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Social Studies Review Using iMovie on iPads

Last week I had the unique opportunity to work as a Tech Integration Coach with Mr. Bill Froman's 8th grade Social Studies classes at Amherst Middle School on redesigning their end of year review.  Instead of the focus being solely on using worksheets and essays, they produced iMovie Trailers that summarize major events from the past year.  These will be featured next year to engage and excite students about the curriculum.

Here's an example:

Can't see the embedded video above?  View it on YouTube instead.

What I especially love about this project is that it follows the Collect--Relate--Create--Donate (CRCD) Model as described by Ben Shneiderman.  (Learn more about CRCD here).  In summary, the main idea behind CRCD is "for students to work in teams to conduct ambitious projects that they could not do on their own for the benefit of people outside the classroom."

Mr. Froman estimates this project involved
only 2-3 class periods from start to finish.  The iPad was the pivotal tool that made it possible to produce videos containing imagery from the main units of study in his course.  This was the first time his students completed an iMovie project in class, and they enjoyed working together as media producers.

The ingredients:

  • 100+ eighth graders, each with different viewpoints on American History
  • 12 iPads
  • A Social Studies teacher willing to try something new
  • Support from administration in arranging for teachers to work collaboratively
View the student produced videos here:

A special thanks goes out to Amherst Middle School Principal Michael Cornell for rearranging our schedules, and to Barb Goetz, Teacher Assistant and tech helper!