Tag Archives: Creative Commons

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 


New Goals for a New School Year!

The start of school has been extremely busy this year! Before we get too far into September, I wanted to record some of my goals for the 2013-2014 school year.

After finally finishing my room setup, I realized that I actually have visual representations of all six of my goals displayed around my room. The first, on-going goal I have is to continue creating and facilitating global learning opportunities for my students.

global ed

Last year, I was able to set up a few different Skype exchanges with New Zealand, Alaska, and Minnesota as well as some collaborations through projects around social studies and science explorations. I hope to expand those projects this year and introduce more tools to students that they can use for global collaboration. I really want to help establish the idea that technology can be used as a tool for meaningful learning and exchange across the globe.

Related to that goal, I hope to use my Google Glass (won via the #IfIHadGlass competition) to connect my students with other students around the world. I recently launched The Global Google Glass Project, inviting teachers to sign their classes up to participate in a variety of projects that would take advantage of the first-person perspective of Glass. Additionally, I want to push myself to use Glass consistently throughout the year as a tool for documentation to capture moments of student learning and discovery each day. You can check out more of my exploration with Glass on my Tumblr.

google glass bulletin board

Of course, if I’m asking my students to use the Internet to connect and collaborate with others around the world, I need to be talking with them about digital citizenship. I used parts of the Commonsense Media curriculum last year but this year I want to spend a lot more time discussing topics like: staying safe online, how to search the web effectively, and understanding the Creative Commons. To help with this, I’ll be using the Commonsense Media elementary school digital citizenship poster, who we have named Danielle the Digital Citizen, to personify the qualities of a good digital citizen and make these ideas more relatable for my young students.

digital citizenship bulletin board

In addition to being digital citizens, I’m hoping my students will become Makers, who Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager define as “confident, competent, curious citizens in a new world of possibility.” I’m starting an afterschool Maker Club for my Kindergarten – 2nd Grade students to provide them with more opportunities to be exposed to tools, projects, and ideas that encourage creating, tinkering, and making. I’m excited to have this time to introduce materials like Makedo and Little Bits and also let students guide me in designing new projects and researching new tools. Outside of the club, when possible, I hope to also integrate making into the classroom when it connects to the curriculum or the technology projects we’re engaged in this year.

Maker Bulletin Board

I’m also striving to increase my knowledge of iPad deployment, integration, management, and training this year, as we introduce twelve iPads in our Pre-K class and one in each of our kindergarten classes. I had a few iPads to share last year across all of the classes I work with but I think having them in these classes full-time will create a different experience. I want to continue exploring quality app review sites and rubrics and learning more about how to adapt the SAMR model as a framework for iPad integration in early childhood. My goal is to help the iPads become a seamless addition to each classroom as a tool for creation, collaboration, and communicating new ideas or reflecting on things that were just learned.

Maker Bulletin Board

Finally, although this is probably a guaranteed outcome if I work towards the five goals above, I want to make professional growth an ongoing goal this year. Last year I participated in a few MOOCs for the first time and attended or presented at some new conferences. I want to make sure that in all of the busyness of the school year and my new projects, that I still carve out time to develop professionally and stay current with new tools and approaches to tech integration.

I think one of the most valuable things you can do as an educator is participate in groups or activities that inspire and push you to grow and continue learning and doing/making. With that in mind, I hope to attend at least one new conference this year, submit some presentation proposals, read at least one new book in my field, and participate in some online communities and/or MOOCs around my goals.

I think that’s enough for one school year! Now, it’s time to get busy with the actual implementation piece.

inspiration to grow

What are your goals for this school year?

Do you have any tips or resources to help me meet mine?