The Project

I recently had my students complete a fake Kickstarter project to showcase and market their video games for a school business fair. One thing that most successful kickstarter campaigns have is an informative and interesting 1-2 minute video usually containing the following:

  1. Introduction from the project creator
  2. Highlight the main features of the product
  3. Conclusion/Call for funding

I really like the Pebble Smart Watch video as an example.

Typically, video projects are known to be time consuming and finicky. Trying to get the footage onto the computer to edit and then exporting the video can cause a lot of panic for teachers and students.

In order to make the video as easily as possible and without taking up too much class time, I decided to use iMovie with the cart of iPads.

Procedure

I signed out the iPad cart for two consecutive days. Many groups had some idea of what they wanted to record prior to having the iPads. It is a good idea to have some kind of script or rough outline so students can maximize their time with the technology.

Each group chose a representative to come sign out an iPad. I took note of who was getting it so they could continue work the following day.

Before students got to work, I did a quick overview of some of the main features of iMovie. This was done by showing my iPad screen on the projector through the use of an Apple TV (this could also be done with an iPad to VGA dongle).

Some of the main features worth mentioning:

  • How to record video
  • How to trim video (ie. use only a desired section of a longer recording)
  • How to record audio (narration)
  • How to insert titles
  • How to insert music
  • How to adjust audio levels (most videos needed the audio bumped WAY up for the talking to be heard)

While many students may have used iMovie before, I found it helpful to do a quick 5 minute overview before they began.

We worked on recording video, playing with iMovie and editing over two classes. I found that for a short 1-2 minute video like this, two classes was plenty of time. There were some students dragging their heels but when I reminded them that “no iPads will be available after this class” they quickly pulled something together.

When students were all done, I uploaded their completed video to YouTube by creating a new YouTube account specifically for the class. I suggest setting this up in advance. I had to sign in to each iPad individually with the YouTube account to authorize the upload but this wasn’t a big problem since there were only 8 groups in the class. I made the videos “unlisted” which means it is not searchable but if students wanted the link to their video to watch, I could provide it.

Tip: You must create a “Channel” on your YouTube account before you are able to upload from the iPad. The iPad gives a pretty generic error message otherwise and was a bit tricky to troubleshoot.

We watched the videos in the following class.

Final Thoughts

I would definitely book the iPads for a few days to do another video. It was a nice change of pace for my students and I think they really enjoyed putting together something that highlighted their hard work.

In fact, the work flow on the iPad is so easy that I would consider using them for my video and film class for a few one-off video assignments as we are learning basic techniques.

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