This week I had reading to do about remix and mashup. As I read these and various other articles I was feeling overwhelmed and saturated. I know that teaching my students about remixing is something to think about in the future, at this point in my own understanding I’m not sure what second graders need to know.
Presently, I am trying to empower, encourage, equip not only my students, my colleagues but also parents. In the last two months I have worked with my students on making movie trailers of their Jan Brett Readers theater performances. More about those in my next blog post.
The students have been taking home our class mascot, Brisky Bear, with a camera and recording trips they have taken. When they bring the camera back to school I have uploaded the photos to our class blog and then help the students with writing about the photos. Recently I got the idea from another blog, to send home a notebook with Brisky and the camera. The students can then record their adventures in the notebook and read each other’s writing. Since Brisky was so popular and everyone wanted to take him home I introduced a second stuffed friend, Bubblez. Now they each go home during the week with a student and another student on the weekend. This has added to the number of posts we are adding to our classroom blog. It also adds to my uploading photos and typing text.
While looking at other classroom blogs my classroom connected with Mrs. Watson’s 2/3. I commented on their blog and they began to ask questions about Japan and our school. Together we answered some of the questions and commented on some of their student blogs. Mrs. Watson and I decided to have the students introduce themselves via a video in preparation for a skype chat. They have sent us a video and we are still working on videoing and then editing it. Each student choose some place in the school to introduce, along with introducing something about themselves. I am glad to have 2 high school teacher assistants who have helped with the taping.
Through Mrs. Watson I also learned about #d5chat on Twitter and the Daily Five wikispaces. Last year we began using the Daily Five structure for language arts and CAFE for reading instruction. For the last month I have joined the #d5chat on Saturday mornings in Japan. This past Saturday I planned a “Twitter Party” for my colleagues. One has a Twitter account, but never uses it. The others don’t have accounts. So I thought the best way to introduce them to it would be to participate in the chat. Three of my colleagues came and we were able to share ideas about Daily Five and learn some technology. I also am feeling much more comfortable with Twitter and have appreciated all the people I have connected with to create an “armchair” professional learning network(PLN).
I have held two Technology Tidbits for parents, one in January and one in February. There is another one planned for Wednesday, March 22. So choosing a topic and preparing a presentation for the parents has also been a challenge.
I’m glad to be able to empower, encourage and equip my students, colleagues and parents but there comes a point of overload. I need to apply a few more of the lessons I’ve already learned and share them before I forget. I have also done something for myself using what I have learned in creating a short iMovie from a retreat I went on last week.
Even in creating this I learned several things. I was able to put in just the audio of a segment I taped that had audio and video. I had one friend who was unhappy that I had included a photo of her in the original and although she said I could leave it in, I was able to add in a different photo. Although this isn’t a remix since the video clips and photos are all mine, learning how to add audio that isn’t “prepackaged” on iMovie is a step forward for me in learning about remixing and mashups.
As I consider remix and mashups for my class, I think we have started a discussion that incorporates the idea of remixing. According to Lawrence Lessig “It means using the work of others in a way that is transformative, or critical. The remix creator should acknowledge the work she remixes, by giving attribution somewhere in the work.” Presently the students are working on writing their own “Goldilocks” story. They had to choose their own characters, setting and 3 things that their “Goldilocks” tried. This is going through the writing process with a storyboard, rough draft, editing and a final draft. We’ve also started having discussions about using someone else’s ideas. The students get that taking something that isn’t yours and saying it is yours isn’t right. They are learning to follow the “Golden Rule” – “Do to others what you would have them do to you.” Matthew 7:12 (New International Version 1984)
One of my favorite sites about remix was by Kirby Ferguson, Everything is a Remix. All four videos are well worth watching until the very end, not just until the credits.