I’m a huge fan of the Windows Live set of tools. I use Windows Live Writer to write and post all of my blog posts (to several different blog engines BTW) and Windows Live Messenger keeps me connected to friends all over the world. And Photo Gallery has a lot of great features. Sticking together several shots into panoramas is a big favorite of mine. The version of Movie Maker that was available for Windows Vista and Windows 7 lagged behind a bit. The version for Windows XP was actually a little better. But that has changed. I found this announcement in my email yesterday.

Today, Microsoft announced the global availability of the new Windows Live Movie Maker. With the new Windows Live Movie Maker, it’s easier to turn videos and photos into great-looking movies and slideshows, using many popular camera types and file formats on the market today. It’s an effective tool for teachers to bring the benefits of multimedia to the classroom, where it can help engage students and increase retention.

One of the key enhancements that teachers and students will use is the sharing capability. Once a movie is complete, it can be easily shared with other teachers, students or even friends and family across TV, PC or mobile device or by uploading them to video-sharing sites.

Teachers and students can download the new Windows Live Movie Maker for free by going to download.live.com.

I really like the idea of easy sharing for example. Students love to share their work and of course many of them are already excited about the idea of making movies. This is a multi-media generation and they are not interested in static poster board displays. Not in seeing them and not in creating them. My wife has been using a Flip video with her students and I know she is excited to do more with it this school year. I know a lot of other teachers who are doing the same. Making movies engages students. So I think the timing on this announcement is great.

BTW I am hoping to put some educational videos together about various computer science concepts. This is the tool I plan to use to edit them. Are you working on video demos? I’d love to hear about them if you are.

To learn more about the new Movie Maker (for Vista and Windows 7) and see real movies created with Movie Maker, please visit www.moviemakerpreview.com or check out the Windows Live team blog post. (Lots of helpful links and information at the Windows Live Movie Maker Blog Post BTW so I might start there.