Jan 142016

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A teacher emailed me to ask how this 6-Word Memoir project was created so that she could do the same thing with her classes. I instantly recognized it as an iMovie project, and one that would be simple for this teacher to compile from the text and images that her students provided.

The rub is, she has not made a video with iMovie since the complete interface redesign (and a true downgrade in features) of iMovie ’08. I, too, had a hard time adapting to the new interface, but with subsequent updates and improvements from Apple, the new iMovie is once again a great tool for easily editing and creating video projects.

Due to the different Mac OS versions installed in this district, I won’t be using the latest version of iMovie. iMovie 11 is the last version to come out with iLife and is comparable with a wide variety of Mac OS’s.

Let’s take a tour of the iMovie ’11 interface:

A couple of tweaks:

  • Since I spent SO MUCH time in the old iMovie interface, I still like to have my timeline on the bottom and clips above. To switch this, click the up/down arrow button next to the video camera button on the left of the Toolbar. You can’t move the Preview window to the left, but we will make due. You don’t have to make this switch, but that’s the view I’ll be presenting with :D.
  • Unless you are on an iMac with a giant screen, you’ll probably want to use iMovie in Full-Screen mode. View –> Enter Full Screen (control+command+F) or the expanding arrows button on the upper right of the window will get you in full screen. If you click the green + button on the upper left, you’ll still have the top menu and Dock taking up screen space.
  • As suggested in the interface tour, make sure to turn on the Advanced Tools. iMovie top menu –> Preferences… Then in the General tab check the Show Advanced Tools box. Close the Preferences window.

Before we get started, we need some source material to make a very brief version of the project. Since this project will most likely end up published on the Web, we REALLY should be considerate of the copyright and use licenses of the creator of the images and music used in this project. When students are trying to find appropriate images to use from the millions out there, here are a few tips:

  • Use the Google image “Search tools” to make sure that students are finding images large enough (Size option of larger than 1024 x 768, which is an HD image) as well as the appropriate “Usage rights”, which should be “Labeled for noncommercial use with modification”
  • The Creative Commons Search tool (https://search.creativecommons.org) is also very useful to find images with the proper copyright licenses. Uncheck the ‘use for commercial purposes’ box at the top.

Below are a sample of student memoirs with a link to an appropriate accompanying image, as well as some background music you can use from Soundzabound from Pioneer Library:

  • Opening Credits:
    • A long, long time ago… The students in my Language Arts classes were challenged with the task of creating their own memoir… in exactly 6 words. These amazing students came up with equally amazing memoirs, and pairs them with a photo they believed would fit the tone of their piece. Although brief, these memoirs took time, practice, and patience; and ultimately, they came out great!
  • Finishing an illustration is incredibly satisfying, image
  • Skating is a way of life, image
  • DC comics over Marvel any day, image
  • Cherish every piece of your childhood, image
  • Definitely born in the wrong generation, image
  • Salty air, sand in my hair… image
  • Background music: Beginnings, Ambient Audio from Soundzabound, which is a great source of royalty free music provided to Utah schools by UEN
    • Head to pioneer.uen.org, choose Soundzabound. On the left, click ‘Category’ under the ‘Browse by…’ box, then I chose Ambient, but feel free to explore the many category options here.
  • To save time if you are already comfortable with gathering images and downloads from the Internet, here are all of the images and music:

Quick video tutorial is below. I’ll write out the steps in detail soon!

  • Create new project
  • Set Project Defaults
  • Import photos
    • Add folders to photo browser
    • Drag and drop straight into the project
  • Add scrolling “Star Wars” title
  • Add 6-Word Memoir as a title on top of each image, format as desired
  • Drag in background music as green block behind clips, or add music from iTunes music browser
  • Watch your final project full screen
  • Share with the world!


Nov 042013

I’m very excited to work with the students and teachers at Southeast Education Academy today and Wednesday on creating video podcasts for Science. All of the links, apps, and notes you’ll need will be accessible from this page.

