cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by carlstr

The photo I chose for this post actually has nothing to do with what (I think I will) write about, but came up in the photostream of something from the compfight search on “unexpected”.

Get it? “unexpected”.

Enough pre-amble.

It’s been exciting to see the student work come in for this week’s ds106 work that uses my experimental assignment remix generator.

We’ve been emphasizing that the focus of this exercise is less on what they create and more on how they go about interpreting and writing up how to do something like One Story/Four Icons [remixed]: What’s the prequel?. What we want is to see/read your thinking on this.

Tow things have come in as questions from students.

(1) How do I do this if it makes no sense? Well one option is to keep reloading the generator until you get something you think will work. But I’d like to see some inventiveness here (which means I better get off my butt and do some assignments) – and write it up saying why it does not work, and offer a different way to interpret it that might work.

The example above might not be such a stretch. The movie/book done as the One Story / Four Icon might not have a prequel, but nothing prevents you from imagining it and doing it as 4 icons. So this is doable. Something like Movie Voice Machines [Remixed]: The Opposer presents something maybe not meaningful- how to you dot he opposite of a voicemail message for a tv/film character? Maybe an email autoresponder? It’s not impossible, and nothing prevents you from changing up the remixed assignment, as long as you can justify it.

The other issue is what sparked me- (2) I can’t do anything with the original assignment media.

This might be if all someone has posted is a final video, or animation without links to any sources. What this would hopefully, sublimely suggest to my students, I hope is an appreciation for assignment writeups that include more than the final work.

What I mean, this is why it is important in writing upds106 materials to cite/link the sources of your original media, the film clip on youtube, the image found at ffffound, the audio from the Internet Archive– e.g. provide the raw materials you used to create the assignment. That would make it so someone else could perhaps do a variant of the work you created.

Doing this makes what you create much more viable to be remixed. It was nothing we stated upfront (as the idea of remixing assignments was a fuzzy dream), but will be wrapped into future ds106 sections I teach as part of the criteria for what an assignment writeup should include.

Remixing has been an interesting creative form; making what you create remixable is to me, the right thing to do, if at a minimum just to cite the sources.

Also there is the variant (2b), “there are no examples to work from”. I made a mistake and told my class that in a worse case scenario they could use their own media, but in hindsight, this is really not a remix, but a re-edit.

As many things ds106, we are building the plane in mid-flight, already in a week, we have 61 66 remixed assignments completed – give it a whirl yourself at http://remix.ds106.us/

And added last week was also a way to directly add new remix cards to the mix. Mix it up (I need to do some myself, damnit).

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

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