Using iMovie in the Classroom

When you make a film you usually make a film about an idea. -Sydney Pollack

I think almost everyone enjoys a good movie.  The cost of going to the theater, however, is becoming terribly cost prohibitive.  The last movie I saw in the theater was Lincoln.  It was a great film and it renewed my interest in the history of the Lincoln era and the Civil War.  Living in Charleston where the Civil War began, I am able to walk on the very cobblestone streets that Union and Confederate soldiers trod.

iMovieBringing topics alive to our students is difficult…especially historical topics that are far removed from our students day to day reality.  Looking at a Social Studies text with illustrations and images of historical figures isn’t always very engaging. iMovie is an app that can be used across all grade levels.   A 4th grade teacher in my school has her students use iMovie to demonstrate their learning.  A project on Abolitionists involved students using Book Creator to create a book on their chosen Abolitionist and many chose to create an additional project in iMovie.  Here is one student’s iMovie on Harriet Tubman:

Wow…this blew me away.  A nine year old created that.

Teachers can also use iMovie as a tool for introducing content in a meaningful way.  Students are far more likely to be interested in topics when introduced like this:

The fairy tale clips were downloaded from You Tube and inserted into iMovie.  The clips were trimmed and text frames were added.  In this movie, the clips are from familiar movies on which students can anchor their learning.  This 4th grade teacher uses this iMovie to introduce her thematic unit.  What a great way to grab students’ attention and engage them from the beginning.

While I have had my students create iMovies to demonstrate learning, it hadn’t occurred to me to use them for instruction and content delivery.  After these are created, students can access them and re-play them if needed for instruction.

I encourage you to explore iMovie from the instructional side. It will definitely be on my To-Do List for the fall!

Today we will do exciting new things. Let’s get to it!

8 thoughts on “Using iMovie in the Classroom

  1. How were you able to download YouTube videos into the camera roll to be used in iMovie? As I read on Google about this, it looks complicated. Thanks,

    • Sherell,
      The Educator’s Guide to Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons states Teachers are free to embed any video from YouTube, Vimeo, WatchKnowLearn, etc. on your blog or website as long as it gives you the embed option. Also, scrolling down to the common scenarios section it discusses videos and video segments are fine on copyrighted material as long as they are used for educational purposes only and not for profit. Also, If your work is for educational purposes, then use of copyrighted material falls under the “Fair Use” provision, which allows reasonable use of copyrighted work, without permission, for research, criticism, or education. A notice at the beginning or end of your production giving credit to copyright owners for their work is usually sufficient.
      I’m sure it is a slippery slope and care needs to be given in the use of videos and photographs for classroom use.

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