From Posters to Productions, Inspire Directors With iMovie!
Type of Technology: App (iOS Only)
SAMR Model Rating: Redefinition
Grade Level: K-12
Subject Area: All
Cost: $4.99 (Free with new iOS device)
When I think back to when I was in school, I always try to think back to the different types of projects or assignments that I had done. All the posters and essays that I completed are long lost memories, but the short films about the Mexican Revolution and Frankenstein are projects that are firmly cemented in my memory, simply because these were the projects that I truly felt invested in.
Having this in mind, I wanted to make sure that I did everything I could to create these types of memories for my students. The beauty of having a class set of iPads is that it allows me to really explore the possibilities of student projects and enhancing student learning through their engagement and investment in what they are creating.
The projects that I have found most engaging for my students have been the ones created on iMovie. iMovie is a video editing application exclusively on Apple products which allows users the opportunity to create their own movies using any videos, pictures, or audio they have saved on their iPads. Users also have the ability to record their own audio, so being able to narrate the video you have created is also in the realm of possibility.
Once the students were introduced to iMovie and the projects they would be creating, their levels of engagement soared and students became more invested in their learning. The project that we began with was creating presentations about the different Native American regions. The students had to first research all the information they could find about the region they were assigned, organize the information in the order in which they wanted it to appear in their presentation, rewrite the information as a script, find pictures that related to everything they were talking about, then record themselves reciting their scripts so that they could narrate their presentations. Once all the presentations were completed, the students then mirrored their iPads on our classroom television and students got to watch each other’s presentations. Throughout the entire process, the students were working independently, with only minor facilitation from myself. This freedom of exploration within the constraints of the project itself created more ownership of their learning, and their level of expertise with the unit they were learning was greater than any other project that I had ever assigned.
What I loved most about each presentation was the creativity the students showed, as well as how different each presentation was. Some students would add different text features to all of their photos, some students were more detailed about their information, but best of all, all of my students participated. Even my shy students that rarely raise their hands were able to record themselves narrating information for their projects. They were able to share their learning with their classmates without the stress of being put on the spot.
After the Native American Regions project, the students also created a movie trailer about a European explorer of their choice. They followed the same procedure or conducting research, but then had to only provide the most important information about their explorer. These were quick 1-minute presentations, and the iMovie app provides many different templates for the movie trailers, so many of the presentations were unique. iMovie once again provided the motivation for the students to create the best possible presentations. I have also had students create iMovies to present information to potential donors, or simply to have fun and become directors of their own films!
Overall, iMovie has completely revolutionized how I teach social studies. The excitement the students express when they see social studies in our daily schedule motivates me to continue to incorporate iMovie as much as possible. I have full confidence that I could expand my use of iMovie in multiple content areas. From book trailers, scene reenactments of core literature, or all social studies units, iMovie could potentially inspire our students to become directors, writers, or future movie stars!