Animated Storytelling

Created by as a Make

Create animated stories using ArtPad and Screencas-o-matic. Draw and paint a picture. Write a story about it. Then while replaying the painting of the picture capture it and your reading of your story with Screencast-o-matic. Voila, you have a video of your animated story with narration.

Make an Animated You – Cycle 1 (2013) Featured Make

Created by as a Make

Using an app called Animation Desk (but other animation tools will work), create an animated visual of yourself as part of an introductory activity. Think about how you might not just represent yourself, but also, how you will represent elements of your life or interests or personality in a visual way. How will the movement of your animation relate to the story you are trying to tell?


Create interactives with Scratch

Created by as a Make

Create interactive stories, games, and animations — and share with others in the online community. (You can also remix others’ work.)

Scratch helps people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. It’s also a great way to get into coding.

It is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab and is free.

All systems go! – 2015 Make Cycle #4

Created by as a Make

According to the dictionary, a system is “a group of interacting, interrelated, interdependent elements forming a complex whole.” There are many types of systems: human, behavioral, natural, technological, mechanical, mathematical, political, social, financial, transit, etc.

In this make, we invite you to document, analyze and reflect on the variety of systems that influence your life personally and/or professionally. Use your creativity to document an existing system, access your ingenuity to improve an existing system or use your imagination to develop a unique new system and design a novel way to explain it.

  • How can you document a system that serves a function in your life?
  • Can you add inflow to an already existing system in order to make it function more effectively?
  • Can you re(media)te a system in order to improve it?
  • What about a hack? Can you hack a system or “the system” to make it work for you in interesting new ways?
  • Can you create a new system to take the place of one that is no longer useful or has become obsolete?
  • Can you design an entirely new system for something that has yet to be imagined?

Systems can be explained using a variety of medium. Take a photograph, draw a diagram, create an infographic, draft a story, write a song, do an interpretive dance, create a recipe, make a “how to,” develop a prototype, continue to play with games….The possibilities are endless!

Below you will find some additional ideas to help you get started:

Re(media)te – 2015 Make Cycle #2

Created by as a Make

For this Make Cycle, we invite you to consider how the media we compose within (like print, sound, still and moving image, or objects) influence how we communicate and interpret.  In this Make Cycle, we will mediate and re-mediate and reflect on how the affordances of different media impact our choices, processes, and meanings.

Ryan moved from image to words in this remediation:

Remediation – as we’ll be thinking about it here – is unrelated to another use of the term in education: we are not talking about “remediating kids” as in “remedy”-ing them.  Here, the focus is on media, and ways in which moving from one medium to another changes what we are able to communicate and how we are able to do so.

The processes of mediation and remediation are occurring all around us.  When we add content to a Facebook page, personal journal, or scrapbook, we are mediating ourselves and experiences. In doing so, we work within (and sometimes push back against) the constraints of the medium. Every medium we compose within offers affordances that we can take advantage of: a photograph captures color in a way that text cannot, but text can convey conversation that happened at the moment of the photograph. Similarly, music offers the tools of pitch, rhythm, and tone color; so while a sculpture may be inspired by a song, it has to communicate differently because it works with line, texture, and dimension. When we move from one medium to another, we can notice the affordances and constraints that each medium offers (for and against) our purposes.

Make with Me!

For this Make Cycle, we would love for you to choose something (an artifact, a story, a picture, a video clip, an anything) and over the course of the week remediate it through one or more different media. A remediation cycle might start as a drawing, move to a video, then to a cross stitched text, then to a webpage. Another cycle might begin with a blog post, move to a garden sculpture, become a gif, and result in a speech. You might even may choose to browse the Makes from the first week’s cycle and remediate an introduction someone posted, with proper attribution of course!

The media you choose to work with are up to you. We hope that you will be inspired to explore at least one unfamiliar medium to prompt new understanding about what it means to translate a message from one medium to another. If you’re looking for a place to start, consider remediating your introductory artifact from the first Make Cycle. Over the course of the Make Cycle, we’ll consider how remediation draws attention to our composing processes and our identities as composers.

Check out these resources — How can we mediate and remediate?

Not sure where to start?  During last week’s Make, Karla found inspiration for remediation by taking an everyday image in the medium of digital photography (which strives to make the medium immediate, or invisible) and using some of the photo editing tools below to hypermediate, or make the presence of a mediation extremely visible. The proliferation of rainbow-enhanced profile pictures on social media sites last week speaks to the same idea, and particularly reminds us how we use the affordances of a digital medium to convey aspects of our identities.



