I’m on a video spree tonight; playing around with the goofy squirrel movie got me thinking about another video I slapped together last May for a presentation I did at University of Mary Washington– this was the first go around for “Being There” which turned out in some ways to be “Alan’s Favorite Things and Odd Stuff on the Web”.
I had this one slide and effort to make a connection between teaching and cover bands. I actually got so carried away by the video I made to emphasize the point, it was later it dawned on me that maybe while fun, it sort of was a stretch from the supposed topic- a pitfall when you get hooked on media.
Here I tried to make the connection between teaching and cover bands. If you go to a bar and the music is a Beatles cover band, you pretty much expect 60’s dress, British flags, and faithful copies of the Fab Four’s music.
Maybe teaching certain subjects is like that- there are maybe only so many ways to teach the area of a triangle or sentence diagramming.
But often, our most memorable learning experiences are from teachers who do original versions of "old" classics.
So if you can follow this analogy, here is an experience I had with Johnny Cash— not an artist I liked very much (I am a 60s rock and roll fan, anything blues based works for me). I knew who Johnny Cash was,”the man in black” but he was country, outside my music scope.
But after learning more about the “man” after seeing “Walk the Line” I was intrigued to listen more to his music, and eventually looked to YouTube, where I found his version of Rusty Cage– a heavy metal song originally recorded by Soundgarden.
I’m trying to make a case that either version is "better" (though I do have my personal bias).
But Johnny Cash has done a complete and utterly creative re-interpretation of a driving heavy metal riff into an acoustic blues jolt. On the screen above I have made my own mashup- actually an intersection of 2 YouTube pages, and a video of both artists singing the same song.
My stretch is that good teachers do this as well- take a previous work and put a new interpretation on it, and done well, create a compelling resource (song) that may speak to a person where the original may not. Remixing and mashing up is an age old custom, just recently recast into a new media form.
The video is a questionable use by me editing of the two videos, so check it out before the lawyers find it.