Tag Archives: remix

Reflecting on Becoming a Maker Educator

As I wrap up my work for CEP811, a course focused on the Maker Movement and adapting innovative technologies to education, I took time to reflect on all of the different projects I have worked on over the past seven weeks.

I realized that each project was a piece of a larger #MakerEd puzzle. The thread of making runs through them all and by engaging in each one of them (e.g., remixing, playful exploration, creating lesson plans and assessments, etc), educators can begin to own and embody the mindsets associated with the Maker Movement. Stepping back to look at each project, I reorganized them in a cycle that I think could help educators begin to dip their toes into making and become more comfortable with it before integrating it into their teaching and later their classroom (design) and everyday practice. Although I organized the cycle to be completed as an ongoing, step-by-step process, educators could jump in at any point. Just start with the projects or activities that you are most comfortable with before continuing to the next “piece of the puzzle.”

Designing the Maker Educator Cycle (see below) allowed me to see how the projects I created over the past seven weeks and the readings I have explored, have truly led me deeper down the Maker Movement path. I had an opportunity to more deeply infuse maker projects in my curriculum and explicitly explore making in the classroom in a way that is meaningful and supports students (and teachers) in developing maker mindsets. I think these experiences, particularly designing a unit plan and a maker assessment, reminded me how vital it is to explore how teachers are makers and designers in our daily practice. To really improve and innovate, we have to continually be making (e.g., lessons, assessments, remixes, etc) educational content as well as maker projects (e.g, a robot maze, an LED student response system, etc). I am excited to continue this work as a maker educator and iterate the lesson plans, assessments, and projects I designed to make them even better. If you are an educator using making in your classroom or if you are trying to help an educator start exploring the Maker Movement, I hope the Maker Educator Cycle is helpful and I welcome any feedback on its design.

The Maker Educator Cycle (click to see links)

Creative Commons Attributions

Learn icon-o1 by MCruz is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (Personalized Learning)

Paper Blank Pencil by ClkerFreeVectorImages is licensed under Public Domain CC0 (Design Lessons)

Pictogram Resolved by AzaToth is licensed under Public Domain CC0 (Create Assessments)

Remix is a Creative Commons Trademark icon (Remix)

Toolbox by ClkerFreeVectorImages is licensed under Public Domain CC0 (Toolbox)

Two Point Perspective Room by maburaho26 is licensed under CC BY-ND 3.0 (Redesign your Environment)

Wikimedia Deutschland icon explore by Cornelius Kibelka is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 DE (Playful Experimentation)

Avatar created at: http://www.reasonablyclever.com/mini/flash/minifig.swf


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