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Bring video into the classroom!

2011  |  

grabar_videoVideo is an excellent didactic resource which can be used in may ways in the classroom. In an eTwinning project it can serve among other things to introduce yourself to your project partners, show how the activities are developing, document the work process and the forming of groups, disseminate information about typical aspects of each country...

You don’t need a professional video camera to film, we live our lives surrounded by gadgets which include cameras: mobile phones, digital cameras, iPads… They don’t provide the same quality as professional equipment, but they allow you to carry out fabulous school projects. And the best part is that the pupils are expert users, they will be able to help you.
Precisely because of the capacity of videos to be used in innumerable types of educational activities, this article will show you some tools which will permit you and your pupils to edit them in a very simple manner:

Windows Live Movie Maker is a free application from Microsoft which is part of the Windows Live applications package. It permits you to create professional looking films and cartoons in a simple and quick manner from videos and images imported from a PC or any other gadget. You can use it to edit your film, add transitions and accompany it with an editable sound tack. This tool also permits you to publish and share your film – once it is finished and with the option of converting it to high definition – on the social networks, uploaded it to your YouTube account or record it directly onto a DVD although for this you will have to register in Windows Live. If you don’t want to do so, you can save the film and upload it directly to YouTube, or Vimeo and from there  insert it into a blog, wiki, TwinSpace, etc.

For Linux users the alternative to this tool is Cinelerra, and for Mac the well known iMovie, characterized by its simplicity as it facilitates video editing tasks just by clicking and dragging.

YouTube video editor is a free online application which is available when you create a Google account. You access it from www.youtube.com/editorOnce you have logged in, you can edit the videos uploaded from your account, combining different clips and adding transitions. This tool also permits you to change the audio and add music directly from the list of songs on YouTube (although this option will include advertising, so it is better to upload the music from your computer). And the best part is this application makes it possible for you to include comments in your videos, in the form of links to other videos, channels and playing lists or even createInterconnectied narrative videos.Furthermore, the users can find and see their videos more easily thanks to the description that you can provide in relation to its contents. Once the video is finished, you can share it by uploading it to your YouTube channel. In general the YouTube video editor is very easy to use but requires a good Internet connection.


These tools let you create and edit films both from moving images (video clips) and still images. There are also other specific online applications to combine images which result in dynamic animated final presentations.
Among them we could single out Photopeach, a tool for creating stories from images uploaded from your own computer, Picasa or Facebook and in which you can add titles and comments. You can animate your presentations with background music, as you are allowed to look for the tune you want to add in YouTube. An example of the use of this tool in an eTwinning project can be found in Teaching each other: where the pupils use Photopeach to introduce themselves and the schools participating in the project.


Animoto is an online tool which allows you to convert your images or others taken from Facebook,Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket and SmugMug into videos to which you can add texts and music, either uploaded by you in MP3 format or chosen from the collection of songs offered by the tool. Once the video has been created, you can share it in Facebook and YouTube, upload it to your own blog or make a DVD. This tool is available in several versions, one free and two you have to pay for. The free one - Animoto Lite- permits you to create an unlimited number of videos with a maximum duration of 30 seconds each. The Bookraft project uses this tool to show fashion articles designed by the pupils.


YouTube also offers online tools to create cartoons, look at this interesting article Create your own films on youbube... wihtout the need of a camera.

As you can see, the creation of videos for educational purposes is a task which is daily becoming more and more simple thanks to the quantity of free online tools which are available to us and the multiple options which they offer for editing them. You can also created videos from scratch by recording your own video clips, mixing them with images, adding texts, descriptions... Endless possibilities are offered by one of the most versatile and illustrative didactic tools. Do you want some more ideas about using a camera with your pupils? Have a look at 45 interesting ways to use your pocket camera.

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