The Four C’s of iMovies: Integrating Technology in the Classroom
Posted on 09/09/2013

What’s old is new again! The foundational skills original three R’s, reading, writing and arithmetic, have been enhanced by the modern age of teaching and learning. Creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking, the four C’s of 21st Century education, heighten new and challenging opportunities. For one fourth grade class, pairing the four C’s with intellectual tasks and technology concluded with the production of iMovies.

Steve Petersen, Learning Specialist at Lark Ellen Elementary School, initiated a unique opportunity to create something beyond what is typically required in his daily Universal Access sessions. At the conclusion of CST’s, Mr. Petersen was asked to work with advanced 4th graders to teach them how to make iMovies. Wanting to utilize something new for this group of students, I came up with a plan to have them create an iTrailer using the application iMovie,” commented Petersen. The assignment was to create an iTrailer that both highlighted a little of what fourth grade was about from their perspective and give third graders a peek at what they could expect in the next school year. The culmination of the project yielded a video production built around the theme: "Through the Eyes of a 4th Grader".

Provided with a digital camera, five groups had one week to take pictures to include in their iMovies. Students then learned how to download and edit their photographs into iPhoto. Each group selected a specific focus, completed an outline and storyboard before beginning their computer work. Instead of traditional whole group instruction, Mr. Petersen used a MacBook Pro, iPad and a program called Doceri, to create video tutorials for each step of the technological teaching and learning process that the students watched at the beginning of each class. Once the group watched the day's tutorial, they launched and opened their iTrailer and worked collaboratively and creatively to put their movies together. Mr. Petersen actively monitored the student’s progress guiding them to critically think about their projects and communicated elevated expectations. At the conclusion of the three week project, two iTrailer screenings were held. Excited by the tremendous outcome of the technological challenge, the third graders are already asking Mr. Petersen if they can participate and produce their own iMovie next year!