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Light, Camera, Action and lots of staring at progress bars...

Brick Maier

Hello Edutopia,

I post from time to time relating my experience delivering digital storytelling and moviemaking programs inside classrooms. I've developed a kit to help facilitate moviemaking in the classroom.

I recently finished up delivering an 8 week unit using iPad 2 with iMovie to shoot 1-2 minutes short animated movies using the Tabletop Moviemaking studio. Roughly the session broke down as follows: 1 session intro/pre-production research. 2 sessions building mini-diorama worlds. 3 sessions filming. 2 sessions editing and voice over. Final session had a screening at the end (very important). I would be happy to share a more detailed version of this 8 week model with anyone who is interested or would like to adapt it. I developed rubrics and numerous graphic organizers to support the delivery of Tabletop Moviemaking and iPads. My focus for this post is on a more technical aspect of the iPad delivery, but one that is very important for any teacher considering integrating moviemaking into the classroom over multiple sessions.

The challenge the educator will face is a student or group of students that have an unfinished project when the class period ends. We had to wipe the ipads after every session because the school had a cart that was being used by different teachers throughout the week. Saving on the iPad inside iMovie is not that intuitive and requires multiple steps. Our IT department designated one laptop to sync with the iPad cart, so this laptop became the essential hub to archive all the student projects.

Here are the resources I developed.

How to transfer projects from iPads to computers and back again.
Step-by-step process

Here are two videos I created demonstrating and explaining the process:
Screen capture tutorials

Here is a workflow for using iPads in the classroom for moviemaking:
Interactive PDF

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My reference to the progress

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My reference to the progress bar in the post title is the fact that copying 17 student projects over at the end of each session took about 5 min per ipad which adds up. This process is reversed before each session where copied 17 student projects from the computer and put them on individual iPads. Some iPads were super fast, others were S-L-O-W. I found force quitting all open apps, restarting the iPad and turning on the airplane mode all helped to speed up the transfer process. Killing all running apps is the best thing to do to improve transfer speeds.

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