A concept I like to present when doing professional development about Web 2.0 is the idea of “remix”. If we look at millenials, we see that all their digital actions are associated with remixing and personalising of music, video, pictures, information – whatever really!
So the reappearance of Writely as a Google product, is another example of a writing tool that allows students to cut and paste, as well as combine and create, all in the one online tool. It features collaborative editing — multiple editors on the same doc at once — and can be used as the editor for writing your blog, saving out to a post instead of a file on your machine.
Writely – the Web 2.0 word processor is now accepting signups again.
We cannot escape ‘remix’ – nor would I suggest that we should! What is more critical is that educators come to better understand the shifting agenda in this ‘remix’ culture, and appreciate the strength of this approach and integrate it into our educational aims. Of course we have to work out what this means – and how ‘remix’ can be about developing creativity, fostering critical thinking, collaboration, and knowledge creation.
So a post on this topic from Sheila Webber is timely, as she alerts us to to the fact that Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel have generously posted Chapter 3 (“New literacies: concepts and practices”) of the forthcoming 2nd edition of their book New Literacies http://www.geocities.com/newliteracies/ and on their blog they had also posted Chapter 4 (“New literacies in everyday practice”) as well.
Three experts from Part 2: New literacies in everyday practice make a good summary of my views on ‘remix’:
Until recently the idea of ‘remix’ as a practice of taking cultural artifacts and combining and manipulating them into a new kind of creative blend was associated almost entirely with recorded music.
While this remains the dominant conception of remix, its conceptual life has expanded recently in important and interesting ways within the context of increasing activism directed at copyright and intellectual property legislation.
We accept this conceptual extension of ‘writing’ to include practices of producing, exchanging and negotiating digitally remixed texts, which may employ a single medium or may be multimedia remixes. At the same time we also recognize as forms of remix various practices that do not necessarily involve digitally remixing sound, image and animation, such as fanfiction writing and producing manga comics (whether on paper or on the screen).