5, 4, 3, 2, 2, 1


5 great tools. 4 are free. 3 are production based. 2 are audio. 2 are video. 1 is not like the others.

I teach multi-media production at CSU Fresno, and while many of the tools we use at CSU Fresno are based in Adobe, when it comes to doing my own video production work, these are many of the tools I use.  While they may not be the most full featured or most polished, they are reliable and always get the job done right.  Audacity is a fantastic audio editor that comes with features that many of the expensive ‘pro’ software lacks.  Soundcloud is best summed up as YouTube for audio.  It is a fantastic source for original music and audio hosting (many podcasters use it as a hosting platform).  Final Cut Pro X!  While many in the professional video industry ditched Final Cut when Apple completely re-wrote the program, I was one of the few who held on and continued to use and learn through the many (and honestly, frustrating changes).  A few years in and Final Cut X is the most polished, simple, and full featured post production video programs available.  Every good video needs pre-production and a story board is usually a must!  Storyboard generator has been put together by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, and is an amazing tool to teach storyboarding techniques.  Last but not least is Flipboard.  What may be called an advanced RSS reader, Flipboard is much more!  The magazine sharing feature is a great way to share info with fellow educators and students.

Links to all these tools and more can be found HERE

VR Field trips!


I have written a bit about VR in the past HERE, but I wanted to quickly touch on another feature of VR.  Field Trips.

To be honest, the idea of a digital field trip sounds fairly lame at first.  Why not just huddle into a bus and drive down to the farm to learn about where eggs come from?  Good point!  And for that field trip I would most definitely recommend skipping the VR experience and getting the bus ready.  But what about when you want to take your students to explore the coral reefs, or Machu Picchu, or Antarctica, or how about THE SURFACE OF MARS!  I can’t be certain, but I am fairly sure the bus won’t get you to these locations (unless of course you happen to be Ms. Frizzle).  Situations like this are where Google Cardboard comes into play.  Being able to virtually visit a location, explore that location, and receive updated information and facts creates an interactive and memorable learning space.  These virtual experience, while not as potent as visiting the location, help lift the information from pages and into our senses.

Google has put together a project called Expeditions Pioneer that helps teachers create full field trip experiences, including roles such as a guide and student.

Another amazing thing about Google Cardboard: as long as you already have a smart phone, the rest of the device is as cheap as 15 bucks!  These can go up to $120, but the $15 work just as well.  I personally have the device by Viewmaster (roughly $30) and I like it a lot.

Resources Below:

Start Here:

Classroom Filmmaking

Classroom Filmmaking

I am a big big fan of the work that Amy Erin Borovoy @VideoAmy does on Edutopia.org. I am especially glad when she shares educational tips for the classroom!  I teach multimedia production at Fresno State, and I am always open to resources (specifically ones from trustworthy individuals who have an interest in education!).


Amy has a great list of videos for a Video 101 course listed below, as well as further resources. (EVERYTHING BELOW THIS LINE IS AMY’S WORK.  SOURCE AT END OF PAGE).

  1. 10 Tips for Beginner Filmmakers (10:37) Young filmmaker Simon Cade‘s channel, DSLRGuide, is one of the most popular for filmmaking tutorials. He’s got hundreds of tips to share and started making videos when he was just 11.
  2. No-Budget Filmmaking Gear – The DIY Filmmaker (05:02) Getting your filmmaking kit together is one of the hardest things to do on a budget, but you can’t begin until you have the basics. There are links to some of the DIY projects to build your own gear on the YouTube page for this video.
  3. Adapt Your Script to a Storyboard (09:19) One great resource is the YouTube Creator Academy channel, which has a variety of tip videos made by YouTube’s most successful creators. This video by Mary Doodles and Whitney Lee Milam is one of the best intros to storyboarding I’ve seen.
  4. Telling Your Story Through Video (04:00) It’s less glossy than the other tutorials here, but I love that this video uses footage from student work to illustrate camera angles. It’s produced by ChildFund Connect, an Australian organization that provides an online space for kids to post videos they’ve made.
  5. Top 5 Tips to Shoot Incredible Video with a Smartphone! (08:34) Nashville video producer and tech reviewer Danny Winget gives excellent advice for filming with smartphones, which is probably the most accessible way to get started. He covers both gear and technique in this short video.
  6. 5 Quick Math Tricks for Filmmakers (06:02) IndyMogul stopped posting new videos two years ago, but their YouTube channel is still a treasure trove of tutorials on every aspect of low-budget filmmaking, from visual effects to lighting. This video shows the math behind some essential filmmaking rules.
  7. Sophia Dagher Offers Tips & Tricks in Filmmaking (02:14) ProjectED was an Amplify program that hosted open video contests for students and teachers. Although they seem to have stopped running these, they still offer some great resources, like this fun advice video from filmmaker Sophia Dagher.
  8. Top 15 Mistakes Beginner Filmmakers Make (02:34) This is long (17 minutes) but fortunately filmmaker Darious Britt is really engaging. His advice is geared towards people trying to break into the film industry, but his tips are sound. Heads up for a little language that may not be appropriate for younger kids.
  9. How I Edit My YouTube Videos (13:23) While there are hundreds of more informative and concise tutorials on video editing basics, I chose this one because it features Jennifer Zhang, a teen YouTube creator, sharing how she taught herself to edit video using free tools. She posted a Part Two here.

More Resources on Student Filmmaking


INFO FROM ORIGINAL SOURCE: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/film-festival-classroom-filmmaking-resources