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How does "open" contribute to our ability to remix?

Written by Karen Fasimpaur
October 18, 2012

Like many, my interest in open resources grew out of remix work I was doing.

In creating podcasts and other multimedia products with students, we often have a need for photos, drawings, music, and video. Putting together various third-party works like this into a new work is called “remixing” — kids do it all the time, and it’s quickly becoming a significant part of most creative processes. Why reinvent the wheel when you can use others’ great material to build on?

And for all the reasons already discussed, using open content facilitates remixing. There is a huge pool of open licensed illustrtions, photos, music, and video clips there for the taking.

Remixing applies to teachers as well. Thoughtful curriculum preparation often involves customizing and piecing together different works in order to differentiate instruction for students.

While in the past, this might have involved physically copying, pasting, and photocopying together a variety of print resources, this has now been made easier in the digital realm. Web sites like Curriki, CK12, and Hippocampus provide excellent resources that can be used for this.

Beyond the licensing advantages of open, this brings up the issue of technical remixability. Materials that are provided in a “source” format (e.g. text, jpgs, mp3) are more easily remixed, than those in formats like PDFs.

Remix soup image credit: Gideon Burton, CC BY SA

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