Windows Live Movie Maker Tutorial and Evaluation

The need to incorporate technology into the classroom is becoming quite important and evident based on the needs of today’s learners who are growing up in an increasingly technology rich society.  Media production may just be the solution to addressing this need.  According to Garrison (1999), “Media production engages and excites; it leads to unexpected discoveries, increased self-awareness and esteem, sharpened critical thinking, analytical skills, group work skills, and ability to communicate ideas.  Media production demands writing and rewriting, research, group effort, and clarity of thought.”

Since Windows Live Movie Maker is the video editing software available on school computers in my district, I decided to download it this week from explore.live.com and give it a try in order to learn more about how to navigate the software as well as to evaluate the product and skills involved for classroom use.   My experience with media production is quite minimal.  While I do know how to import video, music, and photo files into my computer, I have never edited or created a video before.  Nor have I attempted to do so in the classroom with my students.  So as I prepared for my first movie making experience, I was quite eager to put my skills, and Garrison’s strong words, to the test.

I decided to create a short video about my dog Hoyt and I embedded my finished product below.  Overall, I found Windows Live Movie Maker incredibly easy to use.  It features basic editing functions that are simple to use, but interesting enough to add some fun into your movies making you feel like an expert.  Garrison’s words kicked in when I found myself analyzing and using critical thinking skills to trim parts of my video, foresee needed footage, ask for opinions, make decisions, and rethink my options.  In the end, I felt a great sense of pride over what I created.  One of the great aspects of media production is that is can be modified to any grade level and class subject.

This experience was immensely gratifying to me as a teacher because as I created my video, I could visualize my students just as engaged, challenged, motivated, and proud.  Today’s learners have the need to find meaning and engagement in their learning and media production offers them just this.  Windows Live Movie Maker is a great video editing software that is perfect for novice movie makers.  Below is a podcast tutorial that I created about using the software and it offers some tips and insight on how to use some of the basic editing features.

Garrison, A. (1999,Winter). Video basics and production projects for the classroom.  Center for Media Literacy. Retrieved from http://www.medialit.org/reading-room/video-basics-and-production-projects-classroom#bio

Podcast Tutorial

Creative Commons License
Windows Live Movie Maker Tutorial by Sonya Castro is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at explore.live.com.


A Thankful Linky Party

...in the classroom for the privilege to teach.
...for a very special person, Tony. I laugh and smile each day because of him.
...for blogs that inspire me through color, design, and amazing ideas.
...for my guilty pleasure, the Colbert Report.
...and most of all for LOVE. It is love that inspires brave people to stand up for the injustices in our world so that ALL can say that they too are thankful.

Mr. Snowman Edible Craft

This marshmallow snowman craft was a HUGE hit last year with my fourth graders.  They had extreme fun making it.  Only a few kiddos could hold off from devouring this treat because they wanted to take Mr. Snowman home and introduce him to their parents, and THEN bite his head off, naturally :)  It's a total must for this year too! I followed these instructions and made some changes such as using two oversized marshmallows for the base and body, pretzel sticks for arms instead of toothpicks, and adding a pipcleaner underneath the last marsmallow to prevent slipping.  I think this year I will add a chocolate candy, like Rolo, on top of the oreo to create a more top hat shape.  


Technology in the Classroom

I cannot believe that it's already November!  I have been fortunate to have an amazing group of students this year who are eager to learn!  They have been quite the guinea pigs as I have explored using technology in the classroom.  I am a graduate student in Lamar University's Educational Technology Leadership Program and I am learning so much about how to meet the needs of our digital kids. From the response of my kiddos in the classroom, they are loving it!  My current course, Multimedia and Video Technology, has been quite exciting.  Below is a video that I made recently about a special person in my life.  I cannot wait to incorporate Digital Storytelling in the classroom and a colleague and I are even planning on starting a film club!  Here is a blog that I started in one of my first courses at Lamar.  Unfortunately, I forgot the password and I can't get into it and so I've decided to blog about my learning and coursework here.