The first thing I can suggest is Plan, Plan, Plan! The guru of student films, Marco Torres once said, “It’s much easier to take an eraser to a blueprint, then a pickaxe to a foundation!”
Before you begin planning out your End-of-the-Year presentation, ask yourself these simple questions…
What do you want the finished product to look like?
Is there a particular format that you need the finished product in?
Are there any time limits to the finished product?
What types of media do you have to use?
How much time do you have to work on this?
What tool(s) are best for your presentation?
There are many tools out there to choose from. Here is a partial list…
PowerPoint, Prezi, Popcorn Maker, Animoto, iMovie, iPhoto, Photo Bucket,
Slideshare, JibJab, Babblerize, Photo Babble, Garage Band, Pixlr, etc.
It may be a time saver to use multiple tools for certain parts of your presentation to make it easier on yourself. This could be a good way to divide and conquer the amount of work and people hours needed to edit the masterpiece as well.
For instance, if I were going to create a presentation that required a slideshow of students’ faces from 6th grade and then a recent picture of them in 8th grade to show growth, I may use iPhoto to create the slideshow. Then I could export that single slideshow out to add to a larger project of candid shots and videos from the year that will also be included in the presentation. For help with iPhoto refer to Apple’s video tutorial website.
(iPhoto ‘11 Video Tutorials http://www.apple.com/ilife/iphoto/)
Editing Your Presentation takes more time then you will have planned for. Especially if you have to make sure that each student is in your video at least once. It’s often a good idea to have a second pair of eyes see your presentation before you publish it for this reason.
iPhoto allows you to turn on face recognition. This may sound overwhelming and certainly would be a waste of time for just a single classroom, however, if you are working with the entire student body it would be a lot of work up front, but would ensure that you have accurate numbers for people in photos for your end product.
iMovie has some great templates, themes and trailer options that you can use to make a quick presentation. You always have the ability to go back and tweak these as well. I often start with one of these templates, instead of reinventing the wheel, and then changing it up for our perfect presentation. For more video tutorials in iMovie refer to Apple’s iMovie tutorial web page. (iMovie ‘11 Video Tutorials http://www.apple.com/ilife/imovie/)
Publishing your presentation has never been easier.The best way to publish your work for a large audience is to push it out to a website such as YouTube, SchoolTube, or Vimeo. You can publish these videos “unlisted” so that only your intended audience can navigate to them. Using this method saves you tons of time burning presentations to disk.
You do need to know your limitations with these online video sites though. YouTube, for instance, only allows videos of 15 minutes or less to be published to their site. This would work for many presentations, but anything larger then that would have to be broken up into sections. This may not work for you and your presentation. Similarly, Vimeo only allows video uploads up to 500 MBs per week. If you publish a lot of smaller presentations throughout the year, this service works best for you, but if you only publish one large presentation at the end of the year, you may need more space than that. These are all good things to consider before you even start creating your End-of-the-School-Year masterpiece. Good luck and have fun!