video slideshows using images, short clips, GIFs, and music.

When you log in to Lumen5 and opt to “Create a Video”, you’ll be given three choices as outlined below. You can “automagically” make a video from your blog post, script, or media. 

To make a slideshow style video with music, select “Use your media”.

Lumen5 options make a video

Lumen5 contains a library of Creative Commons Zero images and music if you need some content to complement your own collection.

This is a fabulous tool with some minor downsides being:

The free plan allows you to make 5 videos a month in 720p resolutionThe free plan has a Lumen5 watermarkIt’s 13+ (so if you have younger students, they can’t create their own videos)You can’t embed your video directly onto your blog. So you have to put it on social media or YouTube first and then get the embed code from there. Or you could download the video and upload it directly into your post/page if it’s a small file. Scroll down for more details on embedding.

In this video, Richard Byrne from Free Technology For Teachers shows how to create a Lumen5 video from a blog post. You can modify the instructions and select “Use your media” if you don’t want to base your video on a blog post.

Adobe Spark Video

URL: on: The web or iOS app

If you’re an educator who is going to be using Adobe Spark, you might want to first make sure you’ve signed up for an education account. This will give you free premium features. 

Adobe Spark Video allows you to combine pictures, videos clips, icons, text, voice, and music to create compelling videos.

If you need extra footage or a soundtrack, there is a free database of images and music.

If you’d like to read a “how-to” on creating an end of year celebration video, check out this detailed explanation from Monica Burns.

Adobe Spark for end of year celebrations (graphic)

Here’s an example of a video made in Adobe Spark by teacher Laura Hanser Burkhalter. She used photos that were emailed to her from members of her school community. 

Music and Copyright

When you’re creating a slideshow style video it can be extremely tempting to use popular music that reflects the mood and emotion of the footage.

As you probably know, most music is protected by copyright. It doesn’t matter if you paid for a song or not, it’s still protected by copyright. It doesn’t matter if you’re only using 30 seconds or less of a song, it’s still protected by copyright.

Normally, you can’t just use any music you like in your video creations.

However, in many countries, you are allowed to copy music to add to a video if:

a) it’s for educational purposes andb) you’re not sharing your video publicly (or selling it!)*

So, if you make a video with music that’s protected by copyright, it’s not okay to publish this on a public blog, social media, YouTube, and so on. And you couldn’t show your video at a public event. However, it’s okay if the video is just being shown privately to teachers, students, and families at home/school.

It’s also important to note that background music is not considered “educational use”.

💡 Despite the flexibility in these rules for educators, it’s always a good idea to not only think about loopholes but consider ethics and how to be the best digital citizen you can be. As everyone can now be a publisher, copyright is an important topic for educators and students to have a grasp on.

*Note: This is the case in Australia and the US but if you live in another country you may need to check your own guidelines. 

Here’s a brief summary of the above. You’re welcome to share this graphic on your own site, LMS, or social media with attribution.

Copyright Free Music

Luckily, many of the free online tools and apps available now have inbuilt music options that are free to use. All the tools and apps we’ve reviewed in this post have some free music options.

However, if you’re looking for some other copyright free music options, you might first like to check if you district has any subscriptions you can make the most of. For example, Soundzabound.

If this isn’t an option, there are lots of other sources of free music online. Just two are Dig CC Mixter or YouTube Audio Library.

Let’s take a look.

Dig CC Mixter

Dig CC Mixter offers thousands of hours of free music.

The music on this site has different Creative Commons licenses so you need to check whether you need to attribute the music or not.

Educational Blogger Richard Byrne’s video below explains how to use Dig CC Mixter and filter by license.

YouTube Audio Library

YouTube also has a great library of music you can use. In case you’re wondering, using an online tool to download music from a YouTube video is not okay.

Visit the Audio Library on YouTube to browse the selections.

If you click on Attribution, you can filter your results to find music that doesn’t need to be attributed.

You can preview the music to see what it sounds like and download the music you want to use.

Here’s an example called Sunshine in my Heart by Jingle Punks.

There are many other ways you can find copyright free music online so please let us know if you have a favorite.

How To Add A Video To Your Blog

Videos can be quick and easy to make but sharing them can be more difficult due to large file sizes.

