What Can You Do with iMovie in the Classroom?


A student sits in front of a laptop wearing headphones as he works on his school video project.Apple’s iMovie offers teachers a video editing software application that students can use to express their creativity to edit unique, personal movies. Using iMovie in the classroom supports project-based learning and builds students' skills with digital storytelling.

Apple created iMovie for use on iOS and macOS systems. They give users the ability to create a complete storytelling movie using photos, videos and audio. There’s a “Hollywood” feel to the software, including the ability to create trailer-like videos and movies with credit rolls and studio logos.

Outside of the classroom, most people associate iMovie with making special event videos for weddings, family gatherings or graduations. For teachers looking to implement the program in the classroom, Fresno Pacific University offers an online iMovie for Macs, iPhone & iPads course that gives teachers a way to earn professional development credit while also becoming adept at using this innovative technology.

How To Use iMovie

iMovie is designed for users to create short videos with 4k video resolution. The software offers themes and templates that users can customize to make them unique. They also can start from scratch. For beginners and students, templates likely will work best.

Apple designed the software for easy use. Once completed, users can play back their videos on any Apple device. They also can share them on social media platforms.

It’s a modern way for people to practice creativity in a digital world. For teachers, it’s a great way to get students familiar with the innovative technology and the possibilities of digital storytelling.

Tips on Using iMovie

The iMovie software comes with many features. According to CNet, some of the best include the following, which help users make videos with a personal touch:

  • The Ken Burns Effect. This effect, used extensively by documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, works great with still images. It allows for slow zooming-in on a portion of a photo, panning effects and slow fades between frames. 
  • Crop to Zoom. Crop to Zoom works much like the Ken Burns Effect but does so with video. iMovie software allows users to zoom in on a specific object in a video.
  • Split clip. This feature allows users to clip out a portion of a video, making it shorter (usually in service of holding people’s attention).
  • Detach audio. This feature allows users to detach audio from a video clip. Users can drop the audio out of a clip for dramatic effect or fade it in or out. They may also keep the audio going even as the visual changes to something else.
  • Add audio. Users can add music or other audio to their video or photo montage.
  • Transitions. Users can place many types of transitions into their videos, including cross dissolves, fade-ins, fade-outs, fade-to-black or white and circle-open and circle-close transitions.

Using iMovie in the Classroom

The Fresno Pacific University iMovie course is designed for K-14 teachers who want to make iMovie more interesting and exciting for students. By developing expertise in the software's use, they can better teach students how to make their own movies.

By the time they finish the course, educators can:

  • Import media to iMovie
  • Add music, narration and other audio
  • Apply video effects and overlays
  • Create multi-camera videos
  • Add title, subtitles and credits
  • Create custom animations

Educators earn three professional development credits through the course, which is offered 100% online. A recent graduate of the course wrote: “This was the best professional development course I have taken! Every assignment was useful and provided iMovie tools and strategies that I can use both personally and in the classroom.”

The course is one of many tech-focused courses Fresno Pacific University offers students, including The Chromebook Classroom, Teaching with Immersive Technology and Google Drive for Educators.


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