Copy, Transform, Combine. These are essential steps not only in physical evolution but in the evolution of ideas. Copy, transform, combine. Or as Ferguson might call it, Remix. This was my job during Week 1 of MSU’s CEP 811: Adapting Innovative Technologies in Education. Using only appropriately licensed Creative Commons materials, create a one-minute video remix about a theme of the Maker Movement. I wished to capture what the Maker Movement encourages in me. That is to use and repurpose any and all available resources one has in order to create and the more one creates, the more one discovers. Due to the time constraint, I centered my imagery around just one low tech object, the ultimate hacking material that would probably be the mascot of Makers everywhere. Duct tape.
As I state in my remix, we are born creators. The most valuable tools help us create efficiently, and here I’d like to thank the MSU EdTech faculty for introducing me to WeVideo. When evaluating why I liked WeVideo, I thought back to the podcast “Failing With Style” in which Fernanda Viegas described what made a successful tool. Speaking about Wordle, Viegas said it “gave people enough customisation that it was easy to use, but it was also powerful because people felt that what they were creating was something that they owned.” For example, although the music for my remix came from the WeVideo website, the music library was so extensive that the final choice only came after much searching, giving the selection a personal feeling of originality. Viegas’s two standards are likewise invaluable criteria for any successful classroom activity, maker or otherwise. A task may be difficult, but it must be feasible. It must contain elements requiring creative manipulation in order for one to become personally invested in the learning process.
The greatest challenge of this project was working solely with appropriately licensed Creative Commons materials. More specifically, it was finding the images I had already storyboarded in my head that was the hardest part. Working within these parameters forces one to be resourceful and adapt what is available. At times I considered shifting focus based on the material I was finding, but as I got better at searching, things came together. Funnily enough, it wasn’t until the last stages of my remix that I came across the cover photo of Chris Anderson’s book Makers: The New Industrial Revolution with its strip of duct tape decorating the top. Call it Creative Commons karma.
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