It’s a wrap |

It’s a wrap

Kelsey Uno, 14, knows how to shoot video footage, edit it using computer software and put together a complete DVD – skills she and some of her eighth-grade peers are using to put together Magnolia Intermediate School’s video yearbook.

Magnolia offers a video yearbook elective class that teaches students software programs such as iMovie, Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro and Live-Studio as they put together a video of the year’s events.

The yearbook DVD accompanies every copy of the hardbound print edition of the yearbook.

“We are making a movie to represent what life is like at Magnolia during a school year,” Uno said. “We started filming from August 2006. We have the whole school year to work on it.”

The idea of a video yearbook first occurred to Jeff Peach, technology curriculum specialist at Magnolia, in 2002.

“The school had a hardcover yearbook for years,” Peach said. “I thought, with all the technology we use here, why not put together a video yearbook? I was especially interested in making a student-directed project.

“The first few years, we did it on video cassette, then I had a student who was really interested to have it on DVD. He spent a lot of time and figured it out all on his own and taught me the software,” Peach said.

The present video yearbook class consists of 10 students. Most students usually start the class not knowing anything about the software they eventually master, Peach added.

“It was really hard (to learn all the software) at first, but the way Mr. Peach explained it made it easier,” Uno said. “Learning the keys on the keyboard to do certain shortcuts was the biggest challenge. Just memorizing them was really hard. Finding good clips was hard, too. Just sitting at your computer and looking at the screen and making your fingers work was the most tedious part.”

Students in the video yearbook class convene in one end of the computer laboratory, which consists of 62 Macintosh computers. The nook where the eighth-graders work is packed with equipment – DVD burners, DVD printers, VCR and DVD combo players, scanners, and TVs. There are also seven computers, which the students use specially for the yearbook project.

“It (the class) teaches you all the programs and all the technology and how to use them,” Justin Lawton, 14, said. “It’s really a fun class. In the beginning, it’s a challenge. But once you get down to it, it’s pretty easy.”

David Giroux, 13, agreed.

“Technology is a lot more fun than other classes,” he said. “It’s a lot more easygoing. You also get to help others. We work in the computer lab with classes coming in all day long. We get to help the kids of those classes as well as work on the DVD.”

At the end of the school year, the class produces 600 copies of the video yearbook.

“I learned a lot of things about computers from this class that I didn’t know before,” Uno said. “It’s just fun to be able to make a DVD and say, ‘I made this.’ It’s a great experience to have in the years to come in high school.”


To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail or call


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