Disclaimer: I am not a rapper and this post is not solely about mixing music 🙂 Did you know that people remix everyday of their lives when they do not even know it? I recently learned that it is possible that everything in this world is a remix…music, movies, books, clothing, even our lives. We activated our prior knowledge in our MAET class by watching Kirby Ferguson‘s four part video, Everything is a Remix. My mind was blown! In his videos, he makes people aware of how unaware we are when it comes to how many things in our lives have been. He provides examples from Hollywood that will make your jaw drop–like showing multiple scenes from Star Wars that were ideas from other movies. More recently, you might be familiar with Marvin Gaye’s multi-million dollar lawsuit against Robin Thicke/Pharrell for ripping off Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got To Give It Up.”

Prior to watching this four part video, I had never known that remixing went beyond the rapping world. I was even more shocked to realize that remixing went so far beyond the rapping world that it was actually a part of the teaching world! I can honestly say that now I know that remixing is a major part of my professional life. As teachers, we are constantly collaborating with each other and trying to make things better. Below is an awesome visual to help you understand what remixing is.

I might walk into a classroom down the hall from me and think, “I really like how Mr. Bob organized his guided reading area. I am going to organize mine that way too, but maybe tweak a few things to work for me and my students.” That is remixing. Or I might be reading through my Twitter feed and see how a teacher in Florida taught her kids about numbers in base ten but add a technology segment to make the lesson more engaging. That is remixing.

For a MAET quick fire activity, we were challenged to create a one minute video using the Mozilla Popcorn Maker about one of the buzzwords we found on the EdTech Cheat Sheet (another awesome resource). Popcorn Maker helps you to easily remix web video, audio, text and images into your own creative mashup. It is free to use and once you get the hang of it, relatively easy to play with.

A realization I had during this quick fire activity was that so many of the viral Youtube videos I have watched were remixes. This program and programs similar to it are how people are remixing these days. A great example our professor, Chris, presented to us was the Star Wars Kid, which has close to 31 million hits on youtube. This viral (and kind of hilarious) video has been remixed countless times to make it even more hilarious. If you search, “Star Wars Kid Remix” on youtube, you can see what I am talking about.

The whole idea of relating remixing to my teaching practice really got me to thinking. Do I remix too much? Where do we draw a line between remixing and copyright infringement? How many ideas have I taken pride in that were actually remixed without me even realizing it? As a teacher (especially a new teacher), it is important to remember that it is ok to not have to re-create the wheel for every lesson. For sake of time and our sanity, we have to remix sometimes. I believe that ideas lead to better ideas. We need to continue to push each other to be better teachers, especially in our ever changing technological world. The ability to remix in the classroom allows us to support each student in the way they learn best.