Animoto is wrong for education in every way that it’s right for consumers — and the befuddlement of its creators at its educational market share affirms this directly. Consumers want something that takes the difficulty out of an engaging slideshow but difficulty is essential to learning.
These are businesses, after all, and some businesses (though not all) attract customers by making difficult processes easier. Sometimes (but not every time) those difficult processes are the same ones which impel learning. So while Blogger, for example, makes the right processes easier for students (the mechanics of online publishing) so that they can focus on the difficult one (writing), Animoto simplifies the wrong processes (editing a slideshow with rhythm, music, visual panache) leaving behind only the most menial (select an order for your images, select a track, press go)1.
Many have come to this conclusion before me, I realize, but I am only now fully struck by the fact that the goals of profit-driven Web 2.0 applications and the goals of educators only align accidentally.