Adobe Premiere Rush is a simple to use video creation tool that includes powerful camera features, video editing, and publishing features. It syncs and works on all platforms. It has replaced my use of iMovie in the classroom with my students because it is more robust. Simply put, Adobe Premiere Rush leads my students to more professional video creation, faster. In this blog post, I’m going to share five main reasons Adobe Premiere Rush encourages creativity. I’ll also dive into some of the features that have me most excited as a classroom teacher.
Why Video? If Patrick Henry and George Washington were founding the United States, I think they would make YouTube videos, not print pamphlets.
Video is the modern essay. Creating videos and understanding the “visual grammar” to become a powerful video storyteller are essential aspects of what I teach in my classroom. In addition to connecting to content, I want to create an environment that inspires my students to be more creative. Here’s how.
1. Teach Camera Use and Shot Composition
First, before teaching video making, Adobe Premiere Rush can teach students how to compose a shot.
For example, since I started teaching moviemaking with my students in 2006, I have used a Storyboard Dictionary of shots that I originally adapted from the American Film Institute. Often, I start teaching film by having students create a living shot dictionary. Teams of three students receive five shots each to duplicate on film. Then, we put all of the films together into one video. When we watch it, they more clearly understand the different types of shots.
Adobe Premiere Rush helps me teach camera modes and composition in several ways.
First, when students shoot inside Adobe Premiere Rush, they can turn on grids and have guides to help focus their shots and apply the “principle of thirds,” for example.
I like the grid lines because I can teach students to line up the major elements in their shot with the grid lines. A shot is better composed when it is along the thirds. (Many beginners will make a mistake and put the person or item in the center of the frame.) For these reasons, gridlines are a must-use in my classroom.
AUTO OR “PRO”
AUTO. Beginners will find that auto control helps them get started, but I like the “PRO” features as we work to get more advanced. Don’t get confused, you can turn to the PRO feature and still leave the more difficult things like ISO and shutter speed on automatic while changing other settings.
PRO. When students toggle to “pro” (typically not their first project), they can turn off auto exposure, turn off ISO and adjust shutter speed. These manual control features can allow me to be more advanced with those students who are ready or those who already have some experience with cameras. I love that this works with their individual mobile phone cameras.
The biggest challenge I’ve found is helping students shoot at the appropriate resolution and frame rate. For example, if we’re going to be combining the videos, it just makes sense to have their settings be the same.
However, I am more familiar with iPhones. When my students use the camera settings within Adobe Premiere Rush, I can help them adjust resolution, frame rate, and zoom.
I do encourage students to “sandbox” or play as they are using the app the first time and this is definitely something they can get creative with for that first video.
CAMERA FEATURES ARE EASIER INSIDE ADOBE PREMIERE RUSH
In conclusion, I like having all of the camera settings in one place. So no matter what device my students are using, everything is right there in a common format for me. I don’t have to hunt or get frustrated, Adobe Premiere Rush pulls the camera features into the app and lets students change it there.
If this were the only thing Adobe Premiere Rush did, it would be worth it to me to use the app.
2. Edit Videos on Any Device
The second reason I recommend Adobe Premiere Rush is the simple video editing workflow for my students. It is good for beginners, perfect for a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) school like mine, and the projects sync between all devices.
Teaching Tip: I’d like to note here that my school has a full Adobe subscription for our students. Last year, we realized that Adobe had a pricing model that let us subscribe to the whole Creative Cloud Suite for all of our students and faculty. We did it and it has been a fantastic resource for creativity for our students and faculty. So, as we work on these projects, we are using the Adobe Creative Cloud to sync the projects. You’ll want to look at your individual setup and test your syncing as it could be different from mine.
As we teach any subjects, we teachers like to scaffold. This means we build systematically on prior knowledge and experience. So, I like the simple way Adobe Premiere Rush brings students into the video-making process.
When students first open their device, a simple tutorial teaches them how to use Adobe Premiere Rush and gets them started.
Additionally, even if we are only working on mobile devices, students can make a full video with b-roll and music on any of their devices.
So, whether they have an iPhone, iPad, Android, PC, or Mac – students have a consistent view as they work on their video.
I no longer have to give instructions by device or choose something like iMovie which only works on Apple devices or requires my students with Androids to bring in their sync cables.
One app… any device. Simplicity for me (and my students!)
