Creating Digital Video Movies for the Classroom

Summer 2002

Ideas for Using Digital Video in the Classroom

In addition to producing digital movies, teachers in this course have contributed the following ideas for using digital video in the classroom.

Abbey Flick

Using Digital Videos in Education

    In addition to digital videos and accompanying equipment being interesting and captivating, use of digital video offers many opportunities for expanding and enhancing the traditional elementary curriculum.  To begin, the ability to collect and edit digital footage are technological skills that would certainly prove valuable for students in today's society.   Specifically, ideas for incorporation include beginning a school-wide news broadcast, with which students report on school events, deliver daily  information, interview peers and staff, and present other interesting or pertinent information. Using digital equipment would also enable students to easily edit and enhance their product.  Additionally, students could use the equipment to record, edit and present reports or projects of any type.  Not only would students likely enjoy creating and editing digital movies, but surely they would also like seeing the reactions of their peers upon viewing of their final products.  This would add another exciting dimension to what are assignments already given in many grade levels.  When completed, this footage could be preserved in digital portfolios.  Digital video projects also offer the chance for student collaboration.   Specific project ideas are virtually endless.   

    On the other hand, teachers could also find many uses for digital videos.   An informational video could be created for the classroom to inform parents of the daily routine or ways of assisting their child at home to promote greater success within the classroom. Furthermore, videos could be created that document field trips, school programs or other special events parents may not be present to see. 


Anthony P. Pecora

How will I utilize a digital camera in the classroom?

    One challenge educators face is teaching ever increasing academic standards while also giving students opportunities to practice skills such as problem solving and creative thinking.  I believe that using digital movies is a way to accomplish both.  Allowing students to create digital movies will give them an enjoyable way to practice many skills.  I feel a teacher should have students work on projects, such as creating a digital movie, that practices or reinforces solid academic content. 

    Teachers can use their own digital movies as classroom resources.  This will also give students exposure to digital movies before creating their own.  Of course, students will have to be trained in digital movie formation before attempting their own.  Students could work in-groups while working on their first movie.  A teacher could create a beginning or ending of a movie for students to add the correct missing part to. 

    Digital movies are great way to promote double learning.  The student(s) creating the movie learn about the topic of the video while those seeing the video are also learning.  Digital videos could be used as an enrichment tool, a peer tutoring opportunity, or a project that each student will complete during different assigned time periods.


Brenda J. Monick

As a technology coordinator, I am always looking for new and exciting ways for teachers to integrate technology into their everyday task of "entertaining" students. The iMovie program, being versatile for all grade levels has endless potential across the curriculum. The number one factor in the equation for integrated use is availability of the resources:  DV video camera, charged batteries, DV videotape, adequate Macintosh computer with ample memory and storage, iMovie software installed, videotape player, and of course the DV firewire cable. In most schools all of these items are not readily available to teachers without coordination and sharing of resources. Ideas for integrated lessons at the K-6 levels would be either teacher-produced, or student-produced. Teacher-produced projects would work best at the lower grade levels, such as field trip videos with student "stars", science projects for open house presentations, or grade-level night overview of a grade level curriculum or special program.

Upper grade levels could be more involved in the production process and should include assigning production and post-production roles to all students during the planning phase. Students could be in groups of 3-4 students and assigned the specific duties or share roles throughout the project of scripter, videographer, actor(s), clip editors, special effects, etc. Also, a tripod is a MUST for students shooting the video. Project ideas for the intermediate levels or middle school would include the following:
Reinacting and modernizing well-known scenes from literary works such as Julius Ceasar, Romeo & Juliet, etc.
1) Reproducing a scene from a book for book report
2) Proving or disproving a scientific concept with experimental phases and student explanation
3)  Student serve as a video historians and interview local elderly members of the community to find out about past  life in their hometown
4)  Create a school or community video tour of buildings, campuses, or town area
5)  An electronic yearbook project


Brian Major

    The video that my wife and I created was designed to be used by both of us in our teaching.  As she teaches first grade and I teach high school students, this might seem to be difficult but my area of specialization, Spanish, made it quite easy.  We chose the topic "colors" because it dealt with material that was very basic to both a first grade classroom and a level one high school foreign language class.  In addition, the topic was perfect for a video as we had an unlimited number of possibilities for visuals to accompany the vocabulary words.  While she will be able to use the video to teach English word recognition at the beginning of the year, she will also be able to introduce her students to a few basic Spanish words.  I will be able to use the video (and others like it) to present Spanish vocabulary to my students.  If possible, I would also like to add it to the web page that I use throughout the school year with my students or have it added to the computers in our in-school computer learning center. I feel that I could easily use the iMovie program to introduce any number of vocabulary words throughout the year and have my students use it to create their own Spanish-language videos.


