In my Amazing Animoto course my peers will master video production skills  by creating their own videos (do you want to be specific on the types of videos) and sharing them with their peers.


1. Course Topic: Amazing Animoto 1


2. Course Title & Photo: Amazing Animoto 101

3. Who is coming to your course?

The people that would come to my course are first time videographers.  This is a very basic course which is an introduction to making your first video.  I want people to be inspired and motivated by the amazing ideas that they have in their heads and making them “come to life” in a video.  This will certainly lead to motivation and engagement.  I think that veteran teachers could really use this technology to breathe life into their teaching and easily engage their students.  This speaks to the idea of human memory and as Gee points out that human memory “was designed to help us make sense of the world, see connections and find patterns, all in the service of accomplishing goals, surviving and flourishing in the world, and fulfilling our needs and desires.” (Gee, p. 26)

What will attract them?

I think once they see how easy it is and how individualized each project can be that it will be a wonderful resource for creative expression and deeper understanding of any content.   By having teachers use this Animoto, they are having students “make sense” of technology in their world as it relates to themselves.  An integration of two worlds per se.  As teachers/students view each others ideas, they meld them into their own to form a “super understanding” of any content area that is being explored.How can you attract them using the Gee quote? Talk more about this idea. Attract them by helping them see how they can make sense of the world.


Why would they want to participate in this experience?

My course would be for the first-time Animoto video user.  It is a place to explore video production and creativity in a “stress-free” environment.  People who might want to make a quick family story video, teachers, parents, virtually anyone that wants to capture a memory or share some insight with the world.  This speaks to the idea of Agency by Gee, “Humans need to feel like agents whose actions count and who have a chance of success or impact.  .  . Digital tools are opening up many ways to focus, leverage, and empower the actions of all sorts of people, to resource their creativity, and to engage their active participation.  The affinity spaces we discussed earlier are one example, too often seen out of school rather than in it.” (Gee, p. 211)


4. What do you want learners to be able to do when they are done?

 I want students to utilize their memories of meaningful things and their creativity to come to a deeper understanding while using this new technology.  They will produce a series of 3 Animoto videos.

Learning theories that are addressed in this MOOC are a reinforcement of the TPACK model.

Using an Animoto is a context that students will be engaged with because it utilizes their own creativity.

As Punya Mishra (Mishra, 2012) points out:

“Daniel Pink (2005) argues that the skills that were important in the information age (the so called “left- brain” capabilities) are necessary but not sufficient for the current emerging world. He suggests that “the ‘right brain’ qualities of inventiveness, empathy, joyfulness, and meaning—increasingly will determine who flourishes and who flounders” (p. 3) in the future. In trying to respond to these creative demands, organizations such as the Partnership for 21st Century Skills have aimed resources at infusing creative thinking into education for the 21st century.” (Mishra, p. 14)  Creativity is certainly utilized in this MOOC as students will be creating a series of their own videos.  A baseline video to begin with where students may just upload an image about themselves.  A mid-class video in which they would incorporate adding sound to their video and a third video in which they would incorporate text and reflect upon their own learning process.   The creative process is pulled in when students/teachers create the video from a baseline.  They represent themselves in creating a video as an initial representation of what they know.  As they view other classmates videos, this understanding changes as we share ideas.  During the next bank of lessons, where students add audio to their video they learn to represent their understanding by finding just the right words or just the right song to “drive the point home”.  Finally, in the third video, their creativity expands to finding just the right phrase, word, or analogy to define and represent what they are focusing on.  When we represent ideas in these multiple ways, the layering going on is somewhat analogous to multiple intelligences or multiple modalities.  That is, representing our understanding in a variety to ways but put forth in a novel and unique context.

Learning theories addressed in this MOOC:

The Design Principle that I would utilize is helping teachers/students to refrain from the “Twin Sins of Traditional Design”.  This MOOC would focus on hands-on and minds-on approach. By this, I mean that the hands-on approach is the active participation of creating a video representation of the students’ understanding.  The student is creating a visual/audio/text representation of their understanding in multimedia form.    The minds on approach speaks to the reflective process the student must undergo and identify to show where understanding has changed.  That is to say that we would not simply do the Animoto in isolation without having a reflective piece about what was learned during the process of creating one’s own video.  In addition to this, as students were working, I would build in the teacher’s ability to “Share The Screen” and conference during the actual creation phase much like a conference during Reader’s or Writer’s Workshop.  I would like students to speak to the “overarching” ideas of using Animoto and how this type of medium gets to the heart or essence of understanding.   I think that when people need to connect images to their understanding, it includes one more symbol or representation of their understanding.  It speaks to using multiple modalities with which to demonstrate understanding.

