March Topic 6 Student Directed Learning: Digital Storytelling – Multimedia, Remixes & Mashups

As we move from curating content to the concept of multimedia and remixing I want to start with Pharrell Williams 24 hours of happy Sure it’s Universal Studios and EMI, but it could also have been done by you or me (if we had enough caffeine.


It is cool how most of the dancers just seems to be making it up for their four minutes of fame. I find myself wishing some of the random people would take a second to dance with them. Who knows maybe some do and I just haven’t seen them yet.




Because the idea had never been done before, “It was difficult to explain it to the talent,” says Valdes. “The main directive was, Have fun! We wanted people to dance in whatever way the music moved them. The only technical directions they got concerned the distance they needed to be from the camera.”

Those chosen by audition had the advantage of getting the song in advance, allowing them to rehearse their moves. But on the day itself, everyone got just one take, including Pharrell. “That’s what accounts for the charm,” says Valdes. “Everyone knew they had one shot–this was their moment to go all out, and we love that.”


I like to tell people that I am not creative. My talents lie in taking what someones else has already created and using it in a new way. Today NPR was nice enough to throw me this TED blog interview with Kirby Ferguson.


Kirby is the author of Everything is a Remix. I don’t know if I stole the comment from him or someone else, or possibly it was an original idea. I do know that when I first realized this about myself I assumed that I was of lesser stature than those creative geniuses of the past. It turns out that I’m not, I’m pretty much the same.


So what does this mean for education. Most of that is up to you. Certainly, the first piece of advice most of us got in teacher college was to not reinvent the wheel. That is so true, we can substitute, augment, and modify to suit our needs; redefining.all of the time would be too exhausting.


During our first synchronous session we will talk to some teachers and students who took a tried and true lesson, “every student creates a five minute presentation on on chosen topic.” Instead of sitting through three days of presentations the students recorded their five minutes. Then one day in class every student was asked to watch five on their own and grade them using a rubric. The teachers still had to listen to all 100 presentations, but we are thinking about better methods for next year.


What I would like you to do during the first two weeks of this month (later in the month we might do some fun remixes) is to search the web for the most creative remixes you can find. Then add them to the Google plus community and tweet them using the #ooe13 hashtag. If you can work it into your  lessons, have some of your students remix something and share that.


I look forward to seeing many of you on March 10th for our first synchronous session. We will be starting at an odd time 2:20PM CST to coincide with our school period. Many of the students will probably leave around 2:50, but we will continue on until everyone feels like we have completed our session. If you need some ideas you can look at:


If you want to delve deeper into the legalistics of fair share and copyright.