Monthly Archives: October 2015

Remixing Media as a Reflection on the Maker Movement


Remix by Bill Benzon licensed under CC BY SA 2.0

This past week I had a chance to start Adapting Innovative Technologies in Education, a new course for my Graduate Certificate in Ed Tech.

I spent the week learning more about remixing and reflecting on its intersections and implications for the maker movement. After watching Everything is a Remix, a series of four videos (soon to be updated!) about how prevalent remixing is in our culture today, I was surprised to discover how many roadblocks exist to sharing and ultimately, learning.

This is highly problematic because as Dewey reminds us, learning is social and to be successful, education must be relevant to students’ existing lives, a chance for them to do real work instead of just prepare for the future (1897). Yet, if sharing and remixing content is constantly restricted due to laws resulting from patent and copyright battles, students will have little to work with as they strive to become makers.

Dale Doherty (2011) argues that “all of us are makers” and in a world where every student has access to editing software to remix photos, videos, music, and other content extremely easily before sharing it publicly on the web (Lessig, 2008, p.) it seems like that is certainly true. Unfortunately, we keep trying to separate the real-world experiences of students who are constantly remixing and making in their home communities from our school communities. Schools often deny students the time and space to work on authentic problems for fear of failure, the need to cover standards, and limitations around the content that students can access freely and openly to invent new products and projects. 

I created a remix video (below) with all of this in mind. The maker movement is introduced, the problem of access to making and authentic problems in school is raised, and the potential outcomes of empowering students as makers and change agents, is revealed, all in one minute. I tried to capture very brief snippets of my thoughts and reflections above, using videos clips that are available for use under creative commons, the saving grace of today’s remixing culture. I used a mashup of different tools to create the video itself after struggling to get content in WeVideo and ultimately remixing the initial footage in the YouTube video editor before finally making some tweaks in iMovie. Although I enjoyed the chance to remix something, I miss Mozilla Popcorn and wish the video assignment was not limited to sixty seconds. My hope was to use each clip a layer that I could build a larger idea upon, similar to layering Breitz speaks to in African cultures (Lessig, 2008 ).

I wonder what would happen if all content and ideas, all software, books, and tools were seen as initial layers that could be improved with audience feedback and contributions? What if, “this was never thought of as copying or stealing or intellectual-property theft but accepted as the natural way in which culture evolves and develops and moves forward?” (Breitz, as cited in Lessig, 2008, p. 7).


Corway film institute (2013). Boston latin school youthCAN on real school makers [Video file]. Retrieved from 

Dewey, John (1897) ‘My pedagogic creed’, The School Journal, Volume LIV, Number 3 (January 16, 1897), pages 77-80. [Also available in the informal education archives Retrieved: 10/24/15].

Doherty, D. (2011). We are makers [Video file]. Retrieved from

Doherty, D. (2015). Maker movement goes global”, Dale Dougherty (founder and executive chairman, maker media) [Video file]. Retrieved from

Lessig, L. (2008). Remix: Making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy. New York: Penguin Press.

Martinez, S. & Stager, G. (2013). Building learning keynote – Making the case for making in school [Video file]. Retreived from 


Reflecting on 7 Weeks of Ed Tech Learning

How might we create professional learning experiences around TPACK?

How might we create professional learning experiences around TPACK?

The past seven weeks of my Teaching for Understanding with Technology course have flown by! Between launching global partnerships for my Pre-K to 2nd grade classes, setting up our new IDEA Studio, traveling to the Learning2 conference in Manila and, preparing classes for back to school night, life has been busy and I can’t believe my first course in the Graduate Certificate in Ed Tech at MSU is already over.

I had a chance to dive deeper into a variety of tech tools, including Popplet (mapping my PLN inspired me to reflect on how my PLN serves as a coach/mentor), Trello, Tinkercad, and our lower school Makerbot Replicator. Although what I am most excited about from this first course, more than any of the tools, is the new ways of processing and thinking about teaching and learning that I have explored.

I plan to keep testing and iterating my own version of the GTD approach and my visual task lists in Trello. I also want to continue exploring new 3D printing projects in Tinkercad and I feel like now that I have opened that door during this course, I can more easily walk through it with my students and support them in innovating with 3D printing technologies.

The idea of networked learning and using YouTube and help forums to learn new skills is also something I want to think about further. Since I am working with Pre-K to 2nd grade students, I want to invite my colleagues to share their pedagogical and content knowledge with me and co-construct a plan for using these tools in ways that would be both safe and meaningful for our young students. I am also excited to use the 21st century lesson plan I designed in the coming weeks in our kindergarten classes and support students in programing our robots to tell their stories.

Finally, I want to keep exploring the TPACK framework (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). I have used SAMR in professional learning experiences with the faculty at my school but I feel like that can limit the focus to the tools and run the risk of encouraging educators to be technocentric, something Dr. Mishra advises against (Mishra, 2012). I wonder if we need to take more time to talk about TPACK and the intersections between tools and teaching. Specifically, I think it could be helpful to focus on how tools can be used to redefine and transform learning when used in tandem with the pedagogical approaches and content that encourage deeper understanding.

The more I reflect on the different pieces of TPACK, the more I am convinced that no one piece can work alone. We have to look at our content and make sure it matches the world around us today (e.g., paper reading strategies vs. digital reading strategies), and do the same with our pedagogical approaches (e.g., teacher-directed learning vs. blended learning and inquiry-based teaching) and our technical tools (e.g., paper maps vs. Google Maps). I’m hoping to learn and reflect more on TPACK this year and find ways to talk more about it with my colleagues. I’m still unsure about the best ways to help more teachers and lessons apply the framework and successfully utilize the interconnectedness of technical pedagogical content knowledge. I’m also curious whether this framework can be a tool to build relationships and develop cross-disciplinary bridges. Can TPACK help break down silos between different subject areas and specials in schools?

The great thing about learning is that there are always new questions to consider and hopefully just as many opportunities to pause and reflect on how all of the pieces may or may not fit together.


 Mishra, P. (2012, March 26). Punya Mishra – keynote speaker @ 21st century learning conference – Hong Kong 2012 [Video file]. Retrieved from 

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054. Retrieved from download .pdf