If you want to share your video on your blog or website, first check whether the tool you’re using offers an embed code. If you’re using an online tool like Animoto or Adobe Spark Video you’ll be able to use an embed code to add the video to your blog quickly and easily. You can find the full instructions on how to embed videos in this Help Guide.

If you’re not using an online video tool that offers an embed code, you’ll want to download the video to your device. From there you’ll upload your video to a third party service and then embed it. Most videos are too large to upload directly to your blog or site.

These are third party services you might consider to house your videos:

An online hosting site (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, TeacherTube)Google DriveA Cloud service like DropBox or OneDriveSocial media (many services have limits on video length e.g. Instagram 60 seconds, Twitter 2 minutes 20 seconds, LinkedIn 10 minutes, Facebook 120 minutes)

If you’re uploading your educational videos to a platform like YouTube or social media, check your school/district guidelines for advice and choose your privacy settings carefully.

Once you’ve uploaded to one of these services, you can embed the video on your blog, website, or LMS, or share a link. If you’re embedding a video, you can use the instructions below.

Methods For Embedding Videos

Videos from video sharing websites can be embedded into posts or pages by either using:

The video URL: Paste the URL on a line by itself in your post/page editor where you want the video to appear. This method only works with certain services, like YouTube.The embed code: Find the embed code on the site you’re using (e.g. YouTube) and copy it. Then in your post put your cursor where you want the video. Click on Add Media and then Insert Embed Code. Paste the code and press Insert into post. Note: embedding isn’t available on free blogs to prevent misuse from spammers.

You can find the full instructions on how to embed videos in this Help Guide or check out the PDF below for detailed instructions for YouTube.

📌 Download the PDF of the embedding instructions.

How to embed YouTube PDF

Do You Have Any Tools Or Examples To Share?

Sometimes it’s helpful to play around with a few different tools or apps to see if they’re what you’re after. No doubt you’ll soon settle on a favorite that you will end up using time and time again.

We’d love to see some more examples of video slideshows created by teachers (or students!). Do you have one to share? Please leave the link in a comment below so we can take a look.

We’d also love you to comment if you can recommend another free online tool or app that other educators might find useful.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Related Posts

You might also enjoy reading:

The Educator’s Guide To Using Video In Teaching And Learning

How To Deal With Student And Class Blogs At The End Of The Year

10 End Of Year Blogging Activities

Slideshow videos with music can be a powerful way to bring together the best of your classroom and share it with others. Here's a comparision of 7 free tools and apps.

Slideshow videos with music can be a powerful way to bring together the best of your classroom and share it with others. Here's a comparision of 7 free tools and apps.


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How to use Edge’s tools to protect your privacy while browsing

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Version 80 of Microsoft’s Edge browser, now based on the Chromium source code, launched on January 15th, and with it came an increased focus on privacy.

Edge includes tools to block both first-party cookies (used to keep you logged in or remember the items in your shopping cart) and third-party tracking cookies (used to keep track of your browsing activity). Below are instructions on how to change your settings, see what trackers are stored on your browser, and delete any cookies. We also address how Edge deals with fingerprinting, another method of tracking which identifies users by collecting details about their system configuration.

Deal with trackers

The new version of Edge blocks trackers by default using one of three different…

Continue reading…

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10 of the Best Project Management Software (Reviewed + Rated)

Today’s workplace is challenging, with complex marketing tasks becoming the norm.

You’re expected to manage a variety of projects, like website maintenance, blogging, email marketing, and automation. Not to mention handling traditional deliverables, special events, and so on and so forth. It seems like you’re doing more for your clients than ever before.

It’s understood, though, that taking on and managing work-based projects can be a drain on resources. Often, you’ll have multiple projects for multiple clients, and getting it all done can be difficult to effectively organize.

The traditional methods of project management just don’t cut it anymore. Typing information into a spreadsheet or using word processing software to compile notes takes too much time away from actually completing projects.

Thankfully, we now have project management tools to keep us organized and out of deep water.

What Are Project Management Tools?

As much as we all would love to think that we’re capable of keeping ourselves organized and accountable for our individual workloads, both personal and professional, that wish is very rarely a reality.

That fact is multiplied when you examine self-guided productivity across entire teams or departments.


Project management tools are lifesavers when it comes to easing this pain. Designed to minimize the friction that comes with transitioning from one to-do list item to the next, a lot of features are built into the software to make managing tasks easy and standardized.