Video Podcasting for SEA – Training Notes (opens a viewable Google Doc)

Here’s a great example of what you can do with Explain Everything. The project combined a presentation (PowerPoint) that was uploaded into an Explain Everything project via Google Drive. He added some animation and narration in Explain Everything, and then exported the project as a video that he then enhanced in iMovie, adding a soundtrack and sound effects.

Aug 132010

Managing all of the photos and videos that you take can get very daunting, very quickly. To compound that problem, the more of life and school that you capture, the bigger the problem can become. Today, we’ll take a look at how to use the tools that come along with your Mac and the incredible Flip Video cameras that you have and are using to tame this beast!

One of the most convenient things, and great features of the Flip Video cameras is that all of the software that you need to use it, either on a Mac or on the PC, is installed and lived right on the camera! You plug it in and it will do what it needs to work. On the Mac, there are a few things on the camera that need to be installed on your computer to get it running – the FlipShare Software, and the 3ivx Codec. Codec is a fancy-scmancy abbreviation for ‘COmpression-DECompression’ software to help make the enormous amount of data and storage space that video can gobble up more manageable. Without this software, the video simply won’t play.

FlipShare – Dance with the one that brought you! 
  • Save to computer (iPhoto will also ‘invite’ you to do this for you)
  • Play/Preview the videos full screen
  • Share your videos via email, greeting cards, or online with one of their sharing services via the ‘Online’ or ‘Flip Channel’ buttons
  • Create Movies, and DVD’s straight from FlipShare (iMovie on the Mac is probably a better option for creating great movies from the videos you capture, and you might be able to create custom DVD’s with iDVD, but the DVD option is very nice if you just want a quick disk that will play in DVD players)
  • Snapshot – use a frame of your video to make a still image just as if your Flip camera was a regular digital camera. (Note: The image quality of a Flip Snapshot might not be as good or as detailed as you would get with a normal digital camera, but the best camera you have is the one you have with you!)
  • Learn more about what FlipShare can do or how it does it here.
  • Additionally, here are some amazing ideas on how to use the Flip Video Camera in your instruction.

The included software that comes with the camera can be extremely valuable and useful. However, your Mac comes pre-installed with some additional amazing and easy to use tools for some of these options.

iPhoto – Your “Digital Shoebox” for organizing all of your photos and videos in one spot on your computer.
  • Importing photos or video is as simple as connecting the camera to your computer – Just sit back, and follow the prompts. 
  • Each import becomes an ‘Event’ in iPhoto – organized around life
  • Events can be split or merged
  • You can create albums of photos to group or organize them
  • Want to show your photos off? Create a quick slideshow complete with automatic transitions and soundtracks (from iTunes music)
  • The Books, calendars, and cards that you can make from photos are simply amazing.
  • Or, simply share photos via email – iPhoto will resize them to avoid the ‘enormous photo of death’ that you may have received from friends from time to time.
  • iPhoto will help you with some simple and basic photo edits
  • Rotate, crop, straighten, remove red eye, ‘enhance’, adjust colors, and even add special effects
  • No need for Photoshop!
  • With newer versions of iPhoto you can do some incredible and convenient things:
    • Share photos with Facebook & Flickr
    • recognize faces
    • allow you to tag your photos with the location it was taken
  • If you add your Flip Camera videos to iPhoto (or let iPhoto import them for you), they are instantly available to you in iMovie so you can quickly and easily create your masterpiece of film!
  • Still have questions? This may help.
  • iMovie – 
    • We might not get to spend a lot of time with iMovie today, but I’ll try to show you how you go from Flip Camera –> iPhoto –> iMovie in just a few steps.
    • For a more complete guide to getting up to speed with the new iMovie, check this out.

    BONUS TOPIC! I have recently heard about a new group photo sharing site called Yogile.com. If we have time today, let’s give it a try to see how it works.