One of the Project Based Units (PBL) that we do at Year 7 is Passport to Asia. It’s a 3-5 weeks long project where students get to explore a particular Asia country and learn about the culture. I’ve been doing the project for 3 years and this is my 4th year. Over the years, I’ve taken over 300 images to record the work and use for displays in the school. Each year, I show the current Year 7 students the displays of the previous year. This year I decided I would create a video instead of clicking through the photos. The challenge for me was to make it interesting, short (2-3 minutes) as well as highlighting the students’ experiences. To do that I had to use a video making software as well as find Creative Commons music to add to the video.
I downloaded Windows Movie Maker. This is a free software that you can download. It’s easy to use and even my year 8 students have used it. This was the first time I used it.
Tips to using Windows Movie Maker:
- Make sure your images are on the computer hard-drive. If they are on a usb or external hard-drive (HD), copy them to your computer. Otherwise you lose the images once the usb or the external HD is removed (as shown in image below)
- Keep the timing on the images within 2-3 secs depending on whether you have text on the image or not. The longer the timing is, the audience will start losing interest.
- If it is a presentation, break up the images with text to highlight your topic or show transition between points.
- After you have finished creating the video and are happy with it, save it as a movie (not a project).
- Choose the setting that you will play the video on (as shown below). I chose “For computer” as I play the movie on my laptop.
When making the video, I searched for music that I could use. I have been making sure that any thing that I access on the internet, I reference them in my files in order to model the behaviour for my students. So I decided to look for music that I had permission to use. I looked for creative commons music and then came across Freeplay which provides a number of options when you download the music. Since I was using it for educational purposes, I could download it for free to use within the classroom in my video as well as within the school. I like that it gives a variety of licenses to choose from.
It was an experience creating my own video to show to the students. I reduced the number of photos to match the time of the song. Using Movie Maker was easy once I started and I know I will definitely be creating more videos to showcase my students’ work.