Sunday, September 16, 2007

Between Themes / Video / Windows Movie Maker

May I propose that between themes we do something different?

My Grade 10s had finished Theme 3 and I was tired from marking all the Matric Exams and the Grade 11s Phase 3 of the PAT, i.e. I was exhausted when I went into class and just decided to change things. I made the Gr 10s create movies with Windows Movie Maker which comes with Windows XP.

Initially I put pictures of all the learners in the class on the network (taken from their ID cards) and they had to use them to make a movie, initially just with pictures, text and transitions. Windows Movie Maker is easy to use and they seemed to fall into it. None had ever used the program before. Next I told them they had to create a movie about their families using 4 of - video clip, images, audio, text and transitions. They had three days to do it. After reflection I changed it to 3 of video clip, images, audio, text and transitions. ALL of those things had to be about their family - videos, pictures and sound. I presumed a lot. I presumed that they all had digital cameras, with video capabilities and/or cell phones with video capabilities.

When they handed it in 3 days later it was interesting to see who cannot follow instructions. Some had background music that was not played by the family and not sung by the family. I tried to upload to YouTube on Friday afternoon, forgetting that bandwidth on a Friday is usually bad and in the afternoon to the US is very very bad. I will try again on Monday to upload some of the movies. Initially I will put them in my area of YouTube – go to YouTube and search for docpammiller.

Here are some ideas/tips on making movies.
Folder – Put all your working files (image, audio, video, movie file) in a folder as it is easier to move a folder and keep file path correct.
Images – Images taken with a digital camera are huge. Make them smaller in an image editing program such as Paint, to about 20 cm width which will make the image and then the movie smaller.
Conversion – A video taken with a cell phone is in mp4 format. It needs to be converted to avi format before it can be pulled into a movie. You can do this with software from
Music – You may NOT use anybody else’s music at all if you wish to use YouTube unless you are playing it with an instrument or singing along to it or with it.
Whole video – Make the video small so downloading is faster. Limit it to 4 minutes.

The Grade 11s saw or heard what was happening with Gr 10 and movies, and were cross (it was ‘unfair’) I have promised to set the practical exam on the topic of making movies and hope they will subliminally learn about movie making.

1 comment:

Maggie Verster said...

Hi Pam,

I am so glad i found this blog...I have created a group for us newbies to learn web 2. Will you please join it and post your instructions for making a movie there for us to learn as well??? It is at It sound like if you just post the things you are teaching the learners for us, then we will be a for okay!!!