Sound is all around us, and it may be the format that is the most accessible to us as teachers, designers, and students. With the technologies available to us today we have opportunities to create and use sound in our lives that we could barely imagine years ago. The two chapters that we read this week ( Music Remix in the Classroom and DIY Podcasting in Education, Digital Literacies: Concepts, Policies and Practices, Lankshear and Knobel, 2008) introdic remix can be used as an expression of creativity and inventiveness that does not require the person to be a musician. With a basic computer and any one of a variety ouce us to two areas of sound creation that we can use in our instructional work. Musf software packages, the imagination becomes the only limitation to creating a remix that can be shared with others. And podcasts are another medium where we can share audio with the world (although some do have video components). Podcasts can be used for any number of purposes, from theatrical presentations, to music mixes, to informational shows, or to a variety of other collections.
The Music Remix chapter is divided into three sections. The first section is a brief history of remixing, and in many ways gives us a view into the inspiration behind music remixes. There are a number of examples presented in this section that give a good sample of remixes. I encourage you to seek out and listen to some of these samples in order to get a sense of what music remix is all about. The second section is more specific about some of the tools that are available for remixing, and how to use them. The author walks us through a sample remix using Audacity (a free software application) with suggestions on how to create a remix. This information is very useful to beginners who are not used to remixing. The third and final section introduces us to the some of the benefits of remixing in the classroom. Not only does it introduce students to modern skills that are important to those navigating their way in society, but it also gives them an outlet for creative expression that they might not have otherwise. And it also gives them the opportunity to actually create something of their own, instead of just writing about it in a sterile environment.
The DIY Podcasting chapter is also divided into three sections, with the first section giving us insight into the author’s early use and engagement with podcasting. Like him, I am fascinated by the use of sound to create worlds that we would not normally be able to visit. Many years ago I participated in a radio theater group, and now I find the opportunities of the new technologies available with podcasting intriguing. It no longer requires a full fledged studio to regularly produce a podcast when tools such as audacity are available for free. This chapter also contains a section on how to create a podcast using Audacity, but it also includes two components that are very important for podcasting. One is the procedure for making your podcast subscribeable (which is the definition of a podcast), and the other important discussion is about copyright laws and how to avoid complications when using other people’s material. The chapter finishes with a discussion of how to use podcasts in an education environment. As the author states, “Podcasting offers an inexpensive way to create and share compelling media that correlates to authentic activities outside of classrooms.”
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, sound is all around us. And these readings give us two new ways to use sound in our everyday teaching experiences. These skills should be a part of the wider collection of skills that our students should possess in today’s world, such as blogging, image manipulation, and many more.