Next, the second artifact I believe had significant meaning to my overall learning and professional development was EDTECH 533’s Mixing and Mashing Media assignment. Being that I teach design and often spend a great deal of time developing resources for project based learning, It was a pleasure, professionally, to not only see how many legal resources are available for students to use within their own unique projects, but also how wonderful it was to be able to spend less time on creating resources and more time focusing on the student’s needs and their overall learning.
Essentially, the practice of using pre-existing materials and turning into new work has long been a practice of many forms of creative and educational expression. In other words, a mashup or mixing of resources, just like this particular assignment, is meant to reuse already available elements to ultimately create something new or different with equally engaging educational value. In fact, during this assignment, I learned that the educational potential of using legal resources is a topic that will only increasingly become more relevant in today’s technologically-advanced society, especially as multimedia tools are becoming the norm for educational communication. In other words, I have seen my students place a greater emphasis on the quality of their work because they know their creations can be easily shared and examined in today’s Internet society. In short, they place a greater value on producing a product that is of high standard because an audience of one–the teacher–is less demanding than an audience of many–particularly one’s peers. Professionally, I have seen colleagues quickly recognize that publishing a multimedia document that communicates effectively requires attention to both the content and the design of the document.
Furthermore, I have seen a deeper level of learning thorough mash up assignments I have created for my design training. In other words, assignments like this show student composition representing ideas simultaneously through text, audio, video and sound. In other words, it increases the likelihood that students will acquire an understanding of complex information. Additionally, it is a reasonable belief that using an even wider range of media or legal resources will extend this effect. In fact, I truly believe that by using this approach with some of my assignments have increased motivation by my students to create their projects using a variety of different media . . . and this boost of motivation, of course, enhanced their overall attitudes as well.
Finally, I believe this assignment taught me and subsequently my students about fair use for media in education. As previously mentioned, today’s internet society has blurred the line about the fair use of copyrighted material in the classroom. In short, since all manner of content and media is now readily available online and easily shared, fear and misinformation have kept teachers and students from using valuable resources to build student’s critical thinking and communication skills. Thus, with the aid of creative commons tools and The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education, there is now a clearer picture of what educators and learners can do under in the classroom. These lessons of creating, distributing, and sharing curriculum materials have made a huge impact on me as both a student and a trainer.