“Free” Video Editors

Video editing is one of the most computer-intensive functions most of us use.  Working with large file sizes and the inevitable exporting of your project really works the processor in your device.  Full-featured video editing programs like Adobe Premiere and Sony Vegas Pro are probably overkill unless you are teaching video production, plus they are expensive.  Your school may provide Premier for your school, but kids won’t have it at home or be able to use it on a Chromebook.  Fortunately, there are some free options that will do 95% of what you need for your classroom.

    • If you are in an Apple environment, there is iMovie which is included on all Macs.  There is also an iOS version for iPads, although not as robust as the Mac version.  I have used iMovie for years and teach a class in it and will be the first to admit that its interface is unusual.  It is not hard to learn, it just takes some getting used to.  Once you are familiar, it is quite easy to learn and has some great tools.
    • HitFilm Express is available for Macs and PCs.  It is free and you can pay for add-ons if wanted, but the free version does almost everything you’d want.  It has the traditional non-linear interface like Premier.  It won’t run on a Chromebook.
    • Openshot is an open-source video editor for Macs, PCs AND it can be installed on a Chromebook.  So, here you have a free basic video editor that will run on just about anything.  Now, you are not going to be able to produce a full feature movie on a Chromebook, remember there is not a lot of processing power in a Chromebook, but it will work for most school projects.
    • DaVinci Resolve – This program makes Premier look like it isn’t even trying.  Resolve is what the big boys and girls use in the film industry.  It is completely free and the company makes its money selling gear for the film industry.
    • Canva – Canva is a free cloud-based suite of tools with a huge library of elements.  The video editor is very basic with just one video and audio track and editing clips can be clumsy.  However, it is fantastic at creating small clips that can be imported into one of the above programs.  For example, animated graphics, a lively intro for your morning announcements, etc.

So, there are five possibilities.  I teach classes on all of these programs to teachers looking for professional development and salary advancement.  Of course, there are a ton of resources online for each of these programs.

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