Remix culture in the classroom: Hollywood-style

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Remix culture is defined as “global activity consisting of the creative and efficient exchange of information made possible by digital technologies that is supported by the practice of cut/copy and paste.”  It can also be described more simply as a society which allows for and encourages others to produce derivative works.  The remake of Oceans 11 which was followed by Oceans 12 and Oceans 13 is a great example of how Hollywood plays a big part in the remix culture we live in today.

One way I see the concepts behind remix culture in my teaching is with film.  Lawrence Lessig argues that students should learn how to make remixed videos and that they should be able to quote and integrate the work of others to make a point.  My Grade 1 students are currently using popular movie trailer themes in iMovie 2011 to sell their Reader’s Theater performances.  Basically they are taking a typical Hollywood genre-themed trailer and using the dramatic music, theme specific storyboards(action, medium shot, followed by group shot, etc.) and “remixing” it to fit their Reader’s Theater stories.

I could also see remix culture influencing me to allow students to edit and/or build upon creative commons images using photoshop or another picture editing tool.  Songs/music videos is another avenue I think that could be taken at the grade 1 level.  A song like the Beatles “Hello, Goodbye” would be a good song to create a music video for and it may be something we do as a class in the future.

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In Remixing as a Classroom Strategy, Josh Karp highlights previous research which states that remixing activities like the ones mentioned above allows students to work collaboratively, an important skill needed to survive in today’s corporations that depend on  collaborative process.  These are learning opportunities we should give our students, as it will give them skills needed to survive in the 21st century working/learning environment.

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