Lankshear and Knobel. Fourth Chapter. Remixing Practices Reflection.

collage new literacies

Examining social practices of digital remixing as a necessary condition for democratic culture as a new norm for writing gives me a new dimension to consider popular production and expression. Lankshear and Knobel emphasized the increasing importance technology has in digital remixing though the practice of writing. They explained the power incorporating sound and video has in engaging young people to act as digital readers and writers. Increasing access to software enabling user’s ability to produce, exchange, and negotiate digital productions providing an exceptional opportunity to expand complex relationships developing among social participation in practices.

The chapter included an enlightening appendix section connecting popular everyday remix practices such as making machinima videos or political remix with the kind of involvement encouraged by these practices, some literacy dimensions involved, and some online spaces, sites of examples to explore. To successfully participate in these remix practices is necessary to develop some skills in manipulating media. Lankshear and Knobel discussed photoshopping, music remixing and creating service ware mashups as common digital ways to contribute in remixing. In the article Mixing It Up: Bringing Young People’s Digital Creativity to Class, Burwell (2015) advocates for the value, as she pointed out, how to include remix techniques in classroom production combined with analyzing practices have the potential for the students to expand their participation as readers and writers, consumers and producers providing valuable experiences to bring their ideas to the public domain

“…the analysis and use of remix techniques in class has the potential to bridge the divide between young people’s experiences of media and technology inside and outside of school. As numerous media and education scholars have argued, the gap between students’ digital media experiences in school and out of school is significant. This gap may heighten the perception that adults are disconnected, unavailable, and largely uninterested in the complex role that digital media play in the lives of young people. Recognizing young people’s creative digital practices, and their centrality to communication, community-building, and public expression, is one way to begin to bridge that gap, and to move towards classrooms that embrace a range of contemporary literacies.”

I understand the importance of integration, acceptance, and criticizing to create culture. I also recognize the power of remixing in engaging young people in critical thinking, and to promote educational equality when accessing digital material. However it still prevails in me the conflict between encouraging creativity and respecting others’ ideas. The notion of pairing consumption with read only culture versus read and write with creativity seems too extremist to me. I agreed when the authors advocate for the value of remix for research culture. I concur with the authors when mentioning research as a professional remixing of knowledge and findings. My concern is what is the limit? How to determine the real value of this digital remix practices in education? Are we encouraging laziness and attempts against self production? Would it be an appropriate approach to integrate discussion with students addressing ownership-driven questions considering identified social norms and exploring the vast potential situation of reusing images, sound, music, and ideas into new kinds of narratives.

As Lankshear and Knobel point out there are many popular kinds of digital remixing activities, the benefits to access and expand this practices are enormous like providing opportunities to produce and express ideas. At the same time I am afraid it is an easy way to lose identity in massive remix practices. What is the best pedagogical approach to encourage this democratic remixing culture without losing the sense of personal identity? Originality is becoming an impossible goal?


Burwell (2015) Mixing It Up: Bringing Young People’s Digital Creativity to Class [Online]’s-digital-creativity-class

Lankshear, C. & Knobel, M. (2011). New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning. New York: Open University Press

3 responses to “Lankshear and Knobel. Fourth Chapter. Remixing Practices Reflection.”

  1. Hi Rosanna! Great read here. I wrote on the issue of copyright as well. Alicia tweeted a great TED talk on remixing yesterday. If you didn’t get a chance to watch it here is the link:

    It builds on this notion that nothing has never been original and uses Bob Dylan as an example of music remixing. I remember learning this concept in my art history class way back in the days of community college.

    So, the idea of digital remixing is really nothing new, we just have more tools and means of communication than we did even just 5 years ago. The argument can be made that technology has made children lazier however, is it just the evolution of human existence? Do you think the generation before the industrial revolution said the same thing about the children born into those technologies?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily, thank you for the link, very interesting talk. I am convinced the productivity and technological skills the new generation have is awesome and very valuable. I also practice remixing ideas constantly when I produce something digitally or not. I am just wondering if we are losing the capacity to try to create original or material showing personal ideas. Sometimes I feel we are encouraging understanding the copyright issues instead of encouraging more creative thinking. Many times when I am revising personal or professional material I have the sensation of many little variations of the same core idea until it is a nonsense. What is the way to encourage properly integration of new literacies skills and critical thinking effort?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like that you bring up the loss of originality. It seems that with so many possibilities to create new useful tools by mashing up existing ones, that the creativity for new original ideas is decreasing. Users are tending to take the easy way and combine already developed things instead of developing something from scratch. Sure these mashups have value but is it enough to let go of original ideas? We, as consumers of technology, only move forward when new, completely new tools are created. if we simply keep mashing up all of our existing tools are we really moving forward or will we eventually become stuck? I’m all for mashing up and remixing, but originality will always have an important place.

    Liked by 2 people

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