Stuff I Read:

What I Think:

“I remixed a remix. It went back to normal”-Mitch Hedberg


My readings for this week inspired several insights in me that can be summed up in one statement: Mitch Hedberg was wrong and right. The quote above from the late famous comedian is obviously meant in jest, but it touches on several of the issues I encountered in the readings listed above. My specific insights are as follows: Remixing has been and continues to be an integral part of existence that has been enhanced by digital culture, recognition of remixing as inextricable from writing and other content creation is essential for a thriving society and culture, and educators of all types (teachers, instructional designers, librarians, etc.) must act as guardians for remixing. By remixing a remix, we are simply continuing a process that has already been in place. As Lessig pointed out, remixing-and all the implications of ownership and authorship- is indeed the new “norm”.

Based on Lankshear and Knobel (2011) Chapter 4, the integral role of remixing in our culture is apparent and must be acknowledged in order for society to prosper. Remixing is present in music, photo editing, video editing (creating movie trailors, etc.), and even (or especially) fan fiction. It is even present in the act of discussing a movie, song, book, or other creative work with friends. Digital culture has expanded and amplified our ability to remix by providing exposure to videos and pictures online, an outlet for creating fiction based on previously created characters and plots, and giving us mashup tools like Twittervision to do more remixing than ever before. One of the most revealing section of this chapter was undeniably the discussion of fan fiction and the types of remixing present in the act of turning someone else’s characters and plots into a new creation. Furthermore, I was unaware that I had undertaken so much remixing in this class and others as I analyze and write reflections on what I’ve read.

As a librarian/educator and a student, I consistently strive to promote collaboration and sharing as key elements in contemporary culture. For this reason, encountering Robin DeRosa’s list of Open Educational Resources was cause for excitement. Openly accessible resources are the perfect solution to many growing concerns in higher education (namely, reduced budgets and rising costs of academic materials). This collection of links provides an excellent introduction to Open Access, OER, and how to find open resources. In order to adapt to the changing landscape of higher education and society in general, it is more important than ever that user know how to find free academic materials that they can use, share, and (in some cases) adapt.

In her article on copyright services for librarians, Inga-Lill Nilsson provides a very effective overview on how the changes in copyright brought on by cyberspace and the culture of “remixing” will impact library users. In short, librarians will have increasing roles as experts on copyright and user rights. This means that professional librarians and library assistants will have to be well versed on all matters copyright in order to effectively help their patrons with digital resources. There is a plethora of literature on the changing role of libraries and librarians in the wake of the rise of electronic resources, but this one stands out as an effective, somewhat concise guide to “what we have to do.”

To sum it all up: Digital culture has enhanced our penchant for remixing by giving us a world of opportunities and resources. In order to adapt to the changing world, it is the responsibility of educators to understand the impact of cyberspace and online resources. Collaboration is the way things are and we must roll with the punches (in sharing and understanding of copyright law, among others).

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