BYOD FRIENDLY WITH CLOUD SYNC
In addition, students can start by filming on their phones and house the content in Adobe Premiere Rush. Then, it syncs with their other devices. (You can also tell it not to sync with a device if space is limited.)
I like this because for my Student News Broadcast we use Adobe Premiere Pro, so students can start in Adobe Premiere Rush and then import over into Adobe Premiere Pro.
They can also open Adobe Premiere Rush on a Mac, add the introduction “bumper” or ending bumper and then it syncs as they finish editing on their device.
Cloud Sync Options
By default, Adobe Premiere Rush saves all media and projects to Creative Cloud. If you have an iPhone, you can either import the content on another device and let it sync inside the project or you can store it locally on the device.
Dropbox is integrated natively into the Adobe Premiere Rush tool, so students can speed up editing and post it faster, whether you’re working on mobile, tablet, or desktop. After students shoot content and upload it to Dropbox, a team of students can access and preview the clips on any device using Dropbox and pull them into Premiere Rush.
A problem I’ve had in years past was the difficulty between devices that edited at different quality levels. For example, newer phones can shoot in 4K and older phones cannot. So, when putting the film into Adobe Premiere Rush, it adapts to the device you are editing on without dropping frames.
Teaching Tip As always, test your project first, but in my experience film of all types smoothly moves between the different platforms. I’ve never seen such an adaptive tool and this simplicity is why I’m using it now.
Eventually, I want my students to edit in Adobe Premiere Pro in our Mac lab. If a student learns quickly and is ready before the other students, we can easily export to Adobe Premiere Pro from Adobe Premiere Rush. Then, we can use the powerful Adobe After Effects to add additional special effects.
While the interface is more advanced, students are comfortable leveling up because Adobe Premiere Pro shares some common menus and terminology with Adobe Premiere Rush.
By using Adobe Premiere Rush, I find it easy to scaffold and level up student abilities.
One Thing to Keep in Mind
I did have one eager student who heard we were going to use Adobe Premiere Rush and went home and made a personal account to create her movie. After she came to school and created her Adobe school account, she could not move the project over from her personal account to her school account.
SIMPLE VIDEO EDITING
The easy, portable way students can edit their film on any device makes Adobe Premiere Rush my video teaching tool of choice for beginners.
3. Create Engaging Projects
The third way Adobe Premiere Rush promotes creativity is the interest students have in YouTube, Instagram, and social media style videos. While Adobe Premiere Pro is used for many Hollywood Movies (and has the advanced features to go with it), Adobe Premiere Rush is targeted specifically to the social type of videos students watch on a daily basis.
THE COOL FACTOR
Some popular YouTubers use Adobe Premiere Rush as their tool of choice. While I often make my own tutorial videos for students, I do sometimes use the videos made by popular YouTubers to teach Adobe Premiere Rush. For example, the video on transitions by Skimboarder Amber Torrealba, the camera tutorial by Manny Ortiz and the title-editing tutorial by Shonduras are all some examples that make this tool more appealing and get students eager to use it. I post these as resources for students who need ideas for workflow and how things are used.
While professional YouTubers will shoot on their phones and edit on the plane, my students can edit on their phones on the way to school. This anywhere, anytime editing approach makes it simple for students to work.
Teaching Tip I do encourage students who are going to edit at home and may not have high-speed internet to make sure they have synced their movie before they leave school.
We store phones in a receptacle turned off when not being used for classroom instruction. This means I have to give them a reminder to turn on their phones and sync before leaving class.
Students can preview and review their videos. If students are creating Instagram style “Boomerangs’, they can loop the videos and view them as if they were on Instagram.
RELEVANT, INTERESTING PROJECTS
Of course, it is up to us as the teachers to create projects that are interesting and relevant to our curriculum. In my Computer Science course, my students have been studying the convergence of technology. Their current project is to create a commercial as if a predicted convergence already exists.
While their projects won’t end up on YouTube, I’ve asked them to create the project as if it will.
4. Make High-Quality Video
The fourth way Adobe Premiere Rush inspires creativity is the powerful features that are part of the program. Don’t let the simple, transportable interface fool you. There are some professional features under the hood.
AUTO DUCK FEATURE
A great video has great audio. One of the most incredible features included in Adobe Premiere Rush is the Auto Duck feature.