That isn’t to say that these tools are going to fix all of a user’s problems. That depends on how effectively the individual or team uses it. But when you take full advantage of all its gadgets and features, you’ll be blown away by what project management software can do for you.

Top Features of the Best Project Management Tools

When looking at what these tools can do for you, you’ll find that their best features are built for the specific purpose of making you and your team more efficient.

Checking tasks off a list is one of the small joys in any office’s day to day. What a little kick of dopamine.

These features can help you burn through your projects faster, making you feel great about what you accomplished:

Planning: Most project management tools centralize all of a team’s tasks onto one dashboard where team members can delegate and schedule each individual task as necessary.
Collaboration: Communicating within a team is made so much easier with tools that allow for commenting on task files, reviews and approvals, and organization. That means less email clutter or multiple trips back and forth across the office.
Documentation: A lot of software today has cloud storage, making file management a cinch. Upload, share, and download documents, spreadsheets, and other important files and take comfort knowing that it all exists in one place.
Tracking: This feature is great for projects that move across departments or for leadership members that need to monitor progress, productivity, and reporting.

10 of the Best Project Management Tools and Software

If your team is juggling deadlines, resources, and deliverables, we have a list of solutions for you. Dedicated project management software is available to keep everyone on your team on the same page and moving forward.

Let’s take a look at some of the best project management software out there that can help you stay organized, get the job done, and make you look like a rockstar to your clients.

1. Zoho Projects

zoho projects project management tool

Zoho Projects is an online project management software built to help users plan and execute projects with ease through collaboration and planning.

Part of the Zoho Business suite, you can communicate in the platform with team members and clients, share documents, keep timelines, and generate reports.

Any and all active projects are stored, tracked, and recorded on one central dashboard. The software is cloud-based, making communication and documentation easy and safe. You’re able to customize functionality based on the size of your team and projects, adding more features as needed.

When used in tandem with Zoho’s other software programs, your team is virtually unstoppable when it comes to taking your business to new heights.

This tool has a 5 star rating on PCMag.

Price: Zoho Projects Standard plan pricing starts at $18/mo.

2. Teamwork

teamwork project management tool

Teamwork is an online suite of three individual project management software tools that can work separately or together to streamline project management.

There are three separate modules designed to work individually or together so you can add functionality as you need it. Teamwork Projects is the project management app, Teamwork Chat is a communication module that allows team members to keep in touch as a project moves through the company, and Teamwork Desk is a help desk function that is invisible to your customers.

You’re able to increase a project by assigning tasks, communicating, and tracking progress all in a centralized place. The suite of products “talks” to each other so you can handle all aspects of your project without leaving the application.

PCMag gave Teamwork a rating of 4.5 stars.

Price: Teamwork offers a free plan with limited functionality. Larger plans begin at $45/mo.

3. Asana

asana project management tools

Asana is another free, cloud-based project management application that offers a ton of features to boost productivity.

It is also cross platform compatible working on Android and iOS devices including smartphones, tablets, and computers. While there are productivity boosting tools, Asana’s focus in on tracking project tasks.

Asana allows you to create to-do lists and reminders so you don’t miss deadlines. Plus you can add colleagues to the team, instructions to tasks, due dates, and comments.

It allows sharing of images from other applications and tracks everything you and your team are working on to make sure your project is running smoothly and on time. The program includes a list of teams and individuals on a project and includes a functional search option to find completed tasks easily.

PCMag rewarded Asana with a 4.5 star rating.

Price: Asana has a free basic plan. Premium plans start at $13.49/mo.

4. Basecamp

basecamp project management tool

Basecamp is a project management software platform that organizes all of your communications, projects, and client work together to provide you with centralized information and planning. It brings everything your company is working on into a single resource.

Organized, centralized, and clear, everyone can keep track of each element of every project and always know what needs to get done, where things stand, and where to get what they need.

Your dashboard gives you a complete overview of everything that’s happening in your business. You get an HQ section for company-wide communication, dedicated areas for teams to work together, and private areas where you can manage projects.

Seeing everything on a single screen can put you back in control, as well as to-do lists, automatic check-ins, and more.

PCMag gives it a rating of 4 stars.

