iMovie: An Error Occurred During Export

Are you getting the following message when trying to export a movie from iMovie to your camera roll?


Then try going to settings–>Privacy–> and seeing if your iMovie access to your camera roll is turned off:


If it is turned off, well turn it back on again and your problem should be solved…

Lesson Plan: Another Background Documentary

250px-Persepolis-books1and2-coversIn order for our grade 8 students to have a better understanding of the Graphic novel Persepolis, the English teachers asked me to put together another background documentary project.

Like always, this project involved:

  1. Finding the information in specific print and online resources
  2. Scanning a QR code to find relevant images
  3. Filming a “panel of experts” on a given issue (eg. The Iran/Iraq war)
  4. Write a “script” using their answers. This must be in their words.
  5. Putting the whole thing together in imovie to make a documentary.

The teachers divided the class into four equal groups. Then the students began their research. This took a long time. They are so used to scanning the information, that even when they are given the exact page in the book, they tend to miss the answer. What I found most useful was circulating through the groups as they attempted to figure out this complicated issue. Having the teacher and I drop in on their discussions helped the girls understand a little better. I encouraged them to explain it to each other aloud- this seemed to work well and the students were very engaged.

Here are some sample questions:

Screen Shot 2012-12-04 at 12.10.57 PM

Screen Shot 2012-12-04 at 12.10.46 PMScreen Shot 2012-12-04 at 12.10.30 PMHere is an example of a finished documentary:

Dear Apple People, Figure out the garageband/imovie connection on the iPad please.


First thing this morning, three Grade 7 students, panicking at their looming multimedia deadline, came to me with their iPad.

Students: Please, can you show us how to put our garageband song into the imovie?

Me: Sure!

Should be easy enough, right?


After going through the same steps over and over, I capitulated and called our tech guru, who was already annoyed at all the Grade 7 last minute tech difficulties (with good reason).

Me: Hi Beth. Sorry to bother you, but could you tell us how to get a song from garage band into imovie?

Beth: Sure!


The bell rang, the students had to go to class and Beth had to take the iPad away (one of the iPad lab iPads) to figure out how to get imovie and garageband to talk to each other without the need to sync to another device.

Should be easy right?


A visual of imovie and garageband resisting the bucket. I know. Talented.

This is what Beth had to do in order to get a song recorded on the iPad, into the itunes library of the same iPad so that they could use it in their imovie produced on the same ipad:

1. Plug in Ipad to desktop.

2.Go to itunes

3. Click on the iPad icon in itunes and sync.

4. Scroll all the way down in same iPad icon to the File sharing table of contents. Click on Garage band.

5. Find song and save to desktop.

6. Go to File in the general itunes library and click Add to library.

7. Add song to library.

8. Go back to ipad in Itunes.

9. Click on music tab.

10. Choose sync selected songs.

11. Find song and sync.

12.Eject device.

This is crazy. I know, Apple people, that you have thought of many things. That our world is better for your big brains and ingenious ideas. And believe me, we want to use your products. We recommend them to students. Usually we are stupendously grateful at the way you help us help students learn.

But this is not helpful.

The students will only have their ipad at school. They need to be able to have as much functionality without having to sync to an external device as possible. This particular project required them to make a movie using original photos, an original script , their own filming as well as an original soundtrack. They did all this on the iPad, which is outstanding, until it came time to insert their song into imovie.

It seems like such a small thing. I know it probably requires some magical concatenations I can only imagine. But if you would like to give educators and students using the iPad a wonderful gift, please make it possible.

We will be even more grateful than we already are.



PS. This is a visual of what I would love for Christmas:

True love in the exotic location of the iPad. Please?

Youtube channels and the iPad Lab

One of the difficulties of the documentary project I did with Ms. Allison’s grade 8 class was that the movies were too large to email to the teacher and there was no good way to sync them without wasting a colossal amount of our tech guru’s time.

Ms. Allison had to view the movies on the iPad themselves, which meant her marking was at the mercy of other people needing the machines as well as needing to keep them in the building.

