Imagine you are an 11th grade student taking American History today. Your teacher walks into the classroom and asks you to create a video that discusses the significance of the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, but you can only use found footage on YouTube for the project. Does that sound nuts?

Many red alarms may sound off in your head…. Our school doesn’t allow YouTube or isn’t that in violation of copyright? or how are my students going to create a video for school? or what learning value would this offer my students? or what Standards address this assignment?

These are all very important questions that educators should ask. There are probably a ton more. In short, the answer is that, this can happen and it will be of tremendous importance to your students’ learning.

The video below addresses the value added when producing remix videos. It discusses the affordances of creating personal digital stories using found media and how it can help to reinforce online research skills, understanding of fair use and copyright law, along with visual rhetoric and digital literacy (which comes with traditional forms of digital storytelling as well). The video provides insight on how the production process of making a video can incorporate all these skills and literacies. Although, the video explores the process of producing a personal story with political implications, you will be able to make the connection to how this process can directly link to larger topics that would be covered in core content areas – like American History.

Note: Student projects about the Space Race will soon follow.

The New Research Paper is a Remixed Video 21 February,2013Matthew Williams



Matthew Williams

Matthew Williams is a filmmaker and media educator who has recently transplanted to Oakland from Los Angeles. He believes that you are what you eat and feels everyone should have a multitude of dietary options for self-realization. Matthew is the Educational Technologist at KQED.

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