In the sections below you will:
- Get introduced to the concept, process and practice of remix
- Reflect on remix as a potential approach to creativity and innovation in teaching
- Get hands-on experience with remix as a way to move your practice with digital media in education forward
- Take your ideas and reflections to the PLD Community group and begin to start up conversations with other DigiMedia practitioners and thinkers.
What is remix? (everything is a remix)
Creativity and originality in teaching with digital media is not an easy accomplishment. How do we as teachers even get new learning and teaching ideas?
Kirby Ferguson, a US film maker, shares some interesting thoughts on creativity, discovery and invention in his 4 part series Everything is a Remix, a documentary about how ideas and innovations are generated.
In the documentary Kirby explores the three basic elements of creativity
Basically, the process of remixing is what helps us to further our thinking and practice by latching on to and building on top of other peoples great ideas, discoveries and experiments. Often our ideas become better by not beginning from scratch but learning and drawing inspiration from the practice of others.
In the REMIX ONE exercise you will try out remixing as a strategy for getting new ideas, and furthering your creative teaching practice with digital media. In other words: everything is a remix - also when it comes to teaching and learning with digital media.
Below you will get insight into the thinking and practice of remix by watching Kirby Ferguson's excellent series Everything is a Remix, but first here is a list of some of the key points that run through the series
- Everything we make is a remix of already existing creations.
- To be creative we need to be influenced by others.
- We need to copy others to build a solid foundation of our knowledge and understanding: We do not know what is new until we have gained insight into the thinking and practice of our domain.
- After learning through copying, we can begin to create something new through transformation: Combining ideas and through this creating new variations.
- The most innovative results happen when different ideas are combined rather than simply creating a variation of a single idea.
- We are all building with the same materials. And often many people will get 'the same idea' in different places at the same time.
- New ideas evolve from working with old ones. There are no truly original ideas. Ideas are emerging through creative activity in a continuous line of innovation by many different people across time and space. By acknowledging that everything is a remix, we are allowed to be inspired from, steal from and build on others practice. And through this moving innovation and creativity in the field forward.
- When we copy, we justify it. When others copy, we vilify it. Most of us have no problem with copying, as long as we’re the ones doing it. By acknowledging that everything is a remix we embrace the inner logic of inspiration and innovation.
But before remixing we recommend you take the time to view the Everything is a Remix series
If you want to know even more about the Everything is a Remix series, hear Kirby Ferguson's Ted Talk on remix or access more of his materials, you can visit the Everything is a Remix website here: https://www.everythingisaremix.info
Prepare to remix
Now you know a bit about what remix is, how it works and how it is done. Now we can look back at the bullet points in the beginning. Transforming the remix framework into a framework for teaching innovation the above key points can be transformed into guidelines for a remixing approach to creative teaching with digital media:
- Whenever we teach it is a remix of already existing creations - as teachers we build on top of prior experience, experiments and other peoples work.
- To be a creative teacher we need to be influenced by other creative teachers - we need to seek out and draw inspirations from other teachers experience and experiments.
- As teachers we need to copy others to build a solid foundation of our teaching knowledge and understanding: We do not know where our teaching might be innovative or creative until we have gained insight into the thinking and practice of other teachers in our domain.
- After learning to do teaching with video-conferencing through copying, we can begin to create our own creative teaching practices with digital media through transformation: Combining different teachers' ideas with our own and through this create new variations of teaching through Playful Simulations.
- As teachers we are all building with the same materials. And often many teachers will get 'the same idea' in different places at the same time. Nothing we do as teachers are truly 'original' but by drawing together bits and pieces from teaching ideas and activities that inspire us, what we do might be truly creative.
- By acknowledging that everything is a remix, as teachers we are allowed to be inspired from, steal from and build on other teachers' practice. And through this moving innovation and creativity in the field of teaching with digital media forward.
- When we copy, we justify it. When others copy, we vilify it. Most of us have no problem with copying as we work to create meaningful teaching, as long as we’re the ones doing it. By acknowledging that everything is a remix we encourage teachers to embrace the inner logic of inspiration and innovation. Let's go back to the blogs and, to the best of our abilities, begin to 'steal' from each other.
The remix activity
Now you are ready to (re)visit the TEACH ONE blogs on Playful Simulations that other participants have made and begin to draw inspiration from them, copy from them, transform them - all in order to further your own thinking and creative teaching practice with digital media.
To REMIX ONE you should:
- Browse through and read some of the other participants TEACH ONE blogs within the Playful Simulations module.
- As you do, make notes in your Reflection Journal whenever you get inspired, get ideas or just provoked to adopt, adjust or transform elements across the TEACH ONE blog post (including your own) - Also notice and write down the names of the teachers that inspire you and that you might want to reach out to in the Play&Learn DigiMedia Community. Would there even be someone you would like to team up with?
- Look at the different blog posts and the elements that gave you ideas and inspiration. What did you notice & wonder as you read through them? What are some great ideas or thoughts coming from the other participants? What could be a nice addition or change to what you did yourself? What would you like to 'steal' and try out yourself?
- Reflect on how the inspiring bits and pieces from other participants TEACH ONE blog posts could potentially be combined into something new where the sum is bigger than its parts. And how this could be combined with your own TEACH ONE blog post, in effect remixing it and transforming it. How does looking at the other participants TEACH ONE blog posts transform your own thinking and change what you would do if you were doing Playful Simulations all over again?
- Now take your thoughts, reflection notes and inspiration points back to the blog and blog posts and share it by commenting on one or more of the blog posts that inspired you
- Also, comment on you own blog post (in effect remixing it) be pointing out what you learned by reading the other participants TEACH ONE blog posts, what you would like to try out or do differently should you do a Playful Simulation again. Remember in your comment to refer to the participants from which you are drawing inspiration and are remixing.
- Feel free to take your thoughts and reflection notes to the PLD Community! Here you can create a Facebook post in the PLD Community group, where you can present your 'copy', 'remix' or 'transformation'. Tag (if possible) the people you copied, remixed or drew inspiration from and tell them how they inspired you, provoked you or made you get new ideas for how to move your teaching practice forward. In this way, you have the possibility to share your thinking and practice even further, start up interesting conversations, get to know some of the other participants and build a network, or connect and perhaps even try out something together.
Now, is the time to Remix One!