CEP 811 – Week 1

Week 1: Remixing

I am very excited to have started by second of the three required courses for the Masters Certificate in Educational Technology through Michigan State University. We have begun CEP 811 by exploring the concepts of “Make Culture” and its applications within student learning. Before I share the process of creating this week’s assignment, please see it for yourself!

This was one of the more challenging projects I have encountered thus far in the program, not due to the subject matter, but the creativity involved with the project. Given only 1 minute to mash-up videos, audio, words and images into a cohesive package that explains an element of maker culture….it is daunting! While reading the material for the week, I came across a quote that reframed the task that had been set, “Treat it more like a game and less like a product” (Lessig, 2008, p. 15). Being a music educator, I am often performance and product focused. Everything we do in the classroom, day in and day out, revolves around creating a performance product that will be presented to a public audience. The key to a successful rehearsal is engaging the students in a manner that encourages play and engagement. It was time for me to turn this project into a game and NOT an assignment.

After days of wracking my brain over what topic I wanted to explore, my memory stumbled upon a source of inspiration; the documentary, Landfill Harmonic. Turned viral  in 2012, the documentary tells the story of an impoverished community that turns trash into orchestral instruments so that the local children can have an instrumental music program. With this in mind, I began scouring the web for creative commons videos, images, and audio with which I could create a video.

I was unable to utilize video from Landfill Harmonic, however I found a wide variety of videos highlighting individuals who have embraced Maker Culture and have created their own instruments. A TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson gave me just the excerpt I needed to explain the need to teach divergent thinking in education, and other fill material magically materialized through some careful searches.

The most frustrating element of the project was the video editor. The suggested editor WeVideo is a browser based application that I found to be frustrating to use. There were limited functions and the uploading, editing, and manipulation of large media files proved too clunky for my liking. I quickly decided to go back to what I know and used Apple’s iMovie to formulate the video. Since I was familiar with all the functions and editing capabilities, the actual editing took very little time – the initial idea proved to be the most difficult.

From those I talk to, 811 can be the most challenging course in the certificate program due to the creativity and “play” that is involved. So far, I am truly enjoying what I am learning and making in the course. I look forward to starting week 2!


Electronics Waste [Online image]. Retrieved October 22, 2015 from http://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos/02/07/68/2076862_803e34b6.jpg

Geschwandtner, R., (2015). DIY PVC pipe instruments lyra I and II [Video file]. Retreived from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pdvYfPw_sU

Goyette, P. (2006). Snakes [Online image]. Retreived October 22, 2015 from https://www.flickr.com/photos/pgoyette/222810961/

Lessig, L. (2008). Remix: Making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy. New York: Penguin Press. Retreived from http://www.scribd.com/doc/47089238/Remix

Maher, E. (2012). Creativity Flow People Education Design [Online image]. Retrieved October 22, 2015 from http://www.ppt-backgrounds.net/engineering/1534-creativity-flow-people-education-design-backgrounds

Putney, J., (2014). Recycled Hard Drive Instrument – Electric Waste Orchestra. [Video file]. Retreived from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPzEGhv_XmI

Robinson, K., (2010). Changing education paradigms [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

Students work on robots at Canada College [Online image]. Retrieved October 22, 2015 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transfer_admissions_in_the_United_States#/media/File:Students_work_on_robots_at_Cañada_College.jpg

Twisterium. (2015). Romantic Folk Loop [Audio file]. Retrieved from: https://soundcloud.com/twisterium/romantic-folk-loop-free-instrumental-background-music-creative-commons

Zeioli, J., (2015). How to be a creative thinker? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Omhew9o8XCs