Making of the #etmooc Lipdub

I’ve been busy with #etmooc, a MOOC focused on educational technology & media. We’re nearing the (official) end of our first topic, Connected Learning, and late last night, we published a crowdsourced, #etmooc lipdub project. I feel that the video accurately captures the energy and personalities of #etmooc participants, and the spirit of sharing and connecting that has dominated this experience. Take a look.

Several people wanted to me to share the process of creating this lipdub, so I am detailing the steps in this post. The inspiration for this video came from the project Dean Shareski crowdsourced and edited for my 40th birthday. He’s previously shared his process which is similar to what we ended up doing.

So here are the steps:

  1. After getting some support for the idea of a lipdub project, I created a Google Form which collected nominations for the song we would eventually choose. I also gathered nominations directly in our #etmooc Google+ Community and via Twitter.
  2. I took the top 10 most nominated songs and added them to a PollEverywhere poll. It was a close race, and you can see the final results here.
  3. I created an editable Google Doc (see it here) that included a background to the project, song lyrics (found easily via Google), and instructions for submitting video. As you can see in the document, people volunteered for a specific line in the song and were asked to create and upload a video.
  4. Video was uploaded to my Dropbox account by using a connecting service called DropItToMe. This latter service allowed participants to upload video to a specific folder in my Dropbox account without me having to explicitly share that folder with every single person. As well, people couldn’t see, edit, or delete the videos of others,  so this made this project potentially more manageable. DropItToMe worked really well, and also has great application for other classroom projects.
  5. For people using mobile devices, DropItToMe wouldn’t have been as convenient. Instead, I specified an email account where files could be sent. If you notice, the email address was This is actually an alias address based on my real, account. If you have a Gmail email address you can add +’anything’ to the username to create an email alias – this makes it easy to create specific filters for special projects, to sort email as it comes in.
  6. It is important to note that I specified a naming convention for files. I had people include name, geographic location, and song line #. This made these videos fairly easy to manage and reference.
  7. Once the videos had all been uploaded, I shared my Dropbox folder with @stumpteacher who agreed to do the actual video editing – that was the hard work!
  8. After a few drafts, the final copy was uploaded to Youtube. Like magic! Kinda.

There were a few minor things that would have made things easier.

  1. The naming convention that I chose had the line # at the end, instead of at the beginning. Had I asked for the line # at the beginning, it would have made it easier to sort these videos in numerical order in Dropbox.
  2. I  should have asked for slightly longer clips so that there would have been the possibility of more overlap. A few clips ended up being quite short.
  3. Perhaps, I should have asked for a standard aspect ratio from participants – we had a mix of 4:3 and 16:9 – as well as a minimum resolution (480p or better?). Yet, in some ways, I feel that the mix may have actually added to the overall feel of this video.
  4. Perhaps I should have shared this PSA on Vertical Video Syndrome (VVS). Yet, again, the mix may have added to the overall feel. I’m really not sure.

That may be it. Thanks to everyone for being part of this project, and special thanks to Josh for his tireless editing and attention to detail. It’s truly a project that makes my heart warm – that helps to represent the human connection in these learning networks – the joy, the fun, the passion, the creativity. And, as @cogdog tweeted:


5 thoughts on “Making of the #etmooc Lipdub

  1. Watching this video just made the world seem a whole lot smaller.
    I recently watched a video of an interview with Chris Hadfield discussing Social Media. He mentions in the video that the view from the ISS makes him very aware of the fact that we are all one, connected, sharing our Earth. The etmooc lip dub did the same thing for me!

  2. Thanks for sharing the process Alec. It was fun to be part of the process, and with these instructions I hope to facilitate my own #lipdub one day.

  3. Hello Alec,

    Very good work indeed around Open Education; the #etmooc is a very interesting experiment and will inform the future of open, online, education worldwide.

    I have one question for you though; as an open educator, how come and you decided to be on the editorial board of ‘MOOCs Forum’ which is a subscription-based journal
    Don’t you find the idea of a Journal on ‘Open education’ to be closed to subscribers only, a bit contradictory?

    Kind Regards,

  4. You’re correct, Timos. Being on that editorial board *would* be very contradictory. However, I should not be listed there as I refused their invitation. Please see this email correspondence from a Liebert representative dated January 23/13.

    The original invitation said that the journal had an open access option. I inquired as to what this meant. Obviously, once the details were explained to me ($3200 to set your work free), as an open educator, I could not support the journal. Right after my refusal, the president (Mary Ann Liebert) contacted me by phone to ask me more about my decision. While she was polite, we obviously have very different views on this subject. I kept to my decision NOT to have any part of this journal. I believe I even tweeted about the conversation.

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I will have Liebert remove my name asap as obviously, this isn’t very good for my reputation.

    Thanks Timos.

  5. “Making of the #etmooc Lipdub | open thinking” was indeed a very good article and
    also I actually was truly joyful to read the blog post.
    Thanks a lot-Lazaro

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