So today I tried an experiment out.  I wanted to see if I could use Windows tools, freely available, already installed on our school’s computers, and produce reasonable student videos.  I succeeded, and I’d like to share my success here.  The process is pretty simple, and not too time-consuming, and best of all, student friendly.

For those of you who like the quick and dirty, the basic steps are:

  1. Create individual frames in Microsoft Word (or any text editor).
  2. Take a screen-shot of each of these frames.  Generally this is done by pressing the ‘Prt Scr’ or ‘Print Screen’ button on your keyboard.
  3. Paste the individual screen-shots into Microsoft Paint, one at a time and save each as their own file.  You want all of the images to have the same width and height (400 by 300 is good or 800 by 600).
  4. Open up Windows Movie Maker and import all of the image frames created in steps 1 to 3.
  5. Drag the images and order them into the movie time-line below the collection of images.
  6. Add special effects, like video transitions, subtitles, narration, whatever.
  7. Save the project (so you can edit it later) AND save it as a movie as well. 
  8. Upload to your favourite video sharing site (Youtube, Vimeo, Pixorial) and share it with whomever you want.

Here’s an example video done by a student in a single 85 minute period (they actually had about 70 minutes to work on it because of pre-activity instructions).