iMovie — bringing creativity and digital technology into the classroom

iMovie by uka0310 (flickr image CC BY-NC 2.0)

I loved reading Bruce Derby’s ‘Creativity in my Pocket: No ‘I’ Puns Here’ journal article. There are so many complex issues involved with integrating emerging technologies into the curriculum that it can be easy to feel swamped and out of depth. Derby simplifies everything down – mobile learning devices do not need to compete with traditional learning but rather augment it.

An iPod is a little easier to manage…
man with video camera by woodleywonderworks
(flickr image CC BY-NC 2.0)

I love the idea of using iMovie in classrooms. When I was in grade 11 my friends and I made a movie clip to go with a favourite song for our photography class. I remember the ridiculous fun we had – roaming about the school shooting in multiple locations and getting all arty with angles and acting and goofing around. Even more so, I still remember the hours and weeks spent editing and mucking about with bulky and time-consuming (expensive) technology, spending our lunchtimes and free periods in the lab to get things done in time. We fudged our way through it, our teacher constantly on hand to help with the complex technology. It’s astounding how far this technology revolution has come (understatement of the year). My own kids were making and editing movies (complete with synchronised sound tracks and special effects) when they were in first grade – for fun, at home, with no formal training.

I believe school should be a place where students (and teachers, too!) have fun. Where students are motivated and their creative potential is explored and expanded. The beauty of mobile devices, and apps such as iMovie, is that you can cover all the same curriculum content, achieve the same outcomes and indicators, and use these new technologies to present the learning in a way that enhances enthusiasm and enjoyment. How fun is making a movie with your friends? And then enjoying a lesson watching and learning from peers’ movies (even teachers love these relaxing and bonding lessons)? How much more does making a movie ignite creative processes as opposed to aurally presenting information in front of the class – it really is a fab tool for unleashing that creative possibilities.

“There is nothing revolutionary here… The only thing that has changed is the application of newer technology to established tasks, expanding the possibilities for the creating of the final product. Most importantly, this technology is incredibly simple to use.” (Derby, 2011, P.99)

Special shout out to iOS developers and how they really have simplified technology. Seriously, even my grandmother can use this stuff 🙂

Bonus: It was 1996 (year 11) — we made our own video clip to go along to Tracy Bonham’s Mother Mother. Oh, the angst of those teen years. Good times. Tracy Bonham’s original clip below 🙂

Derby, B. (2011). Creativity in my pocket: No ‘I’ puns here. English in Australia 46(3).

4 thoughts on “iMovie — bringing creativity and digital technology into the classroom

  1. It is soooo much easier to put together a video now days than it was in 1996, huh?? I also liked Derby’s point about the technology not being radically different, but being really simple to use. Although there is still an equity gap – not every kid has an iThing, or a good amount of bandwidth etc – far more students have access to simply-to-learn technology than just 15 years ago. That’s GOT to be good for creativity (and play), right?

  2. Yes! It’s awesome for creativity and play (plus helps learning stay motivating). You are right about the equity gap. I suppose it has always been around in every generation but maybe more so now that digital technology has become an integral part of our daily lives…

  3. I am totally enthralled with the tools we have available for our students to use to share their learning. The ease with which my students engage with these tools to produce work of an extremely high standard not only allows me to enjoy viewing their work along with their peers, but it also boosts their own self confidence when the see what they have produced. We recently did the old “Holiday Highlights” after the holidays. For the first time in my life iMove allowed the whole class, including myself, to thoroughly enjoy finding out what everybody did in the holidays. iMovie and similar technologies allow every single student to produce something of which they can be proud – in this way the shy child still gets to shine without dying a thousand deaths in front of the class. Can I let you in on a secret here – despite the fact that my whole class is totally proficient in producing these incredible iMovies – I have no clue! I am once again merely a facilitator and learner with my students. You hit the nail on the head when you said that learning should be fun and creative – this certainly ticks all the boxes!

    • Kathleen, I love the idea that you used iMovie for holiday highlights! Such a tired old theme (that I always loved writing about as a kid) that can really be given a huge boost! Also, I love that you can still run the lesson with the kids without you yourself having to be the most tech savvy! Classic!

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