Sunday, 15 April 2012

Using iMovie on the iPads

Last term I set myself the challenge of getting my Year 2 students to the point where they could make their own iMovies using our school iPads.
Of course they managed it because seven-year-olds are more confident with new technology than we are!
Each student created a short iMovie about the life stages of an animal. Because we had been looking at Eric Carle books, we used painted paper collage to create the images and the students talked about the pictures. I was pleased with their oral explanations because I know if I had asked them to write it down, I wouldn't have seen so much detail from a lot of my students. Using iMovie gave even the reluctant writers a chance to engage with the Science curriculum.

So how do they learn to do it?
Firstly, I needed to become a bit more comfortable with using and teaching with the iPads myself and I wanted to enlist some helpers to work with my Year 2s at first, so during my non-contact time one Friday, I headed over to our Year 5 buddies and taught them how to use the iPads to make a short iMovie. I knew there were a few students in this class who had some basic skills already because they were in my class last year and we had used the iPads, as well as Garageband on the computers, so they had some background skills.
After this one lesson, the Year 5s had a practice on their own as well, working on their own project. This quick tutorial meant that another teacher now had a basic knowledge of how to do it and I had 28 Year 5s who knew more than I did already.
Next, I worked with my Year 2s in small groups of 8 with 4 iPads to share. I did this during our Literacy rotations. I spent 20 minutes with the groups working in pairs to take a photo of the partner and record them reading a page from a book. They got to learn a few basics of iMovie through this experience, as well as how to take a photo, and they also learnt that they needed to speak clearly and hold the iPad close enough to get a good recording.
(I'm not suggesting they were experts by the end of twenty minutes, but some of them were confident, and at least they all had a basic understanding of what iMovie does.)
Next we worked on our unit, learning about life stages and the students created pictures with their collage.
I took some photos of our seed growing experiment and loaded them onto each of the 10 iPads, ready for our buddy work.
The Year 5 buddies worked with my Year 2s to select and sequence the photos of the seeds, change the timings and record the Year 2 explanations of the stages of a seedling sprouting. The Year 5s knew more than me by now so my Year 2s had great teachers!
We viewed our seedling movies and discussed what we had learnt about making movies.
The final stage was the students creating their own iMovie about their chosen animal or plant.
I was lucky enough to have my prac teacher there on the day that we did it so she was able to work with individuals as they took turns with the iPads, and I taught the rest of the class.
Having Claire there to help was great because she was able to send all of the iMovies to DropBox for me so I could collect them in one place where I could access them. She also named all the files properly and kept check that we hadn't missed anyone.
I was very pleased with their efforts - we still have room for improvement, but I am amazed at what these kids can do with just a little bit of guidance.
This term we will use iMovie again, but I also want to try Sonic Pics to compare it to iMovie.


  1. wow!!!!! Very impressed. I really want ipads for our school. Hopefully next year as I know this year's budget is going on upgrading our server and wireless.

    I really like how you taught your buddy class and then they became the experts to teach the younger ones.

    Thinking now, how can I use this with the technology we currently have at school...

    Sowing Seeds of Learning

  2. The iPads are great for little ones because they are easier to move around, they start up straight away and they have inbuilt camera and microphone that they can use to do all sorts of creative things.

    Teaching the buddies first made the process easier for me and much more fun for the kids - they love their buddies!