7 Top Tips for Apple Clips
By Nick Acton
16 December, 2019 by
7 Top Tips for Apple Clips
Nick Acton Music

7 Creative Ways of Using Clips for Teaching, Learning and Assessment in the Classroom

Apple’s continuing dedication to creativity means that they are always dropping new and exciting apps into our laps. For example, ‘Music Memos’ was a great little addition to the Apple family. An app that enables musicians to write melodies with automatic beats and chord progressions attaching themselves to your audio. None, however, are more creatively open-ended than Clips

This little app contains everything you would need to make fun film clips. Think of it as iMovie’s little energetic brother. Clips is designed to enable its users to make short movies with enough creative flair to show off personality and style. With just a few taps you can make and share a brilliant little video. You might be thinking, this sounds a bit like Instagram or Snapchat and you’d be right to a certain extent. The app has the feel and looks of those two social media giants without it actually being attached to any social media. 

So, how does this all fit within education? What can the app bring to the classroom table? Well, it’s snappiness certainly provides a new platform for creative content. Here are some top tips on how to bring Clips into your lessons… 

1. Speaking and Listening 

Clips absolutely lends itself to Speaking and Listening objectives. At its very simplest it’s a filming app. Using the selfie camera a child can instantly capture themselves speaking directly to the device. This technique of capturing speech might seem strange to some, but I guarantee that most of the children will see this as a natural way of creating some content (largely down to YouTubers). Why not capture an entire monologue like this? Maybe the children can write and perform poetry or stories to be captured on Clips? Short dramatic scenes can be shot on the app. It’s a perfect tool for encouraging expressive speaking and dynamic performances.

2. Provision

Using clips to create content is a useful option for many children to have in their back pockets. The Live Titles in the app dictate your spoken words into text that pops up alongside the audio of you speaking. This not only creates an effective visual but it also highlights the language used by the individual filming themselves. On top of that, the app actively writes the content for you. For children who struggle to get their point across, Clips can be a relief from the frustration of not knowing how to spell a word or poor handwriting. Unconfident children may well choose to create a video on Clips rather than standing in front of the class. These provisions can be extremely powerful and they all come from a simplistic app that won’t distract from the main learning objectives of your lesson.

Odoo • Text and Image                 

3. Peer to peer teaching

We all know that, in the most part, children respond well to learning from each other. Whether it’s breaking down mathematical processes or explaining how to bowl a ball perfectly, classmates find huge value in working it out together. Clips feeds directly in to that. Children can quickly create explanation videos on the app. They can title their processes using the text and/or add helpful pointers like arrows from the stickers. With a few videos quickly and easily spliced together on Clips, a child can make an in depth explanation for their whole class to watch again and again. 

4. Assessment

Of course, all of the instantaneousness and ease of use applies to teachers utilising the app as well. I think that it is the perfect app to help educators capture progress in their classrooms. At the tap of just two buttons you could be filming something. This, coupled with the fact that you can add text to it later, means that you can create meaningful assessment footage quickly and easily. This footage can then be saved or shared to whatever platform you/’d like it to go on. After it’s exported, the video becomes a standard video film that can be opened and used on most devices / software. 

Odoo • Image and Text

5. Dynamic starters

Another way that Teachers can really get a lot out of the app is by adding a bit of creative flare themselves. Whether we like it or not, children undeniably respond to screens. I would bet that any class would be more engaged watching you explain something at the start of a lesson on a screen, than they would be if you were standing at the front of the class in actuality. Clips is a great platform to make video starters happen. With a wide range of filters built in to the app, you can increase the production value massively with very little effort. History objectives could be explained to the children under a black and white filter. Background music can be added to make it even more exciting.

6. Digital posters

Making a poster is always a lovely objective. The kids love it and most teachers love it to. It’s a way of tricking children into summing up their learning on a topic whilst simultaneously creating a nice piece of work for a display. Clips can provide a different way of approaching that objective. Strangely, (for an app that is designed to create videos) you don’t need to film or record anything on Clips. You can use it as a purely visual tool. Taking a picture and adding all sorts of fun and interesting filters on the app shows a real eye for design. On top of that, children can add text and stickers to make their posters really attractive.

Odoo • Text and Image

7. Digital fact files

The images you add to Clips don’t have to come from your camera roll. It can come from the internet via your camera roll. A nice way of using the app is to compile some images for the children to talk over. This could be a teacher lead or child lead activity. Why not have the children explain the water cycle over the top of evaporation, condensing, precipitating and groundwater images? Why not have the children express facts about the Romans over some pictures of Rome? The objective is simple and the application is easy to use. Those two elements mean that each individual could create a lovely piece of work with very little complication. 

In Summary...

Clips was never intended to be a powerful video editing tool with all the functionality of professional software. Leave that to its older brothers and sisters. Clips is intended to be a quick and easy tool that can be utilised to great effect in a moment’s notice. It is that intention that makes it the perfect tool for any teacher or school child to have in their back pockets. Schools can be a (how can a put this nicely) turbulent places. Plans can change with little to no warning. Assemblies can be canceled. Extra rehearsals for the school play can be needed. Someone can book the hall out before you. In a world as ‘modular’ as this, teachers need effective quick wins that they can fall back on. Whilst I maintain that Clips is a great tool to plan into lessons, I also see it as one of the best apps to use when you have five minutes to pull something out of the bag. Just like its nature, Clips is perfect for short sharp bursts. 

Nick Acton is an Apple Curriculum Specialist at JTRS as well as being a part-time Computing and Music teacher. Through the creation of bespoke training, Nick specialises in empowering educators so they can embed Apple technologies into their day-to-day classroom practice.