Christina Force

In my high school level Marketing/Management class, during the last marking period, the final project is a business plan.  One requirement of the project is for each team to create a commercial for their business idea.  This year I plan on having the students use iMovie to edit their commercial.  This will allow them to create a much higher quality product with less work. In prior years, the students have had to retake their commercial several times until they got it entirely perfect.  They will also be able to add music and titles using the computer instead of using a radio or holding up signs during the production. In the past the students have enjoyed creating the commercial and I think iMovie will enhance the experience!


Matt Eisley
South Williamsport Jr./Sr. High School

The integration of digital video into my senior high chemistry class would be especially useful for occasions when it would be dangerous for students to be physically present (such as dangerous demonstrations or activities that must be done off-site).  Students could also use digital videography as an alternate presentation format when completing their element research projects.  Digital video would also open up a wide range of enrichment assignments for students to complete, such as "how-to" videos on safety and laboratory techniques for future chemistry students.


Melissa Forse

I have used IMovie in the past to make a whole class video showing our patriotism.  Students have used it for their social studies projects/reports.  This year I'd also like the students to do small group videos to promote Read Across America, and there are a variety of other projects for Language Arts they can create with IMovie.  Students could create a movie based on a story/play they've read or written.  They could create a class video or video yearbook of all the events during the year.  The possibilities are endless!! 


Fran Fausey 

Would you like to capture your students' imaginations?  Ask the students to create an i Movie in which they are the stars.  The object of the movie is for the students to guess the identity of a mystery person.  Have the students design a movie with a reporter interviewing the mystery person.  Important questions can be asked about the mystery person's life.  Be sure the identity of the mystery person is not revealed.  Record several interviews on the movie.  There are different ways to use the digital movie as a teacher device.  The teacher can give the students a quiz or test; ask the students to write the names of the mystery people on their quiz or test paper as they watch the movie. Or the teacher could use the movie as a guessing game format.


Gregory Koons

    I intend on using digital movies with high school students in the career center in Hazleton to capture their work skills.  I hope to help the students make a tool in which they can use for future jobs.  For example, a student could videotape himself working with a group of peers on a woodshop project.  The video could highlight such areas as brainstorming, cooperation, collaboration, technical skills, and problem solving.  Digital movies help make it easier to tape, edit, and add audio information so that students can have a tangible product to take with them for the future.  Also, while making the video project, students will learn useful technology skills which they can apply to future jobs.


Helen Hilderbrandt

   The kindergarten classroom is an ever changing atmosphere of learning. The lessons are short but the growth of academic and social learning can be huge!. I envision using digital movies to document and enhance the learning experience. I would like to film the children at various activities (morning meeting, center time, recess, reading, journaling) and then have them write a script to read to go with the movie. We could take stories, old and class composed, and make movies of the stories, with the children acting out the parts.  Math and reading concepts such as sequencing and patterning could be done digitally. Documentation of science activities (plant growth, weather, walking the nature trail) would be a terrific movie topic. My class is involved in a co-educational program with a 10th grade Relationships class. Making a movie of the activities of the program to show to our school board and other community members would be a great way to document and promote the incredible ways our schools are addressing needs and interests of all our students. The movies could also be used as an assessment tool.  I could also use the movies to document a student's growth in academic and social areas within our classroom environment.


Jane Hardy

    My district just purchased a digital video camera for the elementary school.  Since I am the elementary computer teacher, I would like to teach my intermediate students how to use digital cameras and digital video cameras.  I am planning on having students film class projects and then bring the video back to the i Mac computer lab to edit.  I will need to coordinate video ideas with the classroom teachers.  Our fifth grade already videos student's with a video camcorder doing hands-on science presentations.  I would like have the students and faculty use the digital video camera also.  Movies edited on i Movie can than be converted to VCR tapes.  During open house students love to parents what they are doing in school.  Videos of what their children are doing in school is well received by our parents.


Jason Heiser

    The ways I would use digital video in my classroom would be student documentaries, in PowerPoint Presentations, videos, and for introducing units. I've seen, in my own experience, students that are more engaged in learning when I've used digital video than any other project, demonstration, etc. that I've done in my classroom. This past semester I had my 10th graders use the digital camcorders to make a video. I noticed that the students were more enthusiastic about the project and an increase in the quality aspect of the presentation. Up to this point I've used digital video sparingly (only with the 10th graders) because I didn't know in the beginning how the students would react to its incorporation in my classroom (there use of the technology and software). Fortunately, the introduction of very user friendly video editing software programs have made the process less burdensome on students and teachers not familiar with capturing and editing video. With having seen the potential to using digital video I plan on its further incorporation into my classroom. I've even plan on teaching a class for teachers on digital video in Seals School this coming year in the hopes they see the potential. This type of media, in closing, gives teachers and students a more creative way to present materials and express themselves.   


Joanne Thomas

The use of  a digital video camera can enhance classroom presentations by both teachers and students. I plan to make a film of my students involved in various classroom activities to show parents during open house.  It could also be used to film students doing individual or group presentations as a culminating project.

While teaching a specific unit, the teacher could make short films to reinforce concepts, such as a unit on insect communities showing bee pollination or ant food gathering.

