Monday, March 25, 2013

UPDATE: What Did We Learn This Week Recap, Remix Generation, and Learning

Last night I had a great Google Hangout Chat with two wonderful people that were gracious enough to jump online and chat.

I have started a new Google Hangout Chat called What Did We Learn This Week? 

I plan to have a weekly or biweekly meeting where people can jump in the conversation and talk about what they are learning, new books to read, favorite app, etc. It is wide open with goal being that at the end of the conversation we walk away excited about some new ideas to explore.

Before I get into the key idea that I want to address about remixing I wanted to give a list of ideas shared to me online by people who were not able to attend in person
  • Sorry I missed it... on the road, but here's a great learning experience for those hard to reach students from Eric Jensen:

    We can make a difference when we understand their needs. 3 key action steps: Embody respect. Embed social skills. Be inclusive.
  • I heard about "Mystery Skype" and thought it sounded like fun, so I created a "Mystery Hangout" Community on G+ in hopes of connecting classrooms around the world through a fun game that's a mix of Battleships and 20 questions.

    Basically, 2 teachers arrange a Hangout and then guess where each other is! Do join and spread the word if it sounds like fun to you. Personally, I want to find a classroom in Spain for my CT students.
  • I worked on deepening my skills in Illustrator and downloaded Inkscape (freeware similar to Illustrator) to try it out. It has a lot of power but uses very different terminology. It is something I want to explore. It's cross-platform BUT a bit outdated. It works on Snow Leopard (Mac osx) but not Lion or Mountain Lion (the latest 2 OSX). Luckily I have an older Mac still running Snow Leopard! 
And now back to an idea shared last night from the discussion.

Last night one of the ideas brought to the table was the idea of remixing. Scratch software encourages remixing or taking an idea of someone else and making it your own.

According to the wiki Scratch site a remix is "A remix is a modified and shared version of an uploaded project. Remixes, and all projects, are always under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License, the license Scratch uses."

We had a great discussion about this whole idea. One did not like it. Another viewed it as the way we are brought up and I stood somewhere in the middle. As I continued to think about it more I realized that I had differing ideas based on what I am teaching. 

Today I took my kids to a Family Museum and realized that our essential learning process is a remix. I watched it unfold time and time again so I am all for remixing. I have sided with the idea that it is indeed okay. We still need to teach parameters and how it all works, but the great conversation of last night lead me to more thinking and it all unfolded today.

Let me explain a bit.

First, we were playing music. Basically we took the idea of hitting notes and remixing the same pattern using different elements. It was freedom to create and learn. Maybe not so much remixing in terms of a song already being created, but watching my three kids they constantly remixed what one another was doing and trying to make it better.

Addy observed and look for an opening in which to engage. Addy is my middle child. She wants friends and loves to play with other kids. She approached things different from the other two. She would wait for an opening and then join the action. Once again this is a form of a remix in a sense. She watched to see how she could do what was being done and when she entered the realm of play she would remix things to add her own touch to the game. I saw this when she played in the mail room and the bridge crossing.

 Ava copied each kid she watched while playing. She constantly would walk to a station, stop and stare, and then repeat the other kids. Especially the older kids. She watched with such curiosity and studied them so intently. It was cool to see. I can see why kids can learn both good and bad traits.

Aiden did his own thing and just created and processed on his own, but this lead to other kids copying his ideas after he left. He spent a great deal of time figuring out this tube and water system. He had a scheme in mind. I watched other kids look at what he was doing. As soon as he was done, then they came right up and would copy his style and then branch off to create their own. Aiden was the silent one. Other times he would see a kid doing something that intrigued him. He would not interact, but wait until the coast was clear and then remix the idea that he observed.

We are a remix culture. These examples are not programming or Scratch based. They don't warrant a creative common license, but do showcase the essence of how we learn and continue to learn.

Here is the link to the chat from last night -

I plan on having another chat next weekend.
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