Daily Archives: October 24, 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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6F5jsPRBng 

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 archiveshttp://infed.org/mobi/john-dewey-my-pedagogical-creed/. Retrieved: 10/24/15].

Doherty, D. (2011). We are makers [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/dale_dougherty_we_are_makers#t-25734

Doherty, D. (2015). Maker movement goes global”, Dale Dougherty (founder and executive chairman, maker media) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlAYeIdtucQ

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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j85p17kB_Ww