Try and describe to 8th graders how transfer pictures and sources from 3 different computers using a server or USB drive to a common computer so you can make an iMovie. Then tell them that they have to huddle around one computer so they can "work together" and make a movie. Look at their faces. Hmpf!
After my Voicethread project went up in flames minutes before the bell (Java issues) I found myself scrambling to the the old iMovie standby. After a week of planning an authentic collaboration lesson (unfortunately, I didn't try it on a student computer) I was listening to the words coming out of my mouth and thought they sounded stupid, dumb and ridiculous. Why would I want to have my kids huddle around a computer to make a movie after getting them excited about the idea of them working on common project from different computers? Everything suddenly seemed so difficult. They were going to annotate, talk, type and video comment and now they are trying to figure how to swap pictures from different computers and how to change the length of titles.
Giant leaps....backwards! I took and deep breath and switched to Google Presentations. After a seven minute overview and sharing session I didn't really have another technical question for the rest of the block. There was one group, however, that forged ahead with iMovie, but they pulled out the USB drive during the saving process and lost their project to an error. The other groups don't have to worry about USB drives, saving, swaping, or sharing because I'm already a viewer on all their projects.
The Google Presentations highlight how technology should work in the classroom. It should make things easier, allow authentic collaboration, and be applicable to all the classes, not just this one project.