A quick orientation to iMovie

I was asked by Bev at General Currie and Glenda at Spul'u'kwuks to introduce their students to iMovie. They both planned to have their kids use this software package to present learning from a unit they were currently working on, but wanted the students to be familiar with the application before they began.

The mini-project we came up with was a simple, fun presentation that would allow the students to use all the elements of iMovie:

  1. Pick a topic (ie kittens or gummy bears or...)
  2. Find 5 pictures (only five!)
  3. Import pictures.
  4. Place on timeline
  5. Add narration
  6. Add sound effects
  7. Add transitions
  8. Add titles
  9. Tweak final view
  10. Export as a QuickTime file. (Share)

In two sessions, after a brief demo, students were able to produce great little clips that they could show to the class. (An extra bonus: it was exciting to see students helping each other problem-solve issues that came up. )

I also used this same format on a Pro-D session with McNeely staff.

Rethinking the Library Page

I recently met with Colleen, the TL at Quilchena Elementary. She wanted to rethink her school library web page and was looking for some suggestions to implement. Colleen had already created a Blogger account that she was using as a jumping off point.

Here are some of the things she was looking for:
  1. A place to feature "Book Contest" titles.
  2. A place for kids to review books.
  3. A way to show off the new titles in the library.
  4. A place to list important links for research.
To keep things simple, the "review" feature was moved to a "sister" blog (Cyclone Review) and linked back to the main page. We set up the account so anyone could comment on blog posts (which were really a stem with the novel name and author name), but turned on "comment moderation" so Colleen could screen the reviews before they went live. (While most kids are great, you don't want to be caught having to do damage control!)

Each of the book posts in the sister blog is labeled with the book's title, which allows Colleen to add a "label gadget." This is an easy way to create an index! (See the sample pasted here:

As you can see, the contents of the Book Titles feature are listed alphabetically, and make it easy for kids to find the novel they are looking for.

Showing off the new books required a different strategy. For this feature, it was simply a matter of creating a LibraryThing acount, and adding the new titles. (This can be done using the title, author name or even the ISBN using a scanner.) LibraryThing can then generate a widget that supplies random book covers taken from your newly-created collection and serves them up on your blog. Very cool. Here's the link to the library for a look-see: http://cyclonelibrary.blogspot.com/

Near the top, you'll see the "New Titles" widget with book covers. Clicking on a cover icon brings up a short description of the novel.