Guest post by Richard Scullin, founder of the DML Lab at Mount Greylock High School (MA) and MobileEd.org, and team member of OpenPath, a NSF/Mozilla Foundation-funded US Ignite project on location-based learning.
The Digital Media and Learning (DML) Lab at Mount Greylock High School (MA) collaborates with teachers and students to integrate digital media with curriculum. The units we create are curiosity driven, digitally connected, and collaborative. In Science 8 recently we wanted to demonstrate knowledge of biomes and ecosystems—flora/fauna, climate, a/biotic factors, and environmental concerns such as deforestation, drilling, global warming, invasive species, etc. In the past, students made posters with paper, glue sticks, magic markers, etc., (which are still fun and cool!). This time, though, we introduced Mozilla’s Popcorn Maker (we had used Zeega, a similar tool, earlier in the year.) Popcorn Maker is a resource to remix the web and create media experiences that tap the Internet’s shifting flow. The (80+) students did a good job, quickly learning how to use the tool within a class period or two (!), researching and then creating some beautiful and informative pieces. See a couple examples here (Sally) and here (Najla).
Thoughts on remixing the web and introducing (new) digital media into the classroom.
Citations and Sources
Because tools like Popcorn Maker (and Zeega) can tap the web (a Flickr or Twitter feed, a Wikipedia entry), and because those content sources change, it’s difficult to cite consistently and precisely what you’re pulling into the Popcorn project. Our students drew much of their information from their Holt Science & Technology Environmental Science textbook, but surely other content found its way into the presentations. So the question arises: How do you cite Popcorn remix? And do you cite a remix of a remix?
Remixing and Appropriation
Creative Commons–licenses that provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors, artists, and educators–begins to address the attribution problem. And we could always use a Works Cited page at the end of the Popcorn project. But I’m not sure that adequately addresses our scholarly responsibility.