This past Wednesday, all teachers at the elementary school attended two technology sessions during “Energy Wednesday” hours at the end of the day. An introduction to google docs session was mandatory for all teachers, leaving the other session totally up to their choice.
Ime and I offered two sessions: imovie ‘09 for beginners and imovie ‘09 for advanced users. It was so much fun! We projected student-made videos on the smartboard as teachers were coming into the lab and since that moment teachers were already engaged and talking about video-production at ASFM.
We had many people attending the beginners’ sessions, however, there was something in the session’s environment that was different from past years’ workshops. Most likely, it might have been that many more teachers showed a big interest in learning video-producing software and were now feeling at a comfortable level learning it. Years ago, whenever we taught any video-producing-beginner sessions, stress and nervousness were felt all over even though the workshops followed a slow and friendly pace. This time, it seemed that most attendees were simply seeing the session as an opportunity to learn a new technique/software to be able to publish a nice end product. I have to say that we did have a few scared faces, but for the most part, most teachers were eager and open to learn the how’s and the where’s. Self-confidence and high-interest floated around the lab.
The advanced session was the most fun of all. Fewer people attended and it was nice not to go over the usual basic steps such as: importing a movie, adding photos, adding titles and transitions, organizing clips, etc. Teachers who showed up to this session had already experienced creating basic videos and were eager to learn more about it. We first taught them useful tools such as stabilizing shaky videos, adding map clips, recording voice over clips, etc, and then ended the session with two highlight features. The first one was the picture-in-picture option, which allows the user to place a smaller video clip somewhere inside a larger clip. The smaller clip in many cases shows a person explaining what is happening in the larger one. The last feature was the use of the green screen and they loved it. This is where a scene is video-taped with a green cloth on the back of the scene totally covering the background. This green-background-clip is then placed over a second video clip. What happens next is that all the green background of the first clip is detected by imovie and immediately replaced by the second video. All the non-green parts of the first video are seen on top of the second video. Barbara, who coincidentally was wearing a green shirt that day, helped us recording herself. Her green shirt was also detected by iMovie causing the end video to be a funny one since only her face showed sliding around in the other video… right during Halloween week.
If you are stuck creating a video with iMovie or would like to learn more of its features, Apple has great video tutorials. They explain one feature per video, making it short and quite clear. You can find those tutorials at: http://www.apple.com/findouthow/movies/ Scroll down the webpage and you will find the list.
If you have led similar workshops, I would love to hear from you. Enter your comments or follow me @marybellr in twitter