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I have to admit the readings this week about remix culture did not engage me. I think it is because my mind is still reeling from the exciting things I am learning about infographics and digital storytelling. I also don’t spend a lot of time listening to music and searching you tube videos, so I don’t have a lot of experience with remix culture. But, after this week, that may change because I have enjoyed my you tube searches and found some interesting clips to watch.
As a result of my lack of knowledge about remix culture, I have spent a lot of time this week reading and re-reading some articles and websites about remixing. I have talked to several teachers to ask for their input, so in a way I am ‘remixing” all of our thoughts and opinions about what remixing is. A music teacher at my school suggested that my remixing lesson incorporate Gangnam Style as it is extremely popular with students right now. I then came across Terry’s Tales of Learning blog entry and noticed she had the same idea.
In a post on the website, Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning, Doug Sery, an acquisitions editor at MIT Press in the new media, is quoted as saying,
“[Remixing teaches] systems thinking; connecting ideas, information and experience, as well as collaboration,” Sery says. “In the 21st-century economy, those are the skills you will need to survive.”
I see the value of Sery’s quoted and hope our students are aquiring these skills. As a PYP Coordinator, I strongly believe that students need to become very familiar with the learner profile. One activity that involves remixing would be to have students get in groups and take a popular (appropriate) song of their choice and change the lyrics to explain the learner profile. Younger students could pick a song with an easy tune such as Row, Row, Row Your Boat, London Bridge Is Falling Down, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and each group could pick one attribute (ie. Caring, balance, risk-taker…) of the learner profile to make up a song to share with the class.
Students in the junior grades could pick a rap or song they like and change the lyrics to explain the learner profile. Students could choreograph actions or a dance to go with their song. Groups can be videotaped and videos can be shared with the class.
I know that the more familiar with remixing I become, the more creative ideas I will be able to come up with. I look forward to reading about all the good ideas from my cohort’s blogs!
Demonstrating the Learner Profile Through A Photo Story
An important understanding for me from Course 1 is that we need to provide students with authentic learning experiences. Students need to have a purpose in what they do and then they will see the value in their assignments and take more ownership of them. We should not think of technology as an afterthought or an add-on, it should be embedded into our daily activities. Our school is an IBO World School and my lesson is for students to demonstrate how they exhibit traits of the Learner Profile using the program Photo Story 3.
Background: Students had some discussions in class about the Learner Profile (this is not a new concept for them because it is a focus in every classroom, every year) and brainstormed ways that they could demonstrate each of the traits of the Learner Profile (caring, balanced, thinker, inquirer, knowledgeable, risk-taker, principled, open-minded, communicator and reflective). Students were asked to bring in photos of them personally, or use images from the internet (and put on a USB) demonstrating some of the traits of the Learner Profile.
Our school is starting a 1:1 ipad program in September 2012, but for now our students go to a computer lab for lessons. Teaching students to be independent is always a goal, so instead of standing at the front of the room and lecturing students, all students, using headphones and a computer watched the Photo Story 3 Tutorial and completed their own photo story at their own pace, using peers and teachers to help them if needed. They are used to using tutorials as a way of learning new programs. Below is an example of a one student’s photo story.
Reflections: Students enjoyed creating their own photo story and improved their knowledge of the Learner Profile and learned some new technology skills while doing so. The Learner Profile became more personal to them as they were able to demonstrate ways they exhibit it. Most students were able to work independently, but collaboration between students is encouraged, so they could run ideas past each other and ask for help when they needed it. We learn by doing and students who help others gain a deeper understanding for themselves. When students completed their photo story they wrote written reflections on how they demonstrated the Learner Profile. They addressed traits of the Learner Profile that are more difficult for them to demonstrate and set a goal to improve in that area. Students reflected on the Photo Story experience and assessed their learning of the program.