Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

The Value of Remixing in Learning

Remixing enables participation, and thus encourages creativity, ownership, and collaboration. In the following MIT video from an conference in 2007, the value of remixing in learning and examples were discussed. MIT’s studies on this new media literacy and the opportunity for digital learning started so many years ago, but we haven’t seen it is applied in classrooms widely today. With digital tools available in low or no cost, it should be.

Learning Through Remixing

One approach to learning through remixing is to provide tools that will expose the structure of media products, making it accessible to all. Modest digital editing, for example, allows a Star Trek fan to combine scattered -warp drive” commands into a countdown sequence: -Ahead warp 10! Go to warp 9! …” With more sophisticated software, you can hop back and forth, in sync, between book and movie versions of Fellowship of the Ring, or even between two different film productions of Romeo and Juliet. Erik Blankinship and the Media Modifications group will soon unveil such tools on the Web at

By remixing PacMan in their own voice, Juan Devis’ Latino students created a new video game, El Immingrante, about cleaning up their Los Angeles neighborhood while staying one step ahead of a pursuing vigilante enforcer. Reaching several rungs higher up on the cultural hierarchy, their new source is Huckleberry Finn, which they are adapting to 21st century LA in a game that aims to teach American history and civics.

Renee Hobbs, a longtime developer of media literacy curricula, sees remixing as a powerful way to highlight the -constructedness” of media content, and thus to reveal the plasticity of meaning. She has developed a suite of games that a girl can play to create her own song, by choosing a message, musical genre, set of lyrics, voice effects, and even designing a custom avatar to perform it. My Pop Studio, available on the Web since mid-2006, helps girls understand how music evokes an emotional response, while giving them the pleasure and sense of power that comes from manipulating familiar materials.

In yet another medium, theater, Ricardo Pitts-Wiley exploits remixing to make literacy more inclusive. He’s adopted quite a challenge: to make more compelling for young people, while preserving the integrity of the novel. For example, children don’t necessarily identify with a white whale, but they do understand -the vengeful pursuit of something that has hurt you,” when the white nemesis is translated into cocaine. Ultimately it takes a community to sustain literacy, and Pitts-Wiley hopes theater can enlist widespread interest and support, much as the Bible used to provide a shared literary resource for all races and classes of people in the West.

The academic study of new media literacy, a specialty of MIT’s Comparative Media Studies program, is now the center of a MacArthur Foundation-funded project. CMS fellow Alice Robison describes this effort to examine -what happens in the space in between you making meaning and me making meaning.” The New Media Literacies project has created video -exemplars” of topics such as remixing and DJ culture for use in schools.

CREDIT : MIT World — special events and lectures

The Web has evolved into an open  sharing environment where media is edited, mixed, and repurposed in mash–ups. Using The Web as An Open Gaming Platform, if we can leverage open educational resources(OERs) for learners to remix and construct knowledge for themselves, the same ideal can be realized in education. Not only Remix Culture as an Educator’s Habit, spoon-feeding learners will undermine the opportunity of learning in digital classrooms, learners should learn how to learn and own their learning. In order to participating in the knowledge flow, they should be creating as they are learning. This life-long learning skill matters in our fast changing One Classroom world.

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  1. The Value of Remixing in Learning | Social Learnoing Curve |

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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