iPhoto and iMovie in the Classroom

September 5, 2006 – While Lainie was in Laguna Beach presenting the Internet Awareness and Safety material I had been working on, I was at Rancho Santa Margarita Middle School in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District presenting “iPhoto and iMovie in the Classroom” on behalf of Computer Using Educators. (I now coordinate their CUEtoYOU professional development program.)

I was working as a part of a much larger day at SVUSD. The entire teaching staff of the district was in professional development sessions that day, and many of them had chosen technology based sessions. I believe there were tech trainings at all (or nearly all) their sites. The district is lucky to have Michael Morrison and the staff he works with. (Michael is their educational technology specialist… and interim IT director.) The day seems to have gone off without a hitch in all but one lab, where there were some minor technical difficulties. (In my case, there were no technical difficulties, though the space we were in, and the need to load demo media for all the participants created some logistical challenges.) Evaluations of the day were overwhelmingly positive. (They trained something like 800 teachers this day, I believe.)

Despite being at the middle school, I was working with groups of elementary teachers, so I leaned heavily on Eva‘s inspiration for ideas and samples of student and teacher projects. I had one group in the morning, and one group in the afternoon, for 2 hours and 45 minutes each. This made it a bit of a rush to cover both iPhoto and iMovie. For relatively tech savvy teachers, these programs are easy to pick up and the time was no issue. Many even played ahead. For those who are not as comfortable with computers (or Mac OS X) this was a real challenge… and of course I had a wide range of skill levels in the class. Thankfully, I think was able to connect with most of the participants and be sure they were leaving with something they could use… perhaps even for back to school night. (Mostly, though, I think they were excited about beginning to collect and create material for open house. I’ve found this is really the first step in iPhoto and iMovie use… have a slideshow or a movie ready for parents at the end of the year.)

In retrospect, I wouldn’t have tried to do both applications at once. iMovie can always be tacked on to the end of an iPhoto class if the group is making good time and ready for more, but unfortunately I know the beginners left with only minimal exposure to both programs and very little practice time… while some of the others who had basically come for iMovie were left particularly disappointed that I spent so much time on iPhoto.

Regardless, both sessions were a success – folks were happier leaving than when they got there. Some said it was the best technology professional development they’d had. (They said this about other sessions that day, too.) I’m just trying to learn from the experience, improve for next time, and share with others here. :)

Finally, here is a link to the materials I offered on the CUE website:

If you check it out, don’t miss the inspirational ideas at the end of the handout – culled from across the web… and from Eva, of course.

I wish I could share the student samples here (from Eva’s kindergarden classes and her Debbie Ferguson’s 1st grade classes), but I don’t think that would be prudent. Incidentally, though, if you can – always use kindergarden images for demonstrating iPhoto to elementary teachers… they really enjoyed the adorable little ones.