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  • Writer's pictureChayse Herriges

Biology FilmMakers- Week 4 Blog Post

Hi friends! 

This week, I used an app called FilmMaker Pro to document my learning journey. It is a video editor tool that I downloaded on my phone. It is surprisingly easy to use and most of the important features are free to use. There are many features that can alter the video and audio, such as resizing, colour correction, splitting, transitions, animations, sound effects, voice-over, voice-to-text, and inserting music. 

The buttons are pretty self-explanatory, the resizing option allows you to change the format size of the video. Different sizes are better for certain apps. The 9:16 size is the suggested size for TikTok and that is the one I used for the video I made.

The splitting feature allows you to split one video into multiple. The transitions feature allows you to add transitions into the “splits” between videos, such as Fade, Zoom Dissolve, Wipe Up/Down/Right/Left, etc.

The animations feature allows you to animate added text in your video. Some of the free animations include Fade, Flip Down,Up, Zoom, Slide, etc. You can also change the opacity of your text, curve the text, add tracking to the text (the text will “track” and follow a certain point of the video).

The sound effects feature allows you to add in sounds that are not in the imported video. You can add many different sound effects such as Crickets, Car horn, Cat meow, Car drifting, Crowded restaurant, etc.

The voice-over feature allows you to record your voice and insert it over the audio of the imported video. The voice-to-text feature allows you to type words that the app converts to an AI voice that will pronounce the words you’ve typed over the video. 

The one thing I really did not enjoy about the app is that unless you pay for it, you can only make a video under 1 minute and 30 seconds and you “can’t” download a video you edited that is made up of more than 10 videos. I say “can’t” because it let me download my video after it blocked me from screen recording the video I made.

I plan on teaching high school biology and one project I would like to do with the students is to grow pea plants so they can look at the plant cells under a microscope. If I were to do this project, I could make an assignment where the students create a video that shows a daily picture of their plant’s growth, then showing how they make a slide of the plant cells, and lastly, identifying different parts of the plant cell. They could add text or voice over to show their understanding. They could also download animations, gifs, or stock videos of plant cell structure and include that in the video. 

In the SAMR model, this app would be a substitution for a written assignment that documents the same information. The augmentation level could be the additional features of the app that a written assignment does not offer, such as an MP4 visual with text and/or a voiceover. The modification level could be represented by a QR code inserted into the video, which can be scanned by a phone, that leads to a kahoot quiz or an interactive slider that shows the daily or weekly growth of the plant along with information at each stage. The Redefinition level could be having the students screen-record a simulation of a plant cell that shows an in-depth explanation of each organelle/structure. Then, they can use the app to make half of the video frame a timelapse of their plant and on the other half, insert the screen recording of the cell simulation. 

This is a fun way to get students to really understand the biology concepts while also getting creative with a multimedia project. It's like they get to be Biology filmmakers".

If you haven't checked out my learning project post, I highly recommend you do, as I wrote about a mind-blowing app that has changed my life and has made cooking 1000x easier). You can find that post Here.This is the video I made documenting my learning project for this week using the FilmMaker Pro app.

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