Moviemaking in the Classroom
There are many reasons for teachers to make movies in their classrooms. Here are a few ideas:
- Creating movies from photos of student projects
- Explanations of materials students are struggling with
- Read alouds
- Gifts for end of year
- Directions for at-home projects
- Welcome messages for families
- Weekly newsletters
How can students use moviemaking in the classroom?
- Gifts from students to parents, grandparents
- Book reports
- Project-based learning
- Share student writing
- How to movies
- Teaching each other
- Family trees
But what program or APP should you and could you use to create these movies? Well, there are plenty!
1. Moviemaker- The old standard. Moviemaker is free on your Microsoft computer. It is fairly simple to use and has an easy learning curve. It can be frustrating if you work on the project over several days, as the dreaded red X showing the pictures have been removed can show up. To combat this problem, gather all materials from video, pictures, music, etc ready before you begin, work on the same computer, and save often.
2. VidEditorFree- This is a free APP that my students have found to be easy to use. You can load your videos, arrange, and save as a completed movie file.
3. Photostory- Photostory is a simple, step-by-step program with simple directions. Step 1- Add pictures. Step 2- Add text. Step 3- Record voice. Step 4- Add music. Step 5- Save the file as a wmv. You can only input pictures, no videos. The program puts in transitions for you, making it even easier!
4. Animoto- This is a web-based program. It is free for the basic version, but you can also get more options by paying $5-$10 a month. With the free version you make a 30 second video, paid accounts get up to 20 minutes. You start with choosing a theme, which gives you the background and music. Add pictures, video, and text. Then you can share your video with others through email, social media, and upload it youtube.
5. Voicethread- This program is both a website and APP. You add your media and then comment. If you share the voicethread, students can leave their comments through typing, calling in, video recording, or voice recording.
6. Educreations- This APP is another free and easy tool that uses a whiteboard as the background. You can write with multiple colors, type, add photos, and pictures. Then, record your voice. Projects can be emailed, posted to social media, or shared by a link.
7. Sock Puppets- A free APP where users use puppets to make their movie. Build the background, add props, select the puppet, and record a voice.
8. Pixntell- I love this easy to use and free APP. It is another easy few step project that can make videos. Add pictures, add voice, add text, and add special effects to make a video about anything.
9. iMovie- Mac users have access to iMovie. I have used it a couple of times and found it fairly easy to use. Since I am not an expert by any means I have found a few tutorials for you. Tuts teaches you from beginning to end in their tutorial. About Technology has this tutorial. The Dummies group also made a tutorial for the iPhone.
SO many options, how do you choose? Play with a few and see what works best for you. If you are using them with students I suggest you create a how to sheet with step-by-step directions. It makes it easier on you, the teacher when they can refer to their instructions rather than always rely on you!
I also strongly suggest storyboarding. Have students play with the program, figure it out, and plan the whole movie before creating. This will save time and frustration in the end.
Ideas for moviemaking? More movie programs? Leave ideas in the comments below.