Module 6 Reflection – Remix Culture

Module 6 was an interesting ride through culture, creativity, copying, and compensation. Remixing, although very popular in the digital age, is not new.

This TEDTalk video, Creativity is a remix, by Kirby Ferguson perfectly tells the story of remixing, its necessity in creativity, and its attack from corporate entities.

Another video by Ferguson, Everything is a Remix Remastered (2015), went into much more detail and was a remix in itself, using images and quotes to help explain how, throughout history, artists and innovators utilized previous accomplishments to create “new” things.

Yet, as Ferguson explains, our copyright laws are very much against reusing and remixing others’ work. And it is getting out of hand in the new digital YouTube world. An example of this comes from the article, In defense of piracy (Lessig, L., 2008, The Wall Street Journal) where a woman posted a video of her toddler dancing to a Prince song, and was subsequently sued by Universal for copyright infringement. Are you serious?

This is a problem for our youth, and the modernization of education. “Young people are embracing remix en masse, and it is increasingly integral to how they make meaning and express ideas.” (Knobel & Lankshear, 2008, p. 23).

If we are to reach today’s students, teachers must be able to use, even remix, cultural artifacts into something relatable to students. To go a step further, the article Remix: The Art and Craft of Endless Hybridization (Knobel & Lankshear, 2008) suggests that remixing should be considered a “significant literacy practice” (p. 22). They agree with Lessig that the remixing of video and sound and pictures is a new way of writing that kids are also engaged in, and we, as teachers, must tap into this.

So, along those lines, I have done some remixing myself.

For my first Daily Create, I responded to #tdc2114 Post-it in the wild with a digital version of a sticky note which I will send to my students.

Something you must know about the world email

Allow me to make a side note right here. In searching for the copyright information for the picture I used, or to find out if I can even use the picture (since I don’t want anyone to sue me for sending my students this very positive message), I found something very exciting! You see the picture is from Widipedia and this is what I found for the copyright info:

Rainbow creative commons

Well, hurray for Creative Commons! It just so happens that we got a brief introduction to Creative Commons this week via the State of the Commons annual report and some of the videos from this week. According to creativecommons.com, “Every license helps creators — we call them licensors if they use our tools — retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work — at least non-commercially.” To me, this is an incredibly important step for the further enhancement of creativity as it allows for reusing and remixing someone else’s work. There are obviously some stipulations so the original creator will not be taken advantage of, but there is also an important openness to the material.

My other Daily Create remixed my own creation, a photo I took of a cow. In response to #tdc2129, I used the “pop art” photo generator at convertimage.net to have fun pretending to be Andy Warhol. For any lawyers out there, I repeat, I used my own image!

Cow Pop

The most fun remix I did was for the Remix Challenge. In it, I took another student’s work and remixed it using ThingLink. Holly’s work was a sketchnote video about packing for Costa Rica.

Note: “Costa Rica Bound!” by Holly Ables is in the Public Domain

I took the final frame of the video and created a ThingLink with some extra information to help with a trip.

Module 6 was both exciting and eye opening to say the least. We can only hope that lawyers and corporate entities don’t stifle creativity in the 21st century too much.

This quote by Ferguson sums up the necessity for remixing: “Our creativity comes from without, not from within. We are not self-made. We are dependent on one another” (Creativity is a remix video).

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