Price: Basecamp has a flat fee of $99/mo. and a free program for those who are ok with limited features.

5. Wrike

write project management tool

Wrike stands out with its unique combination of request forms, customizable dashboards, and automation capabilities within its work management platform.

This tool has similar tracking and reporting features as the others on this list, but there’s a particular focus on providing teams with the ability to be competitive and productive at the same time.

Users can leverage pre-made solutions for specialized needs. For example, Wrike for Marketers possesses tools designed to help the efficiency of marketing teams with customizable workflows, fields, and data storage structures.

Wrike also allows for integrations with most CRMs, messaging tools, and other software.

PCMag rates Wrike 4 stars.

Price: Wrike has a free plan. Upgraded plans start at $9.80/mo. per user.

6. Trello

trello project management tool

Trello is a cross platform project management software product that is cloud based and compatible with Android and iOS devices. This tool offers a version specifically optimized for the iPad Pro as well.

One of the most popular project management applications, Trello allows users to organize and plan their work projects through a smartphone, tablet, or computer, making it perfect for mobile teams. It’s a free download with added functionality when you upgrade to a premium plan.

Trello uses boards, lists, and cards to organize and prioritize your projects in a flexible and rewarding way. It’s easy to use and allows you to dive into a projects’s details.

You can add comments, attachments and more to cards so that they’re accessible to your team, allowing them to collaborate on a project from inception to completion. Trello can be integrated with apps you already use and is always in sync across devices so you can access and work on a project from anywhere on any device.

This tool received 3.5 stars from PCMag.

Price: Trello is free to use. Premium plans start at $12.50/mo.

7. Jira

Jira project management tool

Jira is a project management software specifically for planning and tracking software development projects from concept through release. It’s most functional when used for agile marketing of products or implementing Scrum (an agile framework for completing particularly complex projects).

Jira allows you to plan projects, distribute tasks across your team, and track your release in full context, with complete visibility in real time.

A customizable project management app, it allows you to create custom workflows based on either the product in development or how your team works. While it is a standalone product, it also integrates with other tools you may already use, like Confluence, Bitbucket, Stride, and hundreds of other developer tools.

Jira allows for flexible planning, accurate estimations, and value-driven prioritization to your projects.

PCMag gave this tool 3.5 stars.

Price: Jira is cloud based with plans starting as low as $10/mo. for small teams of up to 10 users. Over 10 users, it moves to $7/mo. per user.

8. FunctionFox

functionfox project management tool

FunctionFox’s project management software offers visual, interactive, and customizable dashboards that assist with tracking projects to improve productivity.

With unique features like milestone tracking and budget comparison, users can receive a comprehensive overview of their projects and their team’s efficiency and effectiveness. With a built-in timesheet tool, users can track how long individual tasks take, allowing for the accurate billing of projects.

Although its functionality isn’t as robust as other software, it makes for an ideal tool for teams that don’t require a hefty program to get work done.

PCMag gave FunctionFox 3 stars.

Price: Plans start at $4/mo. per user.


projectmanager project management tool is a cloud-based project management solution for teams of all sizes with features that increase collaboration and productivity. With Gantt chart capabilities, welcomes teams that are seeking a tool for both simple and complex projects.

You’ll have real-time dashboards, the ability to create project plans online, task management, instant report production, and timesheets that take the headache out of project management.

You can also manage team workload and organize multiple projects at once. The program possesses GSuite integration, online file storage, chats and discussion, and to-do lists.

Price: starts as low as $15/mo. per user.

10. Scoro

scoro project management tool

Scoro works to streamline your workload with communication management, billing, reporting, and collaboration functionality. With a centralized portal, you can oversee all of your projects and tasks in one place.

The tool was created to help bring teams together in one system, increasing productivity by providing individual team members the ability to collaborate, rather than working in isolation.

Scoro provides a pretty wide deck, including time management tools, customer or client overviews, and reporting on sales and finance documents. You can plan, schedule, track, and record every aspect of your team’s workload.

Price: Pricing starts at $28/mo. per user.

If you manage complex projects for your clients, project management software is a must have for your business.

These recommended project management tools are a great way to get your team organized and help you plan, execute, and track every task that comes across your plate.

Put down the pencil, step away from the whiteboard, and enter the 21st century of project management with these easy to use project software management packages!

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