Tech Talk Follow-Up

March 19th, 2015

Better Student Presentations - Part 1: iMovie

Before break, we took a look at using iMove for simple, yet elegant presentations using nothing but still images. You can, of course, add video as well, but we tried to keep it simple.

Sharing the video is a topic all on its own for a future Thursday. If your students use a website like YouTube or Vimeo, there are things to consider (privacy settings, using popular music and more).


Better Student Presentations - Part 1: iMovie... Recap

We looked at a very simple video presentation. I took a topic, The Great Library of Alexandria, and made a 55 second presentation using still images, some stock background music and a short script. The entire video was created on an iPad.

It is a good example of what can be done without spending a lot of time. The assignment could include a significant writing portion, if desired. The final product includes the student's own voice, without the need of having the student on camera (which many do not like).

Example Presentations

The Great Library of Alexandria

A sample presentation I made using iMovie on iPad.
The Great Library of Alexandria

The Loch Ness Monster

A presentation made by a student.
Loch Ness Monster

Things to Keep In Mind

Group Projects

The iPad you start the project on, is the iPad the group should use for all of the editing. iMovie for iPad does not give you an easy way to transfer the work in project to another iPad. It can be done using a Mac running iTunes or the using new iCloud Drive as an intermediary, but the process is not straightforward.

Keeping Apps and iOS Current

If students do not keep their iPad up-to-date (or at least pretty close), may run into issues. They may have a different version from the others in their group or from you. We have seen a lot of bugs (crashing and such) that students run into fixed in newer updates to the app or iPad operating system (iOS).

Remind students before any project is that they should be keeping their iPad operating system and apps up-to-date. If they need help, have them come ask for help.

As of this newsletter, students and teachers should be running iOS 8.3 on their iPads.


Recording at school is problematic for one big reason: background noise. It is a logistic challenge for students to record and not get background noise from classmates. In the same room, it can be downright chaos!

Let The Students Roam!

The simple solution is to have recording done at home. Barring that, I have seen teachers allow students to leave the classroom and find a quiet spot around campus. At Pinewood, this isn't a bad option at all, but it all depends on your comfort level and the individual class dynamics.

Bring in a Mic/Headset

Allowing the students to use their own microphone/headset can help. They can record in tighter spaces at lower volume and still get good audio in their project. You will need to plan ahead and have them bring in their headsets, if they have one.

Does Their iPad Have Room?

Make sure to remind students that they will need room on their iPads for recording and editing. It is their responsibility to make sure they have enough space for Pinewood needs.

If they need help, have them come ask for help.

iMovie Resources and Help Sites

These are very helpful for both iMovie on the iPad and on a Mac.

Where Can Students Find Music?

Finding images should be pretty easy for students, music and sound effects is another story. Here are a couple of websites that may help.

Free Music Archive

The Free Music Archive (FMA) provides free, high-quality, music in a wide range of genres. Anyone can download music from FMA for use in podcasts, videos, and other digital presentation formats.


This site offers a library of legal, copyright-safe, free music available for download and podcast use. Find the perfect music, liberally licensed, for your project or listening.