Review by Emily Major, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2017
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Clips

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Create and share videos with cool effects, tons of language options

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • Arts

Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Creativity
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
8–12
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (2 Reviews)

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Pros: Integrates seamlessly with Apple's photo and music libraries; video captions are available in many languages.

Cons: "Smart" social sharing could be too easy; teachers will want to teach kids about privacy concerns.

Bottom Line: This slick video creation app is fun, empowering, and accessible in lots of languages, but be careful with sharing.

Teachers and students can use Clips to create engaging, accessible video presentations that can include Live Titles (captions), music, and fun labels or animated posters. Teachers might create a short video to introduce a class project or even record video instructions in advance for a substitute teacher to play for the class. Students can use Clips as a creative way to demonstrate learning: to describe a concept, deliver a book report, or tell a story. Kids might interview several classmates on a subject and then learn how to edit the video using the simple Trim feature. Since the captions feature is available in so many languages, Clips is a great option for practicing and presenting in foreign language classes. 

Creating live captions could be an opportunity to stress the importance of accessibility in media creation. Ask students why captions might be important and who could benefit from them. Also, social sharing is a big component of Clips, so try using a class account to model safe, responsible sharing on social media. 

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Clips is a video creation and editing app for iOS devices. Toggle between Camera, Library, and Posters to get started. You can take a photo or video from within the app or choose an existing photo or video from your camera roll to begin. Or you can browse the animated Posters section to choose a themed template like "My Story" or "Did you know?" To record video, hold down the pink bar and swipe up for continuous recording. Then tap to stop recording. The steps are intuitive, and there are helpful pop-up instructions providing guidance along the way. Speak while recording video to add Live Titles (captions) in a variety of styles; layer on effects like filters, labels, stickers, and emojis; and edit videos with a simple trim feature. Choose from a list of soundtracks or select from your own music library to add audio that matches the length of your video. Once you're happy with your video, save it to your photo library or share it via email, text message, YouTube, or social media. 

Since Clips is an Apple product, it's no surprise that the creation experience integrates seamlessly with the photo and music libraries on your iOS device. Your videos automatically save within the app's Projects library (click the icon in the top left of the screen to access) so you know where to find all of your creations. The app works with iCloud, so you can sync your video projects across multiple iOS devices. Students can download the free app on their device without having to provide any log-in information beyond their Apple ID password. 

Like other media creation tools, Clips can be highly personalized and empowering: Students can choose photos and videos from their own collections or record live video, apply their own music, and record their voices. Live Titles are available in a long list of languages, making this app especially appealing for ELLs and foreign language classes. Clips isn't explicitly educational, however, and there are no classroom-specific templates or support resources; teachers will need to position this type of media creation within their lessons. That said, students will get creative while producing and editing their videos and they'll think critically about how to best present their argument, narrative, or research.

Since sharing is integrated so seamlessly into the creation process, teachers will want to go over privacy concerns with students before using the app. Clips uses "smart" sharing: It attempts to recognize who's in your video and, based on who you share with most often, it presents those people as suggestions for sharing. It's easy to tap any of the suggested names to send a video via text message, or tap a social media icon to share online. Also, keep in mind that there are commercial Poster and Sticker categories -- Star Wars, Mickey and Friends, and Pixar -- alongside the more general options, so kids are exposed to consumer branding within the creation process. Though the app's video editing tool (Trim) is easy to use, advanced users will likely look for more complex features elsewhere.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

The creation process is streamlined, with personalization options and special effects that keep students immersed in video creation and editing.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Students will practice creativity and presentation skills. With teacher guidance, kids can also learn the importance of accessibility and safe sharing.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

There isn't a how-to tutorial or support section, but there are helpful pop-up instructions providing guidance along the way.


Common Sense Reviewer
Emily Major Common Sense Education

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