Creating Purposeful Remixes with Mozilla Popcorn

I was sad to miss what looked liked an entertaining and informative #hiphoped chat on Twitter Tuesday night. In celebration of hip hop turning forty the community was ranking the top 40 most influential #hiphoped songs.

I woke the next morning and checked out the transcript. I wanted to think about how I could use the chat for purposeful engagement and  classes. Mike Manderino gave me an idea:

I thought how could I make this happen? That reminded me of Mozilla’s Popcorn. I figured this would be a great opportunity to learn the remix device. Basically you can add in clips from Youtube, change the tracks, remove audio/video, add texts. It turned out to be a wonderfully easy but powerful tool.

Here is my first attempt. I used the YouTube clips posted to #hiphoped feed. I want to throw the caveat that I did not try to match the sound, but I did try to get some theme going through it.

https://jgmac1106.makes.org/popcorn/1a57

Screenshot 8:1:13 10:52 AM

You can see in the image how you overlay different tracks. You can edit and shorten the tracks. Add more tracks. I was able to create a remix fairly quickly.

Classroom Extensions

I wanted to think though how can I make these remixes purposeful. In order to do this I would use the more advanced tools in PopcornMaker.
Screenshot 8:1:13 10:48 AM-2

Students could select the songs and then add in information about the history of the song, historical context of the video, or conflicts discussed in the song. This would be a wonderful Online Research and Media Skills project. First, it requires remixing and creating. Also students would have to conduct an online inquiry project that required online reading comprhension. Finally they could collaborate with each other on reviewing their makes.

Embedding Close Reading in Culturally Responsive Texts

There had been a lot of noise about increasing informational text and analytical reading. This does not mean, however, we have to be devoid of interest driven learning. By creating a #hiphoped remix with historical contexts students would have to engage in close reading activities with online texts.

Students could conduct research online and embed information from the text. The kids could use the maps and create a historical virtual field trip. All of this embedded into a mix tape for the 21st century learner.

I look forward in developing the learning activities for this project and hope to try it out with my Gear Up students from New Haven.

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