Friday, October 18, 2013

Is iMovie Really Just a Movie?

One of our most beloved apps on the iPad is Apple’s own iMovie.  And guess what?  Our students love it too!  In fact, we use it with all grade levels.  Sometimes I think people have a misunderstanding of the educational value of iMovie.  Yes, it can be used to create a video of a recent trip, a birthday party, or any celebration, but one of my favorite ways to use it in the classroom is the iMovie trailer feature.   

iMovie trailers have great features that demand thoughtful planning by its producer(s).  It encourages collaboration, planning of video shots, and catchy storytelling.  To make a good iMovie trailer, basic writing conventions, and narrative writing skills must be used.  Furthermore, analysis of content, organization of materials and ideas, and editing skills are used throughout the project.  Students feel empowered by the outcome of their projects and shine in the process of creating a trailer.  

iMovie gives kids choices of themes to use and they always look professional and impressive when they are done.  
Creating a good iMovie trailer demands that students are thoughtful about the video material they record.  For example, some shots need to be in a wide landscape mode.  Other video shots need to have two people in it to be most effective.  The storyboard below dictates what kinds of shots and how long the shots need to be for their best movie trailer.  I also like the catchy openers identified in blue below.  These phrases can be edited to go with the story.  Here is a pdf iMovie trailer planner you can use before opening up the app.  


Sharing these trailers is easy to do as well because they are often no more than a minute and a half. Students can upload their movie trailers directly to YouTube or house them in their iTunes Library.  Using a gallery walk method with headphones and splitters are a great way to share the trailers your students made.  In this model, place the iPads around your room, preferably at tables, and plug in headphone splitters so that more than one person can listen to the video at a time.  Students love watching the videos together.  Compare this to our traditional Power Point Presentations some of us have had our kids create in the past.  We had to make time to present these.  This process can sometimes take up an entire week.  Using the Gallery Walk method is quick, easy, and engaging for everyone.  

If my enthusiasm for iMovie trailers isn’t convincing enough for you, how about we tie it to a couple of common core standard for insurance?  iMovie matches up to several of them, but I pulled a couple out for the post.  

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.

New technologies have broadened and expanded the role that speaking and listening play in acquiring and sharing knowledge and have tightened their link to other forms of communication. Digital texts confront students with the potential for continually updated content and dynamically changing combinations of words, graphics, images, hyperlinks, and embedded video and audio. From

Using the app iMovie gives students a creative platform in which to communicate ideas, analyze materials, collaborate, and edit written work.  Goodbye Power Points, hello amazing trailers and happy students!  

Written by Jennifer Krzystowczyk


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