Title of Project: People of the Revolutionary War
*iMovie for iPad
*US History Timeline
Time Allotted for project:
*2 days for research
* 4 days for editing/turning in
Objective: This project is going to serve multiple purposes. First, we are going to be taking a deeper look into different people who were influential during the Revolutionary war for both Britain and the United States. Second, we are going to be learning how to use the iPad to create a movie/documentary of the person that you choose.
Each student will choose from a list which person they want to learn more about. The students will then have to do some research on the information below. The documentaries are to be done from the perspective of the person you chose. After the research has been done you will each create a movie telling the information that you learned. Also, we will be showing the video (2-4 minutes) you created to the rest of the class to help us learn more about each individual you chose. I would encourage each of you to dress up for your part when the day comes to record.
For this project we gave students a list of people to choose from that they would then research, write a script on, and then video an interview with the character to share with the class. Overall the project went very well, and was enjoyed by the students and the classroom teacher.
Technical Details: We were still using iOs 4.3.5 for this project, and had this as our first project using Apple’s iMovie designed for the iPad. Students were assigned an iPad for their use for the week, and the iPads were shared for all four morning class periods. We had the students move to various classrooms and throughout campus to do their recordings. We only used the iPads for the entire project, so the filming, editing, images, and all of the research was done using only the device. We brought the iPad cart to the classroom, and had printing available through the cart as well.
To make the recording of the project easier, we had them partner in groups of two or three. Students were instructed to dress as the character they researched, to do the project from that person’s perspective, and to bring in any props that would help the viewer relate with the character. Students were encouraged to have fun with the project and act out as much of it as possible.
One clear issue we ran into dealt with the limitations of the mobile version of iMovie. We have taught students video production, and they are readily familiar with how to edit using the desktop version. One large limitation was the lack of an option for separating the audio from the video. This is very helpful in video editing when you want to replace a section of the video with a picture that is related to the project. To compensate for this, we had students insert pictures, and then re-record their audio over the picture. iMovie, does have a good tool for recording just an audio clip into the project.
Another issue was how students would be turning the project in. We were not sure what the best solution for this aspect of the project would be, so we experimented a little. The first option we tried was using the share to iTunes option from iMovie on the iPad. This worked, but shared the file as a project, not a video file for final playback. We ended up using share to camera roll, which allowed the video to then be downloaded to the MacBook Pro attached to the cart. The main limitation of this was the naming issue. The videos we had all were named IMG_####. So we had to know who had used which iPad, and renamed them ourselves. I am sure there is a better option, but we ended up with this solution. If the students had their own iPads, there are settings for share to youtube, which would be tied in with their student email accounts, or with the new iOS 5, they can share them via airplay. We will talk about airplay more in a blog dedicated to iOS 5. In short, this feature lets an iPad wirelessly send both audio and video through an Apple TV to a projector for in-class presentations.
Overall students were very excited about this project and as the teacher said: ”I think that students were ableto dig down a little deeper into gathering info and proving that they understood the info to the point where they had to do a video becoming the character they chose to learn about. Students gave a lot of feedback afterwards that articulated understanding about the people they chose.” Most students really jumped into the project and had a lot of fun taking on their characters. There was some apprehension on the part of the teacher going into the project, how well they would be able to answer student questions, and how easily students would be able to grasp iMovie for the iPad. Some of the closing thoughts from the students included: ”I loved the fact that we did not have to waste time going to and from the computer lab everyday, waiting to login and logout to get started. We just came to class and began making our movies.”
“I loved not having to upload any videos, just having all of the recording done on the same device that I am recording made everything easier!”
“Imovie for the iPad is definitely more limited than iMovie for the mac, and this made editing challenging.”
“It was easy and FUN!”
“Can we do it again?”
When we asked the students if they felt like they learned any less, with the distraction of the iPads, they were shocked with the question. They responded strongly that they felt like it helped them learn so much more! Being able to create a project from start to finish on one device let them focus on the information and learning about their character. They did not have to worry about compatibility of their cameras or whether or not they remembered their password.