Design Short, Simple Movies with SonicPics iPad App

By Sam Gliksman

Most people walk around with constant access to a smartphone or iPad with a built-in camera. Combine that with mobile Internet access, and you can take and distribute images and video anywhere on the planet instantly. And that’s increasingly what our students are doing outside of school.

Here, you will find methods that can be used to create short movies. These methods can certainly be used with any age level, but they’re so simple that they are especially suited for use with younger children.

All you have to do is select some images and start narrating as you flip through them. The end product is a magical little movie. Using the SonicPics app is really that simple. The video quality may not win you the Oscar you’ve always coveted, but it can be wonderfully effective as an educational tool.

Create your video story in SonicPics using the following steps:

1Start a new SonicPics project by tapping the plus (+) icon on the opening screen.

You’re prompted to give your project a title and description. Enter them in the text fields and tap Create.

2Select a photo.

You should have your images all set to go and stored in your Camera Roll so that you can enter them in the photo-editing screen. Tap the Camera icon in the bottom right of the opening panel to select your first photo from your Camera Roll. Tap in the Title or Description text areas under the photo to add your own text.

If you need to change the image, just tap the Camera icon again and select a different image.

3Add and arrange images.

As you add photos, your images are displayed in order within the column on the left of the screen. Tap Add Images along the bottom of the left column to continue adding photos. If you need to change the order of the images, tap and hold the three-lined icon on the right of any image and drag it up or down to a new location in the sequence.

4Record your narration.

The next step is to record your narration. Tap the red Record button on the top right of your screen to enter the recording phase of your project. Note the following when recording:

Tap the Pause button at any time to stop and collect your thoughts; then tap it again to resume.

Your narration is synchronized with the image on display. When you’re done with that image, swipe to the left and move on to the next image. You can also tap the Photos icon to jump to a specific image in your sequence.

Tap the curved arrow Share icon on the bottom right when you’ve finished all your recordings. You’re prompted to save the project. SonicPics saves the video and returns you to your SonicPics Recordings library.

5Watch and share your masterpiece.

Sit back, break out the popcorn, and prepare to enjoy your movie by tapping the large Play icon on your project to watch it. Tap the Share icon under your project in the Recordings library to send it to your Camera Roll (Save to Library), send it via email, and more.

6Go back and edit the project.

It’s OK, even Steven Spielberg occasionally wants to make some changes to his movies. Tap the Project button on the top toolbar to go back, tap the project you want to edit, and change the images or recordings. Trying to be perfect can be such a burden, can’t it?

SonicPics is one of the simplest ways to create a digital movie on your iPad. It’s such a simple process, and the results can be quite magical. Try it out for yourself and see.

Allocate adequate time for students to work on their narration and slides before recording, and make this a clear and essential priority. If they have to rush into the creation of the videos without adequate preparation time to research, plan, and script, you won’t exploit the full educational potential of multimedia projects.