Genius Hour AppSmashing

Let’s get a few things out of the way. You may be wondering what is Genius Hour? And what is AppSmashing? If you are familiar with these, then you can skip on down to the next paragraph. Genius Hour – Researching what YOU are interested in learning (you being a student). AppSmashing (See also: Jon Corippo) – creating a single project – photo, movie, etc. – using two or more apps.

So all last week, one of my students begged to take home one of the class iPods. He wanted to create movies using Lego Movie Maker (stop animation video creation). I applaud this student. He had NO clue how to use the app, wanted to try it out; and he ASKED if he could do extra work! He did what most kids do best – he played around with it! Were they the best movies ever? No, but each one got better and better. So on Friday, before we have Genius Hour, said student wasn’t sure what to do. I suggested AppSmashing. He was up for it. He imported 2 Lego Movies into iMovie on the iPod.

Now, I know little to nothing about iMovie on mobile devices. Give me a Mac and I’m good to go. I’ve used it a bit on the iPad, but never on the iPod. So needless to say, I was of no help. Note: The iPod version has many limitations (at least from what I could tell). Being the adult, I tried to teach him a bit and inevitably screwed everything up. So I wisely walked away and let him create. What he came up with wasn’t bad for a first try. He ‘imported’ is music by holding up his mobile device (where the music was stored) to the iPod. Here is his results:

Yeah, I think I’ll keep encouraging him to take risks and make movies.

Lego Movie Maker App

Last school year I had a few students who were really into Legos. One student found Lego Movie Maker for his iPod. The App was quickly loaded up onto several other devices in the classroom. My students couldn’t STOP making movies!

Being the sort of teacher that I am, I asked them to show me the App. They happily agreed. And yes, several girls got in on the App Frenzy too! I was amazed at the ease in which they created their stop animation videos. And to be quite honest, they weren’t half bad either. They created videos on various topics including recycling.

The App: Lego Movie Maker (Free, iPod) has several features:

  • Onion Skin — allows you to view where the last shot was taken
  • Sound Effects
  • Add Frames
  • Delete Frames
  • Adjust Speed
  • Voice Over (under Record a New Sound)
  • And a variety of other choices

Once you have completed your movie you can upload to YouTube. One thing my students started doing was to further edit their movies in iMovie. The kids are brilliant! I love learning from my students.

Student Example:

While the students didn’t fully use all that the App had to offer, they did get their message across. It was easy, fun, and everyone had a good time. That’s what learning is all about!