Sunday, July 12, 2015

All Mashed Up - Week 5 Reflective Practice

As part of the educational discourse in digital storytelling each week, I will conduct a reflective practice self assessment. These ‘reflections’ will serve as both formative and summative assessment to the learning goals of the course INTE 5340.

See learning goals in the INTE 5340 syllabus. See DS106 syllabus.

Requirements and Production

The Daily Create (x2)
DS106 Assignment Bank (Mashup)
Internal production and discussion only. See analysis below.

Response to Lankshear & Knobel “New Literacies” chapter one and selected scholarship
Is Design Important? A Response to Lankshear and Knobel Chapter Five

Digital story critique
The Everyday Remix Practices of Teachers: A Critique of Christopher Emdin: Hip-Hop and the Remix of Science Education

Comment peer chapter responses (x2)
What's a Blog?

The Perfect Storm - Ch. 5 Response

What was challenging?

Week 5 presented many challenges. The first part of the week I spent looking at copyright research and in regards to educational uses and remixes in particular. In short, it’s still very vague what can be construed as ‘infringement.’ What I have concluded is that it is better to be safe sorry. It’s important to try to clarify ‘ownership of others’ as much, and in as many ways, as necessary. I don’t believe most of the remixes as seen by others on ds106 do the best job of doing this or making it abundantly clear where source material is derived. But because I am a professional self-employed artist and designer it’s really important for me to understand and respect copyright concerns as much as possible. It’s also important to consider that many others don’t share the same view or opinions as expressed in the Lankshear and Knobel text or on ds106. And there are others that are ignorant to the importance of culture as mentioned in the L&K text. For me I walk a fine line participating in some of the practices of this course because my superiors, co-workers, or clients may not understand these remixes as a cultural practice, rather, it may be viewed as trying to deliberately ‘copy’ someone else’s work. Or that, in some way, I may be un-capable of producing something original. I would not expect all of the viewers of my work to have read the same literature as myself in order to appreciate remixes as a cultural practice so these assumptions are in some ways fair by others.

The second most challenging part of this week was creating a music mash-up remix (ed reform themed) while trying to deliberately create new meaning in a transformative nature. There were many issues in regard to technicalities in Adobe Audition, but as those were overcome, new issues with music technicalities emerged. Once the music and sound issues were resolved then I had copyright issues to contend with. Internally, I struggled with this mashup assignment because of copyright so I decided not to make my mashup public. However I completed the assignment and write-up / analysis. This was really unfortunate for me because I felt like I did an exceptional job on the mashup and I paid considerable attention to many nuances that made it a bit more polished and easy to listen to.

What was most enjoyable?

My favorite part of my week was creating the music mash-up. I liked the sound and the finished product. In fact, I would like to make many more music remixes but after my experience with copyright concerns, I simply will not. I suppose the enjoyment will have to remain intrinsic. I would have enjoyed this week more if I could find clear evidence that these music mashups and remixes are not in fact infringement. Everything I read stated to “get permission from the copyright owner,” which is totally feasible to do, in a week, for a school assignment, with no money. Right? (sarcasm) I think with extended periods of time and planning it is possible to get ‘permissions’ from all copyright holders. But is there a cost associated with that? Is it challenging to get in touch with the copyright holders? How are restrictions of use negotiated? So many more questions about copyright and everyday remixes. I simply could not feasibly deal with all of the questions and concerns around this subject matter to deliver as I would have liked in less than one week.

What was learned about the focal theme and what issues / questions have emerged?

This week I focused on some everyday practices of teachers who integrate creativity into their lessons of ‘core’ subjects to promote engagement and interest of students. Namely, the work of Chris Emdin, a science educator that integrates poetry and hip-hop into his lessons. What I learned from this is that there are many unique ways to integrate creativity to promote interest in the classroom. The way in which creative activities enrich core subjects is demonstrated by Chris. However, for Chris, his unique way of using hip-hop is appropriate for the demographics or urban population where he teaches. This method may not apply to other areas in the country or world. It should be noted that subject matter and methods to integrate creativity should, in as many ways as possible, be relevant to the students. Finding this relevance requires ‘strong ties’ to the community and culture of the school district, individual school, classroom, and the individual students.

Points earned 10/10?

I exhausted myself again this week. I’ve researched subject matter beyond my focal theme. I’ve engaged with others about their focal themes.I participated in discussions about copyright with other ‘ds106er’s’ outside of this course. I spent significant time and effort crafting a remix that has a lot of meaning to my focal subject. I responded to other students questions as a response to the L&K text. In summation, engagement and research was above and beyond the course requirements for exemplary grades. However because I could not find a clear way to make my remix public I have to give myself 9/10 points.

New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning Third Ed by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel. McGraw-Hill Education 2011.