I was really interested in learning about the “maker movement” and “remix culture”. These are all terms that before this week, I have never heard before. I was surprised to learn how big of a culture this has become. I learned a lot about “making” and “remixing” by watching Dale Dougherty’s TED talk, “We Are Makers“. Before seeing this video, I admit I was a little skeptical of the “maker movement”. I thought of it as people tinkering with toys. After watching Dougherty’s TED video, I realized the importance of this culture. This is the idea that moves our society forward. Makers are the people that take ideas and bring them to life. When relating this to the classroom, I thought about how I could use this “maker movement” and “remix culture” to inspire the creativity in my students. That is the goal of the Maker Education Initiative. The Maker Education Initiative strives to reach out into the community to seek out young makers.
Similar to the “maker movement” is the “remix culture”. The remix culture consists of taking previous existing work or ideas and making them into something new. Kirby Ferguson’s “Everything is a Remix” explains that everything truly is a remix. Whether it be in the form of a novel, song, movie or piece of art, people are inspired by others. Ferguson explains that there are not many “new ” ideas, that we all take what we see and hear from the world around us to create our own ideas. We are taking the ideas of others and making something of our own. Ferguson also explains that there is the remix culture that takes work directly from others to make it into something new. Music is the example Ferguson used to illustrate this idea. There are artists that create mash-ups of songs or cover another artist’s song in a way that makes it their own. This remix culture is booming and creating a whole new platform for all forms of creators. While the remix culture allows people to express their creativity, it also infringes on copyright laws. More often than not, creators are using or borrowing others’ work our ideas without their permission. I like what Ferguson said about how people don’t see harm in borrowing ideas from others, but get very protective when others borrow ideas of theirs. There is a very fine line that we are walking when we borrow ideas or work from others. I don’t want to see the creativity of “remixers” stifled because of copyright laws. It will be interesting to see what happens as this culture grows and evolves.
For my first assignment this week, I was asked to create a one minute Remix video portraying an educational technology buzzword using Mozilla Popcorn Maker. I found this program relatively simple to use after spending some time playing with it. What I did find more difficult was finding images, videos, and sound clips that had the appropriate Creative Commons License. The buzzword I chose to portray was “electronic classroom”. I chose this because I work in a school that is continuously working to bring more technology into the classrooms. I wanted to create a video that portrayed the benefits of having various multimedia devices available for students to use. Some of these devices include SMART boards, iPads, laptops or computers. From these devices come a world of possibilities when looking at the websites and applications available for educational use. In my personal experience, I have found that using SMART boards engages students, kids love publishing their work on blogs using laptops, and students can access educational sources using QR codes. These experiences are just a snapshot of what students can do with technology in the classroom. I think that it is important for students to be exposed to this technology when possible. These kids will be entering the work force as 21st century adults, so I think it is important that we teach students to be 21st century learners. WIth that being said, here is the link to my Remix video, please watch and feel free to provide feedback!
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