Time to revive the blog after a long hiatus, and I’m going to start by following up on some recommendations I made in the past.
I wrote about the iphone application Road Movies about a year ago. Please check out my original post to see see what it is and how it works, but basically it allows you to take quick and simple 24-second movies using a bunch of small clips. It edits them together and gives you a cool looking highlight video of a trip, a special day, or an activity.
When I first wrote about the application, we were in the midst of Coetail Course 3 on visual literacy, and it seemed like the perfect tool to play around with. I brainstormed a list of ways to use the application, and after publishing my blog post, completely forgot about trying them (I’m sure I’m not the first).
I even deleted the app from my phone, but when our third grade class took a trip to a sports park last month, I realized it was the perfect high-action day to capture with a “Road Movie.” I downloaded it on the spot, made a movie with 24 one-second clips, chose some music, and shared it with students and families. The students loved it, and the parents appreciated the window into what was happening with the classes.
We’ve since made brief movies of subsequent field trips, presentations, parties, and special events. Here’s a quick look at “Japanese Culture Day” that we held at our school last week:
I listed the possibilities for the app in my initial post, and I don’t think there are any dramatic changes from that list. If fact, I could list a a few minor downsides:
- Limited Musical Choices – There are only 14 songs to choose, and while some are cool, if you’re doing more than one movie, you will quickly run out of options. Technically, you could load the footage into iMovie and choose your own soundtrack, but the main appeal here is how quick and easy it is to shoot a movie and upload it straight from your phone.
- Novelty Factor – The movies are easy to get excited about in the beginning, but the more you make, the more the novelty factor wears off.
- Basic – This is a simple, fun app, but it’s not earth shattering. You may be able to showcase student learning, but students learning is not at the core.
Nevertheless, many people have never heard of this, and it’s so simple and easy to use, I recommend it to any teacher with an iphone.
In other news, this is my first blog post in half a year, but I have several posts planned for the next couple of months, so please check back soon!