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Remix Readings

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What is interesting about McBride’s essay is how I can see echos of it in ds106. As she states, the essay isn’t specifically about the remix, but rather formal versus informal learning discussed within the context of remixing. Even so, she raises important issues about remixing such as copyright and content. This is the first area I see a relation to our class – in general, jimgroom has been somewhat ambiguous about our sourcing materials for our work. While on one hand we’re heard about creative commons and how we should give credit to our sources, on the other the video essay assignment probably would not have been given at other schools in its current form.

McBride has been strongly influenced by Freire, it seems, in her challenge of the notion of the hierarchical, one-way relationship between the teacher and student. This viewpoint also has been evident in ds106. Two obvious examples are the “bitch about ds106″ radio session we did in Week 6 and the recent @i_own_your_life (word on the street is that jimgroom loves it, strangly enough).

While the chaos that is ds106 has been and continues to be quite the experience, I’m not sure that McBride’s ideals necessarily ought to apply to all higher education (which she may agree with). Not all classes are a good match for a free-for-all model. For instance, when I was taking Calc II, I honestly didn’t care how the other students felt about derivatives, and freely acknowledged that I knew nothing about the subject while the teacher knew much. I was quite happy to sit there and learn from him. In other words, learning an established, less fluid subject is a different matter than exploring the bleeding edge, conducting student research, or ds-insanity.

Regarding Lamb’s article on mashups in education, I think it is important to distinguish between legitimacy and quality when asking whether or not mashups are a valid form of art. In my mind, there is no question that a mashup is legitimate if it modifies its source materials in such a way that it tells a new (though perhaps nuanced) story. However, criticisms that mashups are crappy folk art are not without merit: not all mashups are good. But then, neither is all “original” art, either.

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