It only takes a moment for one to look at current pop culture to see how much influence the past has on the present. For example, it seems like every time one turns around another Spiderman or Star Trek movie is being made, or another British television show is being re-made for American audiences. This type of remix culture can have great influence on education, and the ways in which students demonstrate their understanding of topics being studied in class.
"Put simply, copying is how we learn. We can't introduce anything new until we are fluent in the language of our domain" (Ferguson, 2011). Elementary education is basically one long copying session. Students copy how to read, write, follow mathematical procedures, scientific theories and procedures, and historical events. However, as teachers we are constantly encouraging our students to be creative and try something new. The ease with which we can "remix" these days perhaps makes it more possible for students to apply creativity as they copy.
So how can we remix with young students? The ease with which technology can be applied in the classroom (of course assuming the appropriate budget is in place, which is another issue for another time) makes it possible for students to create their own remixes in any number of forms. For example, students as young as third-graders can create songs using popular melodies about what is being studied in class. In my own third-grade class, students created songs about environmental awareness when studying the physical regions of Ontario. Students can also make simple videos using any number of platforms, including Lego Movie Maker or on the SeeSaw app. Having students retell a story using Lego Movie Maker is a form of copying, but with an element of creativity and remixing involved as they experiment with a new form.
Giving students the opportunity to copy and remix in the classroom will perhaps allow for deeper understanding to occur, as students tinker with the elements to create something of their own. This could also (hopefully) make room for more interest and excitement about a variety of dry topics (the physical regions of Ontario...) and bring current culture into the classroom.
Ferguson, K. (Director). (2011). Everything is a Remix [Motion Picture].