‘How I use Microsoft’s Window Movie Maker to convey the message of my lessons to my learners’ by #MIEExpert from South Africa, Phuti Ragaphola

This is a guest post from Phuti Ragopahala, one of South Africa’s Microsoft MIEExperts for 2015. Phuti is a school principal who will be travelling to the Global Forum in Dubai in a week’s time. Her blog and this post can be seen at http://itandiksproject.blogspot.com/ . Her Microsoft Sway can be found at https://sway.com/q1BMnYZek9jiD3ZI

What I’ve learnt in life is that one of the powerful tool of learning is through sharing of knowledge so that we can harvest some innovative ideas from each other and use them in our various learning institution. I want to share with you how I used Window Movie Maker in a learning activity to summarize the lesson in class with learners.


Introduction to my project

This is one of my innovative projects that emerged from my lesson in class with learners. I offer Economics and Management Sciences to Grade 7. The theme of this lesson was ‘Poverty and Inequality in South Africa’. I taught them on how the new democratic government came up with various projects to alleviate poverty and bridge the gap between the ‘Haves’ and the ‘Have Nots’ (Gini Coefficient).

1. After learning the theory I challenged them to think and create projects that can be used by the local community and learners to alleviate poverty and bridge inequality.

2. Through the skills from Food and Trees for Africa, the University of Limpopo , and various websites like Khan Academy, the educators and support staff plus the learners used the backyard garden at our school to plant vegetables and some green herbs. They harvested and made some herbal medicines with green herbs as way of benefiting the needy who cannot access professional doctors due to unemployment.. Through vegetable gardening they learnt how to dry surplus vegetables to preserve food for longer use as a way of fighting poverty. My main objective, always, is not just to teach but to equip learners with the survival skills that will benefit them and inspire their future career plans. Today’s generation learn best by doing not by absorbing the knowledge.

Windows Movie Maker – a favourite application

From the Microsoft free resources that I downloaded to beef up, enhance, rejuvenate and transform my lessons I used an app called Window Movie Maker. This is one of my favourite apps that both the learners and  I enjoy so much. This is how it is done step by step:

Step 1

First use your camera, video, memory sticks, PC/tablets whenever you are facilitating your learning activities in class, and take photos or videos. 

Step 2

Have time with your learners to teach them on how to download the images from the camera to PC/tablet if you are using a separate camera. (I taught them on how I download free resources from the Microsoft Educator Network. We downloaded Sticky Sorter, SongSmith, Auto Collage, Shape Collage, animation, Window Movie Maker and many others.)


Open the programmes section, click Window Movie Maker and start uploading the images according to your project plan timetable.  

Step 4

On the first slides insert the title of the project, participants and role players. On the last slides I insert the place where the movie was done and thank the various people who took part.

Step 5

Record your voice through the built in microphone. 

Step 6

Insert words on images so that when the film rolls, the words do the explanation. Save and upload in your resources section ready to be published

The lesson I learnt from this activity

  • Today’s learners learn by using all their multi sensory organs to make sense of what they learnt
  • They want to create knowledge and put it down the way they understand
  • Teaching and learning should not be theory only but should be followed by practical work to convey the gist of the lesson hence project based learning approach
  • Manual way of doing things in class should be faced out and give way to a classroom filled with gadgets for learners to enjoy their schooling
  • “Teaching and learning has changed” said Anthony Salcito in Barcelona global conference in March 2014. It is true. I witnessed it several times in class with my learners. The way they learn is not the way I learnt.”
  • “As educators we need to change our way of teaching” says Phuti Ragophala the principal of Pula Madibogo Primary School in Limpopo province Polokwane South Africa.

View the final video and enjoy it


This is the video made of images about how our All Purpose Ointment was made by learners to assist the unemployed community members and learners who cannot access professional medicines (hence the Gini Co efficient status in the community). Through this project learners and community members acquired skills on how to make their own medicines using green herbs by planting their own drugs in the backyard. Many learners got inspired to think about becoming researchers, doctors and scientists, hence the title: ‘Today’s learners! Tomorrow’s great thinkers and scientists!’ From this video we learnt that knowledge is created and absorbed when using the Project Learning Approach and method of teaching and learning.


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