How I Use It
I use iMovie in a variety of ways. In general, however, I use it with students in small groups to create a presentation or other display of knowledge learned. For example; I recently co-taught a lesson with a science teacher who was going over lab safety rules. In the past, she completed this lesson by doing some direct instruction with students. Then she used a multiple choice test to assess learning. This year, we used iMovie to enhance both part of this lesson. We used iMovie to create short, informative, and entertaining training videos for students on the proper use of lab equipment. Then, in small groups, students were presented with scenarios and used iMovie to create responses on how to safely treat each scenario based on what they learned in the self-paced training videos.
As a result of this new approach, we can assert that our students learned the material at a deeper, more meaningful level. With the old system, students had a 1 in 4 chance of getting a question correct - if they knew the answer or not. But because they were using iMovie to create an intelligent response to a well-designed prompt, they were "forced" to dig deeper. Also, having the teacher-created training videos was incredibly helpful for review and catching up absent students.
I will admit that my use of iMovie is not a "time saver" initially. It takes some effort on my part to create the training videos. However, now that I've been using it for a few years, I find myself needing to create fewer videos. This frees up some time to focus on my students. The other time consideration is the time you will need to train students to use iMovie. This is minimal - maybe a 10-15 minutes on the interface and they will figure it out from there.
Once these initial time investments are made, you will really appreciate the level of creativity and enthusiasm for learning that you receive from your students!
PS, iMovie is now FREE in the iOS store.