Some Free February Appy-ness with a new piece of free software for teachers from Microsoft every day in February. Many of these items are unknown heroes, but they all share two things in common: 1) They are useful for teachers or students and 2) they are free.
Windows Live Movie Maker
Windows Live Movie Maker allows teachers to easily turn photos and videos from popular camera types into great-looking movies to share with students and teachers on the Internet, burn to a CD or DVD, or play on a PC or portable device.
The AutoMovie feature lets teachers or students create a polished movie from their photos, video clips, and music in about one minute.
Experienced moviemakers can create original movies with custom effects, unique transitions, and other rich features.
The sights, sounds and action of a movie helps bring a subject to life. Windows Live Movie Maker has prompts to help you upload and share your movie on YouTube, or to burn a DVD for your class.
Import and edit slide shows and videos
Quickly add photos and footage from your PC or camera into Movie Maker. Then fine tune your movie just the way you want it. You can move things around, speed it up or slow it down—it’s up to you.
Edit the soundtrack and add a theme
Enhance your movie with audio and a theme. Movie Maker adds transitions and effects automatically so your movie looks polished and professional.
Share your movie online
Once your movie is ready, share it online on Facebook, YouTube or other social networking and video sharing sites. Send a link to your movie in an email to family and friends so they won’t miss it.
Three classroom ideas for Movie Maker
- Create a timeline that moves
Present a succession of historical events in a photo slide show with music from that period.
- Demonstrate things you can’t bring to class
Videotape feeding time for lions at the zoo. Capture the physics at play in a local skate park.
- Share the classics in a fresher way
Shoot video of various students reciting a Shakespearean sentence or two. String them together in a movie, and suddenly all eyes are on the screen, and the class hangs on every famous word.
Where can I find out how to use it?
Start at the Microsoft Australia Education website, where there’s a getting started guide to Movie Maker in education, step-by-step guide for Movie Maker, as well as video tutorials. The Windows Live Essentials Help Centre has a specific page for Movie Maker. There are also a series of short written tutorials including:
If you prefer to watch a tutorial, then there’s hundreds of videos that step you through the process, if you search for Windows Live Movie Maker tutorials
There’s also a support forum on the Windows Live Solution Centre for Movie Maker. This tends to be used by users who have a problem, to get support from the community and from the Microsoft team, so if you come across a query, then it’s a good place to go.