Well, a solution has presented itself! The students can create their own youtube channels via their Traf email.

Once they are signed in, they will have to create a youtube channel. They will be asked for a username and a password and then whether they want to connect it to their traf email. The answer is yes to all of the above.

Easy as pie! (actually way easier-making pie is hard).

 They can directly upload their movie to their youtube channel, making sure they check the following option:

If they choose the private, the teacher will not be able to view their project.

This is how it looks on the iPad in imovie:

After uploading their movie, they need to go to the youtube app on the ipad. There they will sign in to their account and share their project with their teacher:

Make sure the students sign out before they hand back the iPad.

If you want to embed the video, the settings must be public. As I am such a good sport, I will make this one public just to show you.

 Hopefully, your students will be producing better quality video than this one..

To Kill a Mockingbird Background Documentary Project

Last year, I devised a few scavenger hunts in the library to compliment the required reading in different English classes. They were strictly Old School (indeed, that is what I called them) in that the students were not to touch a computer to do their research. They were only to look at books, the idea being to give them some historical context for their book and at the same time showing them what kind of print resources are available in the library.

Although the students had a lot of fun scavenging, I am not sure how much information they actually retained. We only had one period to do it in and the girls would write their answers by copying directly out of the book. There was no thought, no digestion of information, nor any reason to do so as they wouldn’t be using it.

With the new ipad lab and our emphasis on the fact that it can be used for creation and not just as a content provider, I thought I would try something new. The girls still have a series of questions they must answer using books in the library. But they now need to type their answers in full sentences and in their own words using Pages. The students use another ipad to scan QR codes which will bring them to websites, or use Apps with photo archives for images. They then bring their images and texts together in imovie.

Grade 8 English Class of 18 kids= 6 groups of 3.


  • 12 ipads: 2 per group: 1 for  their “script”(answers typed in Pages), 1 for their movie production
  • 8 questions on the topic of the Great Depression and Racism in the 30s.
  • An instruction manual for the various ipad functions they will need (I made it into a PDF and saved it in ibook)
  • Apps:
    • pages
    • Qrafter (for Qr codes)
    • Safari
    • LIFE app (photos)
    • Linetime app
    • imovie
    • Photos
Behind the Scenes Guide:

The students are asked to answer 4 questions each. Each questions has two parts:
1. The research. Here they are given the name and call number of a book. They must find the book and answer the questions in full sentences and in their own words on their script ipad. They must take a photo of the book they use for their credits.
2. Visuals: Then they either scan a QR code that brings them to a digital archive or use one of the apps listed above. Here they choose images they feel best represents the concept behind the question eg. Dust Bowl). They save the images into Photos. (does this automatically when you press save image).
3. They insert the photos into imovie and record their script over top of the images..
Sample Questions:
This question uses a QR code to find suitable images for their imovie
This questions requires the student to find the Life app and screenshot images
Length of time:
Originally we had planned to take a double period for this project. However library and ipad availability as well as a shortened day meant we had a little less time during the two periods and so we need to add another period tomorrow for some of the groups to finish up their last question and put their movie together.
Ms. Allison made an awesome rubric for them and will be grading their finished product.
  • I tried to keep my explanations to a minimum as experience has taught me that information overload is a real problem. I was pleasantly surprised to see how quickly the girls understood the project and how quickly they got down to work.
  • Most of the girls understood intuitively how to use the ipad- not a whole lot of instruction was needed besides the odd functionality of an app (for example, when scanning a QR code in QRrafter, they have to open URL in Safari and not in the app itself or they won’t be able to save images from websites).
  • The project was a little too long- a double period would have been sufficient to do 3 questions properly.
  • Although Ms. Allison would be able to better judge of this, I felt that the students had a better grasp of the Great Depression and Racism in the 30s, just by virtue of having to do something with it. The conversations I had with the girls and the answers I saw confirm this.
We had our second class today and although several groups have answered their four questions, they are not finished putting their movie together. Once they do and Ms. Allison has a chance to review them, I’ll ask if I can put one up on this blog so you can view the results!

