Tag Archives: Everythingisaremix

Course 2 Final Project: Stranger Danger!

Believe it or not, the end of Course 2 is almost upon us! And for the Course 2 Final Project, my group and I chose Option 1. Becky, James, and I have created a Responsible Use Policy that is specific to the grades that we teach. We originally started from scratch, and then, we went on to incorporate many ideas from the responsible use policy used at Becky’s school. Here is what my group came up with for our Course 2 Final Project:


Honestly, I was at a total loss of where to start with this, and I really wanted to be a contributing member of my group 🙂 My school does not currently have any sort of Responsible Use Policy/Agreement, so I did have to start from scratch. Where to first? You might ask! Google, of course! I Googled “responsible use policy agreement,” and this is what came up:

Google Screenshot

Aside from my very knowledgeable group members, my most valuable resources for this project were: Acceptable Use Policy from WikipediaBrown University’s Acceptable Use Policy, and Northern Illinois University’s Acceptable Use Policy. I read through these resources and picked apart what might be useful for the acceptable use policy we were creating. A Google Doc was started, and this was the medium through which my group members and I collaborated on this project. It was AWESOME! We were able to add our ideas, notes, thoughts, etc. as well as make comments on our group members’ work. It also allowed us to work on the document as needed when it was most convenient for us. We didn’t all have to be on the document at the same time. We just left notes for each other as we made additions, deletions, and modifications to our policy. I thought that it was a very valuable and interactive way of collaborating and communicating with each other.

Language and Topics

We decided to create an acceptable use policy specifically for students in grades six through nine as all of our group members teach at least one of those grades, and it seemed fitting as those grades are a transitional time for students both leaving elementary school and entering into high school. We choose 4 specific headings: Purpose, Scope, Policy, and Related Links. There were a number of reasons for this. One – many of the other policies that we researched had similar headings to these. Two – we felt that this language would be appropriate for middle school and early high school. And three – we thought these headings were inclusive but not overwhelming . We also chose sub-headings for our Policy section to make it very clear for our students to understand the policy, and those sub-headings included: Acceptable Use of Technology, Unacceptable Use of Technology, Code of Conduct: Netiquette, and Consequences.

My group focused on topics that we thought were most relevant to our students. Within the Policy section, we gave explicit examples of acceptable and unacceptable uses of technology. We wrote our policy with our students in mind hoping that they will read and easily understand the policy we have created for them.

Photo Credit: sinkdd via Compfight cc


I titled my post: Stranger Danger! because I feel that our responsible use policy is helping to keep our students safe. When I was a little girl, I remember my parents sitting me down and discussing how important it was NOT to talk to strangers and what to do in situations that might involve strangers. My parents just wanted to keep me safe. And in a way, I feel like we are doing this with our students through the creation of our acceptable use policy. Yes, it includes the dos and don’ts of technology use, but the purpose of creating such a policy, ultimately, is to keep our students safe.

Sharing is caring 🙂

Now that we have created this policy, we must share it with our students, and I am not exactly sure how I am going to do this just yet! Instead of just sharing the document with them and discussing it, I was hoping to come up with a more fun and interactive way of sharing this information with my students. What do you think? I warmly welcome your comments below.


Filmmaker, writer, and speaker, Kirby Ferguson, argues that “Everything is a remix.” (Am I plagiarizing for using the title of his four-part video series as the name of my blog post? Is this obvious enough that I am giving him credit for it? I want to make sure that I am giving credit where credit is due!) After being assigned this week to watch the video series, Everything is a Remix, I was intrigued. Then, I dug a bit deeper and found and watched Kirby Ferguson’s TED Talk, Embrace the remix.

YouTube Preview Image

Kirby’s definition of a remix is something that is copied, transformed, and combined, and his Bob Dylan and Steve Jobs examples really helped me to understand “the remix” as I was formerly unaware that such a thing even existed.

A screenshot from my notes for this week

Kirby explains that, throughout history, creators have borrowed, stolen, and transformed creative works. Our own creativity is, in fact, a “concoction of previous stuff,” he says. In his TED Talk, Kirby quotes Henry Ford, “an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and the sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production” (taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Ford),

“I invented nothing new. I simply assembled the discoveries of other men whom behind were centuries of work…progress happens when all the factors that make for it are ready and then it is inevitable.”

In Kirby’s TED Talk, he showed a picture of the Patent Act of 1970, and below the title, it read, “An act to promote the progress of useful art,” and I found that SO interesting! When I think of patent laws, “an act to promote the progress of useful art” is NOT what comes to mind! Unfortunately, I think of people copying each other’s work and resulting lawsuits. In his TED Talk, Kirby states that, “creativity comes from without, not from within.” Our creativity IS a compilation of our’s and others’ experiences, and I am not sure that I ever really thought about creativity in that way.

Photo Credit: Dawn Endico via Compfight cc

Honestly, I LOVE the concept of the remix. But I get so confused sometimes. What does it mean to be creative? If the purpose of the Patent Act of 1790 is “to promote the progress of useful art,” then how is this Act actually helping us progress? Most of the time, I feel like patent laws are doing just the opposite 🙁

How can we use the concepts behind remix culture in our teaching? That is a GREAT question! How can we convey these concept to our students without them taking it the wrong way? I think such concepts could, sometimes, be easily misconstrued. I am not even sure that I completely understand them all of the time!

I want my students to be as creative as possible (yes! even in science class), and I want them to give credit where credit is due and understand why that is important 🙂 I warmly welcome your comments below.