Using iMovie in the Content Classroom

Apple’s iMovie provides a tremendous tool for teachers to allow their students to express themselves and their creativity in the classroom.  There are lots of ways in which teachers can use iMovie to enhance what they are doing in their classroom.

Recently I delivered a professional development session at Cabell County Schools‘ R3 Technology Institute on this topic of technology integration. I thought I would take a short bit of time and share a quick list of ideas on incorporating iMovie into the classroom from that session.

That list follows:

  • Documentation: Use the camera and microphone to record student work and performances. You might record students reading, to track progress, video record a student playing a short riff in band class, or record a performance in Phys. Ed., or pretty much any other course. 
  • Peer Feedback: Use video as a great medium to get students to begin to provide each other with feedback. Watching in pairs or small groups can become a catalyst for powerful conversations. 
  • Self Reflection: Students learning to be self aware and provide self-feedback is one of the most effective things we can teach our students. They can watch themselves doing some sort of performance (as described in Documentation above), and give them some structure or checklist to follow. 
  • Creating Movies: YouTube is the most popular and powerful search engine for kids, it is how they communicate. Students also should be learning how to create movies so that they can be active participants in the media. iMovie makes it easy to include elements such as text, transitions, visuals and music; all elements that make the medium a powerful one. 
  • Story Telling: have students tell personal stories and turn them into digital stories using pictures and images from their classroom and their lives. 
  • Photo Essay: Photo-essays are powerful ways to convey messages through visuals and text. Students can easily add text-based-slides to iMovie using another app called iMovie Extras or Pic Collage. 
  • Microscopy: The camera in the iPad works perfectly for recording through the optical piece of a light microscope. You can easily take video of live specimens under a low powered microscope. 
  • Field Trips: Field trips / Field studies are great, and students can use the iPads video recoding/editing capabilities to document the experience so that they can bring it back to the classroom. 
  • Creating Instructional Videos: We learn best when we teach something: students can quickly make instructional videos using iMovie and the iPad, by recording them selves and their peers, and cutting the moving into a logical sequence of instructions. 
  • Slow Motion Analysis: In iMovie, you can easily scrub through video clips in slow motion at an appropriate speed, frame by frame. During a physics experiment, science demo, or Phys. Ed. class, students can record and then slow down footage to find out exactly what is going on. 
  • Create Animated Films: By using iMovie in conjunction with other apps such as Animation HD or iMotion HD, students can create beautiful stop motion or animated films, stringing together various short clips, adding voice overs, sound effects, and music. 
  • Professional Growth: Even as teachers, we can be using iMovie to learn. Record yourself teaching lessons, and create short edits from your recordings to document how you teach, reflect on your work, and share with other professionals what you are doing and how you are doing it. 
  • Create Pecha-Kucha Presentations: Pecha-Kucha presentations are becoming more popular due to their time efficiency and engaging characteristics. The 20×20 (20 slides/images for 20 seconds each, with oral descriptions) presentation is made easily in iMovie 
Think about these and see what you can come up with to implement iMovie into your own classroom. If you would like to see some examples of a few of these ideas, please feel free to contact me and I will be glad to share with you.
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