Tag Archives: movie

3 Ways for Students to Create with Devices in the Classroom

Devices have become omnipresent in our classrooms. Often, these tools are used as expensive, electronic content delivery systems. However, the real power in technology in schools is that it empowers students to become content creators. Smartphones and tablets, even more so, have allowed them to become mobile and agile ones. Most educators know that individuals learn far more about a topic when they must explain it to someone else. Additionally, by employing multiple learning modalities through the creative process (tactile, kinesthetic, visible, etc), students process material more thoroughly. As you think about your lesson plans in the future, consider empowering students to create rather than just consume. Here are a few ways to do just that.

Create a Video

I am a fan of giving students guiding questions and parameters, then having them make an educational video. In my documentaries project, students must answer address a specific topic (e.g. “Where did George Washington get his reputation for honesty?” or “Was Benedict Arnold solely a villain of the Revolutionary War?”). We talk about creating

content in an engaging way, incorporating images and videos effectively (and ethically), pacing content, and selecting what to include or leave out. Videos are not exclusive to the humanities. I have seen math teachers effectively use them by having students demonstrate how to solve complex problems and science teachers as a recording and reflection for labs. I also encourage students to post their videos publicly (when age appropriate) or to the class via a closed portal (for younger students). By posting their videos publicly and sharing with the class, they are presenting to an authentic audience. Making a video is easy and can by done with a smartphone, tablet, and/or computer. Free software options include iMovie (MacOS & iOS), Movie Maker (Windows), and FilmoraGo (iOS & Android).

Create a Podcast

Podcasts are become ever more popular. There are podcasts to cover news, popular entertainment, hobbies, sports, cultural phenomena, and more. Task your class with

creating a podcast on a topic relevant to your course. If you are a Social Studies teacher, perhaps a weekly podcast on current events. If you teach science, a weekly science report relevant to the topic. Math? Try incorporating an update on a complex topic students are tackling that week. Podcasting can help students work on their public speaking skills as well as how to effectively present to an audience. Again, by sharing the podcast with the public at large or just the class and/or school, students learn what it is to engage with a broader audience. Podcasting can be done easily with a smartphone, tablet, and/or computer paired with a simple microphone to drown out ambient sound (the microphone on headphones can work in a pinch or you can invest in something a little more substantive). My favorite free apps for podcasting include: Garageband (MacOS & iOS) and Audacity (MacOS & Windows).

Websites

My students complete a year long research project that they post on a comprehensive website. Through creating an online portal, they learn how to write effectively for a broad audience, how to cite material so that it is accessible online, how to create and incorporate various types of media, and how to effectively organize and lay-out content. What I especially like about website creation is that it allows students to combine skills that they have learned throughout the year (e.g. video and podcasting). We have all seen “good” and “bad” websites. When it’s published online, students want theirs to look good. As such, it also serves as a basic primer in basic graphic design. There are numerous free website tools out there. If your school is a G-Suite for Education school, then I highly recommend using the new Google Sites. Not only is it easy to use, but it readily allows for collaboration. You can also check out weebly or wix.

If you’re in a school where students have access to devices, I strongly encourage having them turn those devices into content creators. You will find that it empowers them as learners and makes their learning more applicable and deep.

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5 iOS Movie Editing Apps to Explore this Summer

Summer is a great time to play with and explore new software and hardware. Most educators have a more flexible summer schedule and can devote time to bigger projects. Many of my colleagues have expressed a desire to have their students produce movie projects (see my post – “Student Documentaries in History Class“). Often, they are concerned about learning how to make a movie – that it will be complicated and they will 5918469469_71ccb96c6d_bbe expected to teach new software on top of their established curriculum. However, most movie editing tools are intuitive and the best way to learn is by doing! If you have some free time this summer, it can be a great opportunity for you to learn how to play with one of these great tools and plan how to incorporate it next school year.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, here are five great movie editing apps to help you become a star director. Special thanks to my friend, photographer Christian Santiago of Solar Highway Productions for his suggestions!

iMovie ($4.99, Free with New Devices) – Apple’s iMovie is the traditional video editor for iOS devices. It’s easy to use and designed for beginners yet with enough cool features to let you develop some mad editing skills!

Videograde ($4.99) – This app allows you to easily edit and enhance the colors of your videos and export them in beautiful HD.

Magistro (Free, in-app purchases and premium upgrade) – A photo editor combined with a video editor, Magistro lets you easily create impressive, professional looking video. The premium upgrade allows you cloud storage and online editing capabilities.

Cute Cut (Free) – Not only does this support traditional movie making, but it allows you to add some cool features like drawing and picture in picture capabilities!

Vizzywig ($29.99) – At nearly $30, Vizzywig has the highest price tag. However, it also has some of the greatest tools and features that are offered on high end video editing software like Adobe Premier. If you feel like you’ve gone as far as you can with a basic layman’s video editing tool, then Vizzywig is a great intermediate step!

The Old Man and the Sea – Animated

Open Culture has just published a list of seventeen classic stories that have been turned into animated videos that are now available on the web. A few of the items in the list I had seen before, these Shel Silverstein stories for example, but others were new to me…

The Old Man and the Sea – Animated.