Featured User: Gillispie School


Under the direction of Joe Morris, Apple Distinguised Educator and Educational Technology Director, students at Gillispie Elementary School in LaJolla, California have created a variety of amazing productions using MediaWorks. Mr. Morris works with the classroom teachers to identify where technology can be most effectively integrated, and MovieWorks and MediaWorks have been used to create clay animations, interactive stories and multimedia reports in their Math, History and English classes.

“When I assign a digital multimedia projects to my students (3-6 graders) I believe the process is as important as the result. There is not a lot of thinking or creativity needed to let the wizard in other software programs bang out a linear slide show, where the presenter clicks the mouse over and over again to fly through it. In my opinion, creating interactive, non-linear multimedia projects promote higher level critical thinking skills. In other words, I prefer that my students create a project that others can navigate themselves through, clicking buttons and making choices based on what they want to see or know. More planning and creativity is required, and the results are more interesting and engaging.”

“MediaWorks is the best program I know to create such projects. It's easy for a third grader to use, yet powerful enough for business and industry needs. It has all the tools needed, including a paint program, an animation program, a sound editor, and a program for capturing and trimming video. Furthermore, it is QuickTime-based, so it's very stable and easy to sync the video with other content,” according to Morris.

Joe Morris

MovieWorks & MediaWorks Projects Created in Math, History and English Classes

Clay Animations

Linda Davis, teacher for Gillispie School's third-grade class, asked Mr. Morris to help them learn more about American colonial times. MovieWorks was the tool of choice for the students who produced 14 segments that were combined into a 16 minute clay animation demonstrating their research on colonial America in this five month project. In the left column are a few select segments.

In keeping with the California State Education Standard for 3rd grade, Mrs. Davis' students were first tasked with conducting primary research on early American colonial trades. Students honed their research skills with visits to the school library and wrote individual reports on the various types of jobs people did during American colonial times. Next, each student chose a trade in which to write a short dialog or script of what their chosen tradesperson might have said or done. Once the research and scriptwriging was complete, the students modeled the characters, constructed a miniature colonial village, shot the digital still photos that would be sequenced into the final animated movie, and recorded their scripts in small digital audio segments using the MovieWorks Sound editor. Students also used iPhoto to preview their photos and delete those unfit for the project.
Once the pictures and audio segments were complete, everything was put togther using MovieWorks . According to Mr. Morris, MovieWorks has some powerful features that makes assembling the final animated movie fast and easy! Each segment of the final 16 minute production was comprised of approximately 50 - 100 still photos, so automating the importanting and sequencing of these photos was an important consideration. MovieWorks allows these pictures to be imported in a "batch" by simply dropping the folder of pictures on the project window. They are imported in numerical order, so it is important that the pictures are numbered appropriately. MovieWorks also allows you to set a default duration for the pictures prior to importing and this was set to 1 second. Next, each audio segment was imported, and using the MovieWorks Sequencer window, was positioned at the desired point in time.
Any segment of the movie could be easily previewed so that you can make sure everything is perfectly timed. There is no need to render to another format prior to previewing in real-time, and if you hold the Shift-key down prior to pressing the Play button, it will play from the current time, rather than rewinding to the beginning each time. This saves valuable time when tweaking the timing between the audio segments and pictures. Once everything has been sequenced, the final masterpiece was exported as a QuickTime movie for playing on a computer or uploading to a web page, a DV file for burning to DVD and in a format that could be loaded onto an iPod.

According to Mrs. Davis: “There was no need to motivate the students to achieve. They learned so much and it was exciting to see them do it on their own ”. And while Mr. Morris and Mrs. Davis were the guiding lights, the real stars in this feature are the students. Mr. Morris adds,  “These are 3rd graders that produced a very elaborate clay animation movie. They learned far more about the subject matter and also learned how to use MovieWorks.”

The prior year, Gillipsie 5th grade English students used MovieWorks to create a fictional story called Hulk in Space. Click on its image to view in the left column.

Interactive Stories & Multimedia Reports

MediaWorks has also been put to use by Gillispie 5th grade History and English students to create interactive adventure stories on the Civil War, American Revolution and the California Gold rush. Just like with the Clay Animation project described above, the projects below began with research and script-writing.

The interactive stories were saved as a MediaWorks Player document and played back on the computer.

Download MediaWorks Player document for this project. (13 mb, .zip) Mac

Download MediaWorks Player Application

Students learned about polling, charting and graphing and presented their findings in a QuickTime movie created using MovieWorks. The MovieWorks Sequencer window made it easy to have the pictures and text change at the desired times of the accompanying narration.