Overheard: ipads used as recording devices

Although, these days I am busy with the ipad developing an old school/new school scavenger hunt for the Grade 8 English class ( I will publish it when it is done), I haven’t done any ipad explorations with this blog in mind.

Imagine my happiness when the Mme. Science Humaines teacher came in today to borrow the ipad lab, saying she was going to use it in her class. Today she used it for research. The girls emailed themselves a document they made in keynote with their notes and next week they will film their group discussions with the ipads. That way, Mme Science Humaines, who cannot be in two places at once (I know. Slacker.) will have a better idea of the caliber of the talky talk.

A few minutes later, Ms. Drama Teacher came up to borrow a stack of books on costumes for her class tomorrow. She told me she has booked the ipad for the same purpose- the girls are going to give presentations and film themselves with the ipads! What a great, easy way to get the girls to see where they need to improve in their dramaticalness.

I love hearing how the ipad is being used around the school- if you have done something interesting, noteworthy, etc. either with your ipad or with the ipad lab, let me know and I will feature it on the blog!

A Reconnaissance Trip into Keynote

So I finally bit the bullet and purchased key note for my ipad as I was conversing with Mr. Multimedia yesterday and he was mentioning how many of his students want to do their projects on the ipad.

In order to stay ahead of these young whippersnappers (or at least on par), I thought I would try to get a couple of slides together.

The Challenge:

1. Build a couple of slides (What? I’m busy so leave me alone.)
2. Add images
3. Add shapes.
4. Play around with the text box.
5. Add animation.
6. Add sound (this is the big one as I have heard rumours, since corroborated that keynote on the ipad doesn’t allow you to embed sound directly).
7.  If I can’t add sound, find a way to get both.

1. Relatively easy (as I had just updated to ios5 the other day, Keynote automatically took me to their tutorial, which I would highly recommend you try- it shows you how to do things and then gets you to try it. I learned many things, such as how to select two things at once and move them at the same time).

2. Adding images was also very simple. Just go to the little image at the top and add media. I went to my Camera roll and retrieved the screenshots that I needed. OH! I also used the replace option on the image given in the slide template- very handy indeed!

3. I wanted to highlight a section of my picture, so I went back to the icon with the picture box and chose shapes this time. I chose the circle.
Then to the i for the  style options–> Fill I was able to select NO Fill.

 I then turned the borders on, coloured it red (I like red) and tapped the image icon to get out of the screen. I did the same for my little line that linked my text box to the circled section.

4. The text box gave me a little difficulty (at one point the keyboard would not show up) but I finally managed to make the text smaller and move it around the screen. The difficulty I had was that I inadvertently made the slide zoom out when I was trying to move my picture and I couldn’t see half of my slide. Being the swift learner that I am though (no sniggering please) I figured it out and zoomed back in.

5. Animation. The animation functions pretty much the same way as it does in powerpoint though the nomenclature is a little different. Select the object you wish to animate and then click on the diamond shaped icon beside the image icon. It will take you to the following screen:

The + sign will let you animate the object at the beginning of the slide and the – at the end. You can choose your effect (I am partial to the anvil), the order as well as whether or not you want the animation to happens before or after the others or by click:

6. Add sound. Ahh. This seems to be Keynote’s Achille’s heel. There is no way to create a soundtrack to your presentation through the ipad keynote. Why, is beyond me- all the tools necessary to do so are available. It is one of those anomalies of reason- a black hole in the order of things.

However, there is a way around it, though the animations will be lost. Take screen shots of your slides, then go to imovie. Insert the slides via the camera roll and then click on the icon of the microphone to record. I had to zoom my slides a little (done by pinching the image) so that imovie showed the whole slide:

I also had to retake my voice recording about 5 times, but that was because I realised too late that I speak with a lot of umms and ahhhs.

Here is the final version:

Okay. Maybe not a work of genius, but it gets the point across.
Thus our reconnaissance mission concludes successfully!