If a student has a voiceover and wants to add a music track as well, Auto Duck will automatically take the music down when the student actor is talking. Then, when no one is talking, the music restart. This saves so much time and is a feature that is also in Premiere Pro.
Teaching Tip This little trick will make your students’ videos improve in quality. So, teach Auto Duck even to beginners.
COLOR CORRECTIONS AND FILTERS
Adobe Premiere Rush includes color corrections and filters. Therefore, students can change the look of the film based on the colors they want to emphasize. Having these filters unlocks so much more creativity.
By having these filters inside Adobe Premiere Rush instead of putting it on the original film, students are able to edit it later.
Teaching Tip If you want to use a green screen or chroma key, I recommend that students edit in Adobe Premiere Rush first. Then, export over to Premiere Pro where they can remove the green screen and add backgrounds. Again, if you have the Adobe subscription for your school, this is simple to do.
VIDEO STREAMS (B-ROLL)
When students create a news report, adding “b-roll” makes the report look more professional. So, for example, when my students interviewed sports captains, they added video from games on top of the conversation.
While students can use the default titles and text on the videos, they can click “edit” and access more editing options. Students can change the font, style, color (fill and outline), and size of the text. They can also change the opacity and make it more transparent.
One of the frustrations with the other tools I’ve used with students before is the inability to customize. Adobe Premiere Rush allows students to get creative by customizing the titles.
Students can use the default transition settings, but can also adjust the length of transitions and customize them as needed. If a school has access to Adobe Stock, students can even use professional transitions from that service. (If you have a school broadcast, you might want access to Adobe Stock even if you don’t give it to all of your students.)
5. Publish for an Audience
Students need an audience, even if it is just the rest of the class. If you start using Adobe Premiere Rush to teach, you’ll find that students will begin sharing their videos.
Teaching Tip Be clear with students about where their films will end up when you’re done. Some students are happy to act on film if it is just shown to the class but do not want their acting to be shown on YouTube. Additionally, parent permission forms are required for underage actors on YouTube. Be proactive with your project. I have typically not posted first projects on social media. Eventually, some projects do end up on Facebook and YouTube with permission.
KNOW YOUR PLAN
If your students use the personal version of Adobe Premiere Rush, the starter plan has three video projects. The Pro version is unlimited (but may be limited by your cloud storage space of choice).
Teaching Tip Just make sure to communicate the plan students are on. They could create personal projects and run out of space!
Adobe Premiere Rush simplifies the process of publishing to many different social platforms.
Local File Students can publish the file locally on their device. I find this helpful for uploading to Google Classroom or Airdropping the file to my Mac for display to the whole class. It can also be imported into a larger project. I always want a local copy of each project, even if students are publishing elsewhere.
YouTube Students can publish directly to the YouTube accounts associated with their Google accounts. (If the feature is enabled by their administrator.) Additionally, they can schedule a time for it to go live and customize the thumbnail.
Facebook I have never had students post directly to Facebook, but I have personally done this. Again, you can customize the thumbnail and schedule the posting.
Instagram You can post directly to Instagram in its format for videos as well. In fact, I would prefer Adobe Premiere Rush for Instagram posts over Premiere because you can preview the video more easily. You can use this format in your Google classroom. Then, let students look at them on their phones. Using this tip, you can create a sort of social sharing environment inside your classroom management system.
AUDIENCE IS IMPORTANT
The fifth way that Adobe Premiere Rush inspires creativity is how easy it makes video sharing on different platforms. It guides you through the publishing process without all of the “geek speak” required in most filmmaking programs.
Teaching Tip In my classroom, we have a “screening party” where we watch the films (and often bring snacks). During these casual conversations, we’ll discuss what we’ve learned. We also do the “paper plate awards”. We come up with awards. Categories can be something like “best transition” or “best use of titles” or “best actor”. Students use markers and paper plates to create these awards. When presented at the end, these awards are often treasured. Handing them out is a highlight of the course.
Inspiring Creativity with Adobe Premiere Rush
I hope these teaching tips, feature explanations, and lesson plan pointers will help bring video creativity into your classroom. Perhaps you’ll see why I’ve chosen Adobe Premiere Rush to immerse students into the world of digital film. Teaching film is a joy! I appreciate how my students and I can now focus on storytelling because our tools have gotten easier to learn.
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