Week 5 Response: Audio in the Classroom Chp. 2 & 3 (Erik Jacobson & Christopher Shamburg)

This week we delve into the value of audio only formats specifically examining remixing and Podcasting. Erik Jacobson’s article “Music remix in the classroom” delves into the history of music remixing and expounds upon the originality and value of the musicians who create this dynamic genre of music. Many people do not see remixing as “real” music because the tracks are often sampled from others and view the genre as unoriginal. Jacobson counters by auguring that all music has historically sampled from previous music including classical, folk and jazz. The beauty of remix genres such as hiphop is that they are not even attempting to mask the sample rather they embrace the sampling as a feature of the music instead of the something that should be hidden.

This postmodern view of music recognizes the power of recreation from existing material. We live in the cut and paste generation, instead of trying to pretend that we have original thought why not embrace the collaborative power of creation. This got me thinking of education and how teachers do not need to be original rather they must be proficient in “remixing” existing content into a coherent and effective learning exepeirience.

Many of my faculty I work with have attempted to video all original lectures and write original articles for their students. I commend their efforts but I also have faculty who have embraced the open educational recourses and in a way have remixed their courseware by leveraging the power of other people’s thoughts and ideas that have likely more specialization in those specific topics. Those courses mix in podcasts from NPR, guest lecturers, youtube videos and reading from people all around the world researching and investigating their particular passion. Those courses that lean heavily on the remix model are not hampered by unoriginality but rather are vastly more engaging and dynamic than their more “original” counterparts, just like the remix hip hop artist that Jacobson outlined in his article.

I also wanted to touch briefly on the Podcasting article written by Christopher Shamburg. I also agree that the medium of audio only format for story telling have experienced a resurgence due mainly to podcasts available online. As an avid podcast listener I believe that there is potential for podcast to have a greater impact on education than it is currently being used. There are many students who are audio learners, myself included. I find myself draw to audio format because of the on the go nature of my life, I usually only have time to really focus on a story when I’m commuting, running errands or at the gym. We have a mini computer with us at all time but we often are using are eyes and hand for something else, this is when for practical reasons audio only formats are the best option for story telling. I find that many students are experiencing the same thing time constraints. I plan on producing a podcasts for this week’s audio assignment to practice the skills shown in the article.