Just another movie maker?? iMovie on iPad, iRate it highly!


Posted by Shane | Posted in Animations, iMovie, iPad, Mobile Technology | Posted on November 21, 2012

So, iMovie?? Well as its name would suggest this app is all about the moving image, allowing users to produce both short movies and, following a recent update, movie trailers. However, with many other examples of movie making or photo merging software available, with some, such as Windows Movie Maker and Photo Story being free to access is this app worth getting?

Well, one major factor in this for schools would be the price, which may cause some issues because whilst the app itself costs just £2.99, it is made by Apple (thats the computer company) and therefore is only available on Mac’s and the iPad. This would mean that if the school didn’t already have iPads its realistic cost to use it would be at least £272.99 (the app plus the cost of a minimum spec iPad mini). However, with schools starting to implement the use of iPads and with the likelihood of more being implemented, in my opinion, increasing with the release of the cheaper iPad mini this app could become widely used in schools, providing it ‘fits the bill’.


So down to the ‘nitty gritty’… Is it good enough?

I would assume, like me, what you would want from any movie making software is;

1. Child-Friendly, ease of use

2. Useful help and guidance

3. Creative and effective results

All I can say is ‘look no further’, I would even go so far as saying “don’t read the rest of my review, just go buy it right now”. This app easily meets my requirements and now I will show you how.


iMovie Title Screen

So child-friendly? I know what you’re thinking, most technology isn’t, especially concerning videos and video editing with many buttons that, I swear, are just there to be clicked and have no obvious purpose.

However as can be seen in this screenshot (left) the buttons are clear for children to use, explaining their function and giving instructions very clearly.

But perhaps the key factor that makes this app easy and effective to use is that, on the iPad, all of the capability, is done at your fingertips on a tablet that can be taken almost anywhere, this means that video editing, and recording is no longer confined to the classroom or ICT suite. It is also important to note that as video and photos can be taken on the iPad itself, using both the front-facing and rear-facing cameras, and then imported directly into iMovie it can solve potential compatibility/connection issues that may have been experienced in the past between device and computer.


The Storyboard

So up next, will it help you when you get stuck? Let’s admit it we all have those moments where we are all completely perplexed by technology. It happens. However on many occasions we are left staring at a screen that makes no sense to us, not helpful in a class of 30 children all experiencing the same problem. However iMovie aims to change this by providing clear help and guidance. Too good to be true? For once, no. All users have to do is tap one little button and there issue will hopefully be solved. “Where’s this button for life in general?” I hear you ask. Whilst I don’t know about that the ell button in iMovie is shown as a question mark (yellow circle in picture right) and when pressed displays the yellow boxes that can be seen (right), with each providing a message to help the user. Whilst these do not provide a definitive guide on how to use iMovie they should be able to answer any questions they children may have, eradicating the issue of 30 children looking blankly at their computer screen.


Choice of Trailers

So as with most pieces of technology, the finished product, in this case the video, is perhaps the key judge regarding its success, a bit like Simon Cowell on all these talent shows. This app, in a word, produces FANTASTIC videos. The app offers a wide choice of themes for trailers (seen left) and combined with the ability to add both photos and videos from the camera roll, or take them directly on the iPad, offers a huge potential for creating dramatic, effective, creative and, in some cases humorous, videos. The integrated  storyboard also shows children the order in which their videos will be shown and also provides built in effects and transitions as well as background music or sound effects.

The video, can also be viewed whilst being created to see how it is progressing and once finished can be viewed in a number of ways. The first is for children to view it themselves on the iPad but, as can be imagined, the teacher may want to show the video to the whole class. This could be done by either connecting the iPad to the Interactive Whiteboard (requires a HDMI or VGA connecter that is bought separately) or by uploading the video to YouTube and then watching it on the internet.

A spy comedy made using iMovie.


So are there any iSsues with iMovie? (see what I did there?)

Well, as I am a massive fan of this app I would like to say no but there are one or two, although they are very minor issues. One I did notice, that is actually a glitch rather than a major issue is that when creating a video random pieces of video found there way into different parts of the storyboard, however these can be easily removed. Another issue is that as iMovie is not available on Windows PC’s transferring an actual file to one is very complicated and is best done with the use of iTunes and then exporting the video from within iMovie or, as mentioned, if a file is not needed it can be watched in a number of ways.


Its place within the curriculum?

Well, I could sum this really quickly by saying that potentially it can be used anywhere but here are a few examples to get you started:

Art – iMovie could be used to film work on a class display showing progress the unit, incorporating both photos and videos of the children working and also the finished article which could then be shown in a ‘Celebration/Family’ Assembly

Literacy – iMovie could be used to support a number of areas including; persuasive texts by filming adverts, non-fiction by producing a documentary and also reports by making a news report.

Maths – Children could produce their own ‘How do you solve a problem like…’ (No not Maria) a mathematical problem showing each step and how they used practical equipment to help them.

Science – The fact that iPads are so mobile make them highly useful for taking outside of the classroom, for example when carrying out observations or going on walks

PE – Routines in sports such as gymnastics and also dance could be recorded and played back to see where improvements can be made with a trailer then being made for events such as school dance and music shows as these could be placed easily on a school website/blog

ICT – iMovie could be used as a stand-alone piece of software that children are shown how to use (perhaps useful if future cross-curricular links are to utilised) but could then be used to make ‘How to..’ videos for other pieces of software


So that was my blog regarding all things iMovie, a great app that can be utilised vastly within primary schools, providing that the appropriate hardware is in place. Hopefully you enjoyed reading, please comment with any questions or queries. Thanks for Listening.

Comments (6)

Wow what a good post! You’ve thought of everything! This would be very useful for someone who hasn’t used iMovie before, lots of detail! Thanks Shane!

Thank you Toni, thats very kind of you to say so. Luckily I have previous experience of this as I have it on my iPad and although I haven’t made a finished video before I did know how to use iMovie. I was also aware that several people wouldn’t have used iMovie so I thought it would be helpful to give a guide.

Shane I really enjoyed reading this post. I didn’t use this app myself in the sessions but have posted about what Helen showed us and what I saw another group doing but your post really has brought it home to me just how useful and child friendly this app is. I like too that you tested out the help options because I really hate it when the help option is no more helpful than the programme itself.

If the school I end up teaching in has ipads I am definitely going to make use of this app.

Thank you for your nice comment Claire. This app is really easy to use for any age making it suitable for teachers and children. When I first got my iPad this was one of the first apps I downloaded and after just playing around with iMovie I could use it with ease.

Some great ideas, Shane, thanks very much. I guess schools would get discount on bulk orders especially if they procure the iPads along with other schools so this should reduce costs even more. By the way, I really like the look of your blog, it’s very clear and easy to read and I love the tagline!

Thank you, Angela. I know that apple do provide ‘education pricing’ on their website although I am fairly certain this doesn’t apply to iPad’s and is mainly just aimed at students/teacher’s getting a discount when they buy equipment. The reason for this is that apple makes little profit on the iPad itself and in my opinion this is reasonable as they are worth the potential they provide (especially the new iPad mini which costs £269)

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