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Using iMovie and Aurasma!

06:50 JEcomputing 3 Comments Category : , , , , , , , , ,

iMovie is a fantastic programme, which has many uses within the classroom. The iPad app version is fantastic and in the past I have used it to enhance my teaching in various areas of both the literacy and numeracy curriculum. Last year I used the virtual world app Castlerama and Return to Catlerama, and asked the children to take a virtual walk around the fictional Italian village of Assisi, taking screenshots as they went (done by pressing the home button and sleep button at the same time). Once in iMovie, the children then imported their screenshots from the camera roll and recorded themselves reading aloud the stories that they had planned/written. I found that adopting this approach ensured that my reluctant writers (particularly boys), were stimulated from the onset and remained on task throughout. Knowing that their ideas could be used to produce something so stimulating, motivated them to included the literacy elements that they had been taught. This enabled them to produce something of a far better quality than they had done on previous occasions, when using only a pencil and paper. I have used this same approach to teach the writing of just the beginning part of a story (a description of a setting), after I came across this page from Tim Rylands, in which he used the beautiful app Epic Citadel to achieve a range of writing outcomes. Below is an example from a year 4 pupil...


You could also use other apps such as 360cities, which gives you access to 100's of awe-inspiring panoramic photographs taken from all over the world. I would certainly recommend it as a way of inspiring reluctant writers in your class!

Taking this one step further using Augmented Reality

To really inspire children in your class you could use an augmented reality app, such as Aurasma, to create a really inspiring display of the movies produced! Aurasma transforms hand drawn pictures into videos and the children are always completely amazed by the effect that it has in bringing a seemingly ordinary picture to life! Using Aurasma, children upload their overlay (their iMovie narrations in this case) and then choose a trigger image (in the case of the Castlerama video stories, we used blurbs that the children had written to go with their stories). When these trigger images are then scanned using the Aurasma app, the video appears on the device - a fantastic way to create a truly magical interactive display!

 Using Aurasma as part of guided reading

Over the past year or so I have used Aurasma in many ways. For example, during guided reading sessions, groups of children can now make video recordings of their book review rather than simply showing their written review to a teacher or TA, who in the past, would  simply check the written review before the children went off to choose a new book. I have found this has really helped those children that struggle with writing (and as a result would usually not bother to complete their written book review at home), because it means that they still complete their reading independently, but can now show their understanding in a different way, as part of a guided reading activity. I have found that in many cases this has deepened their understanding of the book because knowing that they have to record their review of the book as a video as part of a guided reading session, really focuses them and inspires them to complete their reading at  home.  During guided reading sessions children design a trigger image, either a blurb or drawing of a character or poster for example, and then after making their overlay (their video book review), create their Aura in Aurasma and add their trigger images to our reading corner display for others to scan and listen to!

Using Augmented reality is really something you could use in all areas of the curriculum. Last year we had an RE week exploring themes such as "What does God mean to me?" Again, children recorded videos of themselves talking about this, before producing a piece of work to go with their video to be scanned and viewed by others. Talking to a colleague recently about Augmented Reality and its potential, we discussed the power of using pupil videos such as these as a really good assessment tool in EYFS. Imagine Ofsted walking in, handing them an iPad and asking them to scan the pupil's display work. The device then brings up a video of that particular child talking about the learning that took place in producing that particular piece of work, what they did, what they learnt etc. This would really show their understanding and provide a much more authentic, deeper range of evidence than you would by just having a piece of work (however beautiful), stuck on a wall.

Using iMovie trailers and Aurasma to publicise our end of year production

This week, we have had a little bit of time, in between production practice, transition day, music week and business challenge, to do some promotion for our year 6 production! I took this opportunity to show the year 6 children how to make movie trailers in iMovie. Here are just two of many fantastic examples...


The children then designed some posters (hand drawn) to promote the production...


We then used Aurasma to bring them to life. These have now been put up around school with instructions to all year groups to allocate some time to take the iPads around school, watch them and vote on their favourite one! The year 6 pupils absolutely loved making these and I think it will have much more of an impact in terms of encouraging people to come and watch the performance! To see the children's examples download the app Aurasma onto your smartphone/mobile device, then follow these steps:
  1. Open the app and press the A at the bottom of the screen
  2. Click on the search option.
  3. Type in JEcomputing and click the option
  4. Press like to subscribe to my Auras.
  5. Open the app and scan one of our pictures (if it doesn't work print out one of the pictures)
  6. Tap on the trailer as it appears to make it full screen


If you'd like me to deliver a similar project in your school please get in touch



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