Word Clouds


Comic Strip Creators

Sound Resources

Please share your examples of how you remediated here or in any of our online community spaces!


Hack Your Writing

Created by as a Make

In Make Cycle #4 we invite you to “Hack Your Writing.” Maybe you do not think you’re a “hacker” and associate the term exclusively with the most skillful and renegade of computer programmers. But this week we are encouraging a broader use of this term and a more open sense of its possibilities.

What does it mean to hack?

  • Hacking is playful exploration, perhaps exploiting the “weakness” in something.
  • To hack is to make innovative customizations.
  • Hackers are often computer enthusiasts.
  • Hackers often undermine authoritative systems. Hackers crack systems for “fun,” pursuing civic or collective action.

It seems that now, more than ever, the affordances of new digital tools and technologies have opened up our understanding of what it means to write. This week we are invoking a culture of remix and exploration. We propose that writing is indeed “making,” and we invite you to tinker with some writing to make something new. Remix your own writing OR remix other writing.

So Many Ways to Hack

We imagine there are multiple entry points for this week’s make cycle. One option might be to revisit something you wrote before and “dress it up” anew. If you have a notebook or journal that you’ve scribbled in, if you have jotted down a fleeting poem, or if perhaps you have penned an essay or article, this week’s make cycle might involve revisiting an old writing moment and breathing new life into a former work. Perhaps you might want to take several different pieces of writing and put them together to create a collage or compilation? Go for it!
Your own “hack” job might involve seeing something new in the everday texts of your life. Consider taking some pieces of your written world, the everyday stuff like grocery lists, fortune cookie predictions, or your favorite quote that you have up on your wall in your home or office. Re-discover the words around you, refashion them, re-order them. The literary equivalent of a collage, found poetry is often made from newspaper articles, street signs, graffiti, speeches, letters, or even other poems.

Your hacking exploration might bridge old methods of writing with the new. Consider hacking your own notebook. You can try “Paper Circuitry” as you light up your writing by creating circuits on paper using copper tape, LEDs, and some simple electronics. What new composing practices might emerge from this hack? And what new meaning and understanding might we gain as writers or as readers?

In other words, you might put analog and digital texts into conversation. Take some analog writing and bring it into a digitized universe.

  •  You might take a traditional poem and layer a multi-modal interpretation via hypertext links.
  • Use the Scratch program to explore new ways of writing and composing (just press the remix button to reinvent or animate texts).
  • You can give the “Concept in 60” digital writing method a try by demonstrating skills in audio and video recording and editing to create a rhetorically effective text.
  • Have you ever transformed your keyboard and your writing process with a Makey Makey?
  • Or how about creating a real life treasure hunt driven by digital narrative? Use your cell phone, GPS technology, and multimedia content to enhance your reader’s connection to a given place by giving locative storytelling a shot.

In short, we imagine there are many ways to infuse your “writing hack” with new found interactivity.

Check out some of these resources:

How To: Found Poetry

Line Lifting

Classroom Connections: Lesson Plan from ReadWriteThink

Paper Circuitry “Hack Your Notebook” Day

Classroom Connections: Our very own Dogtrax (Kevin Hodgson) Brings Paper Circuitry to his 6th Graders

“The Concept in 60” assignment overview

Mozilla Thimble

Mozilla Popcorn

Mozilla XRay Goggles

Mozilla Appmaker

MIT’s Scratch




An additional list of media tools can be found by clicking HERE.

And don’t forget to share what you do by adding an example below!

How to Be Video with PowToon

Created by as a Make

You can make an animated video using PowToon. PowToon has a few versions. The free and education versions have a logo in the bottom corner and limit the ways you can share and download. I haven’t found it to be a limitation for educational use. I gave this a difficulty rating of 4 because it has a learning curve. Once you figure out how to move and adjust the various factors, it is not difficult, just easy to lose hours of time fiddling with it.

Stop Motion video

Created by as a Make

A number of us in clmooc are doing stop motion videos, and others are interested in trying. Why not try yourself? Some have done it with the toy hack, but it could be done with anything and for any purpose.

Here’s a nice blog post that gives a few useful resources on making stop motion video:

One easy way to make a stop motion video is to take a series of still photos and then put them together in a movie making program like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker.

Or here are a few apps for doing it:


Blog post: Making Stopmotion movies:

Stop Animator (IOS app):

iMotion (IOS app):

Frameographer (IOS app):