Students could work in small groups to write a play on a period of history and then film it.  Or individually, they could film a science experiment done at home.

The use of digital filming is endless.


Keith Cremer

Digital movies would allow for genuine creativity in the Junior High science classroom.  One of my ideas would be to have students assemble in groups.  Each group would choose a scientific concept, such as gravity, for which they must produce a one minute commercial advertising their concept.  They could use sound clips, transitions, titles, and anything else that they felt enhanced their commercial.


Kurt M. Sprenkel

Using digital video in the current curriculum would be a valuable asset.  I will try to implement digital video technology in several ways: First, I will attempt to do a digital video guided tour of our fifth grade outdoor education program that is held at Camp Mount Luther.  Secondly, I will try to put together an education video from the Gettysburg fieldtrip that we take yearly in fifth grade.  Finally, I will have small student groups create their own simple videos to go along with curriculum related subject matter to later be shared with the whole class for the benefit al all.  I feel this will really add to the education of the district's students.


Lisa Eiswerth

     The use of digital movies will be a great way of motivating my fourth grade students.  I plan on first using a digital movie to share daily activities at my open house program at the beginning of the year.  Throughout the year, I will use the movies for class projects.  We will use them for summarizing and book reporting, reenacting historic events, enhancing science experiments, and culminating activities for mini-units. I also plan on using the digital movies as an ongoing means for students to share their creative writing and save it into a portfolio that can be a continuous record of their progress as well as a fun keepsake.  As the year unfolds, I'm sure the ideas for the integration of the digital movie will be endless. 


Lisa Keller

Ideas for Using Digital Movies in the Classroom

There are myriad ways to incorporate digital movies in the classroom.  A person is really limited only by his/her imagination, providing the essential technology and equipment are available.  One great way to use this tool is to record lessons for children to use in small groups or individually if someone has been absent, for example. Teachers can also record field trips or other special occasions in their classrooms to create a video scrapbook to share with their students.  It would be wonderful to use when introducing a unit of study as a way of motivating the students and making them excited about learning something new.  Another idea would be to record your class science fair to later review with your students, and to share with neighboring classes as well as your own future classes as an example of what the projects should look like.  Students can also use digital videos to record content area reports (i.e. - animals, historical figures, etc.) and book reports to share with the class.  It would also be a terrific tool to use for interviews for various classroom projects.  Another idea would be to use these movies to record a picture book to share with your class as a whole class or even for independent viewing.  


Mary Major

     As a first grade teacher, I will most probably use what I have learned about creating digital movies to help the parents of my children have an opportunity to see what my students are accomplishing.  This tool will allow me to create videos that the parents can view at home and witness the children's growth in reading and oral language skills as the students participate in our classroom.  It will also allow those parents who can not visit our class to get a brief taste of what goes on during the school day.
     Every year my students create what we call "Hallway Museums."  Before placing their projects in the hall they  give classroom presentations on their projects.  Other classes are invited to view their projects, but miss out on the oral presentations.  By creating videos about the projects the entire school will also have the opportunity to share in the oral lessons being learned as I share a video created during the presentation process with the other teachers.
     I would also like to be able to use some of what I learned to create short video clips to place on a class web page.


Nola Allison

Digital Movies for the Classroom

There are numerous ways I will implement what I have learned this week in my fourth grade classroom. Digital movies could be used in every subject area to motivate my students to follow directions, listen carefully and pay attention to details. I will begin by introducing this process during a teacher assigned book report. I will film and edit the first production for a number of reasons. First, to teach the process and also because of the lack of equipment. Students will learn this procedure quickly and because of their enthusiasm will be able to stay on task longer. I am also excited to use a digital movie for  our Open House activities this year. The parents will view their children in "action" during their day at school participating in various subjects. As the year progresses we will use digital movies as culminating activities for diverse subjects. These movies will be graded with a teacher made rubric that will align with our state standards. The possibilities are endless for these movies.


Susan Fisher

There are many ways that you could use digital videos in the classroom. Students love to be taped for all different reasons. I would probably use this tool for student oral presentations, book reports, plays, poetry readings, interviews,  science experiments, class trips, concerts, etc. Parents love to see their children in action. During an open house or parent teacher conference,  you could show the tapes to the parents. Teachers could also use digital videos to document student progress or behaviors.

Next year, I hope to use the camera to document the many fun and exciting things I do in my classroom.


Thor Edmiston

Use of Digital Video in the Art Classroom

Students can use video in the art classroom for filming and editing commercials that they create.
Students in 5th or 6th grades will be put into groups of three or four. The groups will then come
up with an idea for a commercial. After the commercial is approved by the teacher, the groups
can start the filming process. Once filmed, the groups will be asked to edit the commercials for
final grading. All students will view commercials as a group.

Return to Digital Movies Course Class Web Page

Raymond S. Pastore, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Education
1148 McCormick Center
Bloomsburg University
Bloomsburg, PA 17815-1301