Tip #16: The Many Uses of Movie Maker

Dddtix_103 (from Rachel Amstutz, DEN Field Manager for MD/DC/International)

Icon_editableclips_6This is my favorite icon on unitedstreaming – editable clips.  Have you noticed it before and wondered what it meant? This icon means that the video is editable. (No you can’t eat it!)  Basically, the producers of this video have given permission for you and your students to download this clip and edit it.  Sounds great, right?!  But isn’t that for the professionals?   Well, it certainly used to be.  However, several user friendly software programs have entered the market in the past few years that make video editing and movie making very easy. 

We need to begin with finding the software.  If you are a Mac user, you are probably very aware of iMovie.  Similarly, all XP machines come with Windows Movie Maker preinstalled.  Personally, I had an XP machine well over a year before I became aware of it.  Go ahead and check for it!  (Sometimes it is buried in the computer… try this path  Start> All Programs > Accessories > Entertainment > Movie Maker).

The best way to learn Movie Maker is to download the pieces necessary to make a movie.  I recommend creating a folder and filling it with one or two movie clips, two or three images, and one song.  Use the Advanced Search feature in unitedstreaming and do a search for editable topics by clicking next to the   icon. Don’t forget about the Image Library for still pictures. 

Once you have everything in one place, open movie maker and start creating!  The Movie Tasks Pane (if you lose it at any point in the process go to the View Toolbar and check on Task Pane) will guide you through the movie making process beginning with importing all your media, then editing (adding titles, transitions, effects, etc), and finally with putting it all together and saving it.

You may be asking, "How does making movies relate to teaching?"  Well,… here are a few ideas of ways you can use Movie Maker in the classroom.

  • Grab your students’ attention at the beginning of a unit with captivating footage and images interspersed with the overarching questions relating to your next unit of study. 
  • Capture a field trip or learning experience on a camcorder and let your students document their experience in their own words.
  • Transform research papers into student produced documentaries. 
  • Take a screen shot from a Movie and use it as a poster or diagram.
  • Download a movie, mute the audio in Movie Maker and have your students demonstrate their knowledge by narrating over the movie.
  • Splice movies and pull out only the precise parts that you want to show your students.
  • Produce a Year In Review movie for your end of the year celebration.
    …… the possibilities are endless!!

Did you discover something new? Deliver the discovery to at least three more colleagues and show them the benefits of what you discovered. Then document on the event on your report form! Get points for discovering, delivering and documenting! Maybe you will win this week!

As always, I am
Ubiquitously yours,


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