Trying to Pirate Teach

So, it was a rainy Saturday and I am glad for I have a task ahead that frankly makes me queasy. It’s that climbing aboard an unknown ship and little known destination. Last weekend I wanted to be individual and think out-of-the-box. I wanted to implore knowledge and encourage a preservice teacher with a task of great importance, but rarely considered as we pass though our teaching days. So, I was required to choose an enduring statement that would ultimately lead to a virtual lesson and the creation of an assessment through technology. Here’s where my course of individuality landed me:

Enduring Statement:

A desk management and organization system offer students’ independence and requires student responsibility which contributes to the flow and well-being of the classroom.

Learning Objective: At the end of this lesson, you will be able to explain the importance of developing organizational skills through desk management in the elementary classroom.

Plan of Attack – Following Learning Theory or Instructional Design format – Understanding by Design

To fully explain the importance of organizational skills through the importance of desk management, the student will use language and photographs with a video tool/movie maker. This digital storytelling tool will encourage creativity, organization, and provide clear understanding of desk organization’s role in a classroom.

Strategically rationalizing the attack…

Converting photographs, music, and language into mini-movies or trailers, video tools like stupeflix, animoto, and iMovie offer storytelling opportunities. Recently, I had the pleasure of reading, with a class of twenty-six second graders and covering nine graduate hours this year, time allotted for pleasure reading is limited, but skimming through Dave Burgess, Teach Like a Pirate. His book engages his reader with practical ideas to create and engaging classroom. He encourages teachers to include the arts into lessons – he encourages us to use music and visual arts! Combining art, creativity, knowledge, and literacy skills, movie making and digital storytelling triumphantly engage learners. According to Beth Newingham, the movie-making process helps students understand, reinforce, and review new concepts,” (2010) Students utilize the templates guiding sequence for narrative and informative pieces. Tools used for digital storytelling parallel road maps leading to specific destinations,  (Teaching, n.d.) Additionally, when used with groups of students, the deliberate collaboration and practice using communication, talents, and compromise to make artistic and credible decisions requires valuable life lessons. Furthermore, the video products can be used as a tool to reteach previous ideas, skills, and information! Digital storytelling and movie making provide the opportunity to organize information, solidify knowledge, and communicate deeper understanding.

To compare animoto, stupeflix, and iMovie, I created a chart organizing the advantages of each tool. There are other video creation tools, but I wanted inexpensive and ease, (Top 7, 2014).Honestly, the features and expense seemed quite similar to me, the average technology user. Using each of them, with minimal effort and mostly ease, I created interesting, engaging, short films with unique themes. I noticed three great differences. First, admittedly having little importance, I do not like the name of Stupefilx. I cannot imagine why any company would put some or all of the word, “STUPID,” in its name. Just the name conjures images lacking intelligence and stupidity. That being said, Stupeflix’s not-so-stupid advantage uploads completed video directly to YouTube in minutes. Animoto and iMovie have the capability, but users spend more time uploading. IMovie’s fabulous editing options allow individual and seamless visual and musical transitions. However, despite Animoto’s limitation to text and captions, Animoto’s simple platform, unique and extensive themes, and connection through both mobile and desktops, encouraged my decision to utilize video creators for the preservice-teacher assessment and Animoto for my example project.





3 levels

free – $29 per month

Stupeflix for Ed Account

  • Free videos up to 20 Minutes long

  • Direct upload to YouTube

  • 16 themes

  • Free to try

  • Creates professional looking videos

  • Export videos in High Quality and High Definition up to 720p

  • Automated upload to your YouTube or Facebook account

  • Integration with Google Apps

  • Online application available anytime, anywhere.


Software accompanying a Mac/iPad/apple products

  • Apple Products only

  • Creative themes

  • Individual transitions

  • HQ Definition

  • Professional

  • Upload to other media

  • Can be downloaded on PC


Leveled Pricing

Free – $29.99 per month

Education Acct. Free

  • Limited caption characters (weakness)

  • Unlimited videos

  • Connect to other media

  • HQ Definition

  • No experience needed

  • Online application available anytime, anywhere – mobile device/desktop



Burgess, D. (2012). Teach like a pirate: Increase student engagement, boost your creativity, and transform your life as an educator. San Diego, CA: Dave Burgess Consulting.

Newingham, B. (2010, January 10). Movie-Making in the Classroom | Retrieved May 31, 2015, from

Teaching, home of the National History Education Clearinghouse. (n.d.). Retrieved May 31, 2015, from

Top 7 Best Online Video Creation and Editing Services. (2014, October 30). Retrieved May 31, 2015, from


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