App of the Day – iMovie


I would actually buy an iPad just for this app. It makes digital video so easy and accessible for everyone.The results make you look like a pro and it calls for no extra plug-ins or connections. I remember some years ago, John Davitt  talking about how schools had the power of the BBC in their classroom through the use of ICT related technology, or something like that (apologies John). With iMovie on your iPad you can have the power of the BBC in your bag/iPad cover!!!

wmmfailI think I have been here before with excitement around the ease of video creation with Digital Video. Some years ago, the Flip Camera was the new craze in our schools and I bought a number of these for schools in Redbridge. We ran a film competition and someone called Stephen Heppell judged it all.

What struck me was how great the quality of the films were and the imagination of the young screenwriters and directors. The Flip made shooting easy, but there was still the plugging it in, editing and post production aspect. This slowed the process somewhat and on some occasions you lost it all that you had done so far!  I am not going to use this post to slate Windows Movie Maker, as it is a tool that has served me well for many years, even in my commercial work, but when I made the switch to iMovie, first on Mac and then on both Mac and iPad, I was struck by how Tesco Value Movie Maker felt in comparison. With iMovie you use the same device to shoot and edit the footage, you can even publish straight from the iPad to video sharing sites. However if you want to put the video on a network then you will need to get your USB lead out.

One of the winning films from the Redbridge Film Competition – for more inspiration – see this blog.

Recently, I worked with my class to make use of iMovie during our residential trip to Norfolk. I wanted to see what would happen if we took some iPads with us, and apologies but I had not given this much thought or even planned the learning objectives. When we were on the beach, in the drizzle and fog, an experience that was new to many of my pupils, I hit upon the idea of trying to make a film. One of my class took up the challenge and with 30 minutes she had shot, reviewed and edited a short trailer using the trailer templates from iMovie.

I think this experience, if any, deserves the title mobile learning as the children gained new digital creation skills in quite an inhospitable environment. For my class the video, which is now online now serves as a poignant reminder of their great day near the sea.

Last Sunday,  I experimented myself with creating a film of a great day out rather than simply snapping a series of Facebook ready shots. I took Dylan to nearby Excel and Greenwich and used my iPad, iMovie and the landscape to create a mini trailer. Creating a trailer that looks even reasonably good is made simple by the inclusion of the templates and the clip guides, These show you which shots you need to include and in what order. A sort of film making writing frame. I managed to get lots of wide, landscape and action shots, though I did have to truncate the project as Dylan, water and cars are not always a good mix.

You may find these storyboard planning sheets from Timothy Jefferson helpful if you are going to have a go at making your own iMovie trailers.

Aside from creating trailers this week I have been working with colleagues on creating teaching videos. With a Vimeo account an iPad, a plastic whiteboard and a pen; this can easily be put together. Many of the parents at our school had asked to see the modern methods that we use in our lessons. Though we could do this in workshops and at open evenings it is something that can be forgotten quite quickly and not all parents can make these events. With this in mind, our Maths Coordinator came up with the idea of putting videos of these methods on-line. I am not sure he had heard of Salman Khan and his Khan academy , the same idea but on a larger scale!, but it proves great minds think alike.

So we used our after school CPD session to go through both the school calculation policy how to make and publish a video with iMovie.  A few days later and we now have almost all the videos we need from our teachers, so we  will soon be able to complete our webpage featuring a progression of videos from Foundation stage to Year 6.

You can view our first attempt at creating a video below and if you want to do this yourself, then you may find the help sheet we gave out quite helpful.

Help Sheet

Year 6 Multiplication from St Aidan’s Catholic Primary on Vimeo.


9 comments on “App of the Day – iMovie

  1. Excellent stuff.I couldn’t agree with you more.i have been using it on my phone formy own experiments. You still need a good story telling paradigm though, such as a slimlined version of Dramatica. Thanks for your posting.

    • Can you expand on Dramatica Tom? I think the missing element in some of my video work has been planning effective story planning. Trailers take the thinking out of shot organisation but haven’t really got the story plan nailed yet.

      • I will send you a small explanation and a link a little later on today as I’ve been busy sorting out our bees!

        Sent from my iPhone

      • Hi Anthony,
        Dramatica is quite a complicated and multifaceted theory of story. and the 12 questions can be quite complicated
        However a film making friend of mine, Simon Morice, of i-catching films who uses an i-phone professionally (with a Bubo enhancement kit for broadcast quality) suggests using a condensed interpretation of dramatica theory to ask 4/5 questions when in the field for interviewing
        So for Documentary
        External Situation: What / where is it?
        External Activity: How does it work?
        Fixed Attitude (internal): What does it mean?
        Manipulation (internal activity): Why is it important?
        These are further adapted to fit the different genres of Drama or Comedy or Entertainment.
        I hope that this helps
        Best Regards

      • Thanks Anthony,
        Now playing with Typedrawing app and imovie on my i-phone to see if I can use the idea with pupils to make animated calligrams for the 12 Days of Christmas. Oh if only we had some i-pads to borrow!

  2. Thanks for the post. Enjoyed seeing both the imovie trailer and the multiplication video. It’s great that each school is able to use its own language, accent and version of methods to make them accessible to children and parents from their own school.

    • Thanks Ben – notice you are from Buckfastleigh – what a lovely part of the world. Hope you are not flooded out today!

  3. Pingback: First Look at Switched On ICT for Early Years – App of the Day | Ant's ICT

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