When reading Jenkins et. al., about confronting challenges of media participation the outlined sections about by creating a culture of participation we enhance understandings of intellectual property and empower conceptions of citizenship which are skills necessary to succeed in the future workplace, and that we have to approach these topics through our curriculum to help shift the focus from simply individual expression to include community involvement. When reflecting on these skills I think they are strongly connected to the Approaches to Learning; and how can we dovetail the teaching of a culture of participation with teaching the Approaches to Learning in our day to day activities? Maybe sometimes it can be explicit, or maybe just a natural fit? How can we plan for situations to make it more natural, useful, and applicable to student lives? How can we be more thoughtful in our unit planning to create opportunities for a culture of participation in an authentic and engaging experience? What also struck me in this article was the new skills, and how I already strive to give my students opportunities to play, simulate, build collective intelligence and so on. These skills are a great outline of what we should be striving for in our unit planning and lesson teaching to help build student agency and participate in their culture.
I have been a long time fan of hip hop music, the undisputed kings of re-mixing. Copyrighted content has been a long disputed issue in this genre of music and I wish more of the lyrics were more appropriate for a classroom full of 10-year olds as it is a great opportunity to learn about copyright, re-mixing information, and most importantly expressing yourself using other’s work in your own way. Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest talked about how when they were growing up they didn’t have instruments, only their dad’s record players and a mixer and they used the tools at their disposal. They use what they had. By finding and looping the sounds they liked they create something to help express themselves in an innovative way but still paying homage to the original. Q-Tip’s lecture on his creative process gives some great insight into how he remixes jazz samples and funk breaks to create his own music.
Sophocles photo Credit: Wikepedia
I believe that Hip Hop connects to the core of digital citizenship and intellectual property in the classroom. We want students to be able to use the information they have at their disposal and reconstruct it to express their own ideas in a respectful way. Re-examining the remix features in an entertaining way how information can be changed with a few clicks, and how important it is for students to learn judgements about the information sources and what they plan on doing with it. The Ted Talk also focuses on the idea of remixing being a valued part of the expression. Another important takeaway from this video is the point that artists have been doing this forever. I also think that as the world continues to remix, the laws about it need to change to give respect to the original creator, but then again, is anything actually original. Look at how most modern movies are basically remixes of ancient Greek poems and stories? I wonder what Homer, Sophocles, Aristophanes would think of, modern love triangles and character exploration rom coms, and hero journeys, would they want some credit? Joseph Campbell has some fascinating insights into the reproduction of classic tales in the modern day in his many books such as The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
This video also made me think about how students remix, take things and make them their own, and if they understand the importance of intellectual copy write as many of the students in my class love to play with visuals and using images to enhance and illustrate their ideas. We are constantly learning together how to use images in a responsible way without essentially stealing property, and this often leads to discussions about why we need to search properly for images. So is teaching and creating like hip hop? To continue with the analogy students have a fantastic record collection, how do we teach them to appropriate it to create something of their own, while at the same time respecting copyright laws and the rights of others? Aren’t I just remixing all these ideas in the resource section now to tell the story I want? What this really highlights is that content remixing for a long time, students must have the freedom to continue to add their own creativity and voice to the mix.
Aren’t we as teachers just information remixers, finding material and questions that help student’s on their learning journey and re-arranging it in a digestible format? I believe that as Course One progressed I improved at respectfully citing images either by using my own, searching through creative commons, or using sites such as unsplash.com to find free to use images that are easier to cite. Like I mentioned before my students love using visuals in their expressions and they love copying images or printing them out to add to there products and I am continually helping them to find creative commons images to use. This has been my first step. My next step is to continue modelling how I use images in my lessons by explicitly citing the thing I use myself and directing them toward sources they can find images to help easily cite their own work. In Grade Four at my school, we are just beginning to teach the citation of other’s work and I think that this could be something brought down to the lower grades as well. The Copyright Flowchart and “If you can use a picture?“ image are great resources to start teaching it and I plan on using this in my unit plan for the final course project. Time to regulate, RIP Nate Dog.