How to Use Movie Making Apps in the Classroom

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Thanks to advances in technology, teachers can use movie making apps in their classrooms. Wondering how Hollywood fits into learning? Read on to find out.

Education and Moving Making

Recent objective-based standards have called for educators to combine subject matter we used to see as stand-alone. Today's classrooms are a blend of many subjects; science class incorporates concepts of math and language arts, math class can involve aspects of social studies. This cross-curricular learning means teachers are tasked with thinking more broadly about their lessons.

How can they incorporate reading and writing into science, math and social studies in an engaging way? Using movie making apps, or applications used to create movies on mobile devices, is a great way to have students write, plan and demonstrate their understanding of concepts.

Using Movie Making Apps

Teachers have many options when it comes to using movie making apps as an instructional tool. Before jumping right into voguing for the camera, though, teachers should make sure they have a clear objective, or purpose, for their lesson. Do they want students to use the movie to help remember vocabulary words or to present a project for a unit? Let's look at some ways Ms. Roberts, a tech-savvy teacher, uses movie making apps in the classroom.

Basic Skills

Movie making apps are a great resource for low-level thinking skills, such as recalling, listing or stating. For visual learners, Ms. Roberts uses apps that allow students to match graphics with words for vocabulary lists. She also makes a brief recording of herself every day with reminders and recaps of important learning. Seeing and hearing an end-of-the-day review is a great way to get information across to her students in a fun and exciting format.

Finally, Ms. Roberts has students record quick summaries of topics - from book reviews to information on the solar system. Allowing students to record a quick, three-minute video that summarizes the beginning, middle and end of a concept in their own words is a great way for Ms. Roberts to check in and see who's on task and who needs more help.

Demonstrate Understanding

Ms. Roberts also plans movie making experiences to have students show their understanding of concepts. Students can be creative with movie making apps by writing, planning, directing and recording fiction stories to show knowledge of several language arts concepts, such as plot and conflict. As a culminating project, or evidence of learning over a long-term unit, Ms. Roberts has students write a newscast. For example, a science class that is learning about the solar system developed a newscast that explained planets and rotation.

Ms. Roberts knows that using movie making apps for understanding should push students to use high-level skills by requiring more details and depth.

Students using a movie making app

High-Level Skills

Finally, Ms. Roberts uses movie making apps to have students demonstrate high-level thinking skills. These skills require an understanding of concepts as a baseline but also need students to go deeper with their thinking. To apply learned information, Ms. Roberts has students create a movie that shows the relationship between stars and planets in the solar system. In language arts, she has students dramatize the book The Giver.

Movie making apps can also be used to have students analyze concepts. Ms. Roberts' students create movies to compare and contrast the gravitational pull of planets or question their feelings about the character's choices in The Giver.

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