The Design tip that I would use comes directly from the book Understanding By Design (Wiggins and McTighe, p. 16)  in which the author talks about “saddling” up to the student and asking the following questions:

*What are you doing?

*Why are you being asked to do this?

*What will help you do it?

*How will you show you have learned it?

I want my learners to feel comfortable navigating the web between different sites, grabbing and uploading images and making a cohesive digital story.  The course experience would last about 4 to 6 weeks depending on the student.  MOOCs give all learners accessibility that we have never had before.  It reminds me from this scene in the movie “Accepted”.  This video speaks directly to the idea that we are all learners.  We may not “fit” into traditional molds of learning and that is o.k.  Because even though we are not “traditionally learning”  we are still learning and growing and changing.  We are all experts in something.  And we are all novices in other areas.  Authentic learning is just that, authentic.  It may not be able to measured on a “standardized test” but if it helps us in the pursuit of knowledge isn’t that what we all strive for?  The evolution of our knowledge base is in constant flux.


5. What will peers make?    Peers will make a set of three videos.  The first a basic video of pictures alone.  The second video will be pictures with audio.  The third video will be pictures, audio and text.  Merriam Webster Dictionary states that the definition of creativity is:   The ability to produce something new through imaginative skill, whether a new solution to a problem, a new method or device, or a new artistic object or form.  These videos are an artistic representation of the students’ learning over the course of the class.  They are authentic, unique and original works that represent one’s own thoughts, ideas and memories.

Skills included:

  • 1.  Navigating between websites without getting lost.  Students must be able to navigate back and forth between websites in order to collect different images, sounds, etc.

  • 2.  Creating a digital story.

  • 3. Grabbing images and uploading them.

  • 4. Adding simple text to your video.

  • 5. Choosing an appropriate background to make it visually appealing.

  • 6. Digital Citizenship (Creative Commons lesson)

6. Now that you’ve identified skills and made projects for each skill, how do those activities hang together as a course?

The technology is the Animoto, Google to search and navigate, Google and Creative Commons to look for appropriate images for Digital Citizenship, Pedagogy is the human-centered design (high interest) and the content is digital storytelling.  This also reminds me of a quote from “Why Do I Teach?”  “Knowledge, when it comes, flares up, when the time is right, from the sparks good teachers have implanted in their students’ souls.”  I think that this speaks to the teacher as a “creator” and repurposer of technology to get at the heart of the content through meaningful activities that the student is capable of doing at their own level.


7. How will peers help each other in your course?  Google Hangout,  Students will start a blog and upload their videos to their blog.  Peers can review and leave comments so that there is a digital footprint of the learning for all to learn from, peer review.  I love the idea of working in pairs to start off.  I think that this provides a great deal of scaffolding and makes the task seem a lot less scary!  Two heads generally think better than one so I would have students pair up for the first video.  This type of structure also speaks to the gradual release of the student in their own learning of becoming more independent.  Another great quote from Gee, “Some days on the site a person leads and mentors, sometimes the person follows and learns.  There is ample status and bonding for everyone.  Like a candle flame, no one loses their status because someone else gains theirs.” (Gee, p. 210)


Gee, J.(2013).  The Anti-Education Era.  Palgrave Macmillan. pg 26, 210-211.

The Merriam Webster dictionary. (1995). Dallas, TX: Zane Pub.

Mishra, P., & The Deep-Play Research Group (2012). Rethinking Technology & Creativity in the 21st Century: Crayons are the Future. TechTrends, 56(5), 13-16.

 Wiggins, G. and McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design, Expanded 2nd Edition.  Prentice Hall.  pg 13-33.



3 thoughts on “MOOC

  1. Hi Mary, I noticed some of my comments from my review of your Google Doc are still on the post in parentheses, you may want to remove them. I really like how the idea of video helps to bring about or to create a super understanding that is much deeper. I love the interactivity and the deep level of learning and understanding that will come with your course. It is very well designed and I think would be a great course to have.

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