Make an iMovie Video on your iPad for Back to School

I kept hearing about what a great tool iMovie can be in the classroom.  I finally decided to put it to the test by making an iMovie video.

using iMovie on your ipad at school

As we began our 5th day of school this week,  I used my iPad to shoot a short video clip of each child sharing their favorite thing about school so far.  Their responses were adorable! I knew that I wanted to find a creative medium to share the videos.  I initially thought I might turn this into another augmented reality activity for back to school night where the parents would scan a picture of the child’s face which would then trigger the video clip. Unfortunately, a quick experiment with Aurasma suggested that the pictures of the children’s faces would not make good trigger images. That’s when I started searching for a way to compile the clips into some sort of montage. As I flipped through a variety of video apps I remembered that I’d heard good things about iMovie.  I remembered that people felt it was well worth the $4.99 price tag. I took the plunge and produced what I have to say, turned out to be an absolutely adorable movie that we were able to share with parents on our class website and at our back to school night.  I so wish I could share it here, but it would be too hard to edit it in a way that would protect my students’ privacy.  What we ended up with was a collection of video clips of each child sharing their favorite thing about school so far. The clips flowed smoothly from one to the next and there was sweet, happy background music which really set the tone, but didn’t overshadow the children’s own words. We loved the final product so much that we even made a second one for our Kindergarten classes!

Here’s what I liked about iMovie:

It was fairly simple to use.  I’ve made photo slideshows in iPhoto before, and the process was similar. You simply drag the clips you want to use to add them to the video.

adding video clips

I loved being able to add “background music” to the video clips. There were a variety of generic tunes you could choose from, or you could choose something from your iTunes libary. All you had to do to add the music was to click on the musical note icon you see in the picture above.

I liked being able to edit the clips within the app. You simply slide the yellow dots to make the clip longer or shorter.

I also liked being able to add words to each clip.  Some of my students were a little hard to hear, so I was able to create “captions.”

editing clips

I like the way the clips faded gently from one to the next.

I liked being able to create title and ending scenes. By double clicking on a clip, you could get to a dialog box that would let you add words to your title and ending scenes.  You can also click the settings wheel on the top right to vary the theme of the words you’ve added.

Things that didn’t quite work (but might if I had more practice):

I couldn’t figure out how to gently fade out the background music. The video ends rather abruptly.

It was a little tricky to precisely edit each video clip.  I had to sort of guess where I wanted to cut each video. I’ve seen some editing programs that let you edit each frame.

Bottom Line:

Overall I don’t regret my $4.99 purchase in the least!  The video we produced today was worth the purchase price alone. I am excited to experiment further with the app to see what else we can create.

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  1. Catherine says

    What a great way to present to parents about what their children are doing at school without having the teacher talk and talk and talk!