I’m interested in the fact that appropriation is one of the literacies-this one seems particularly specific to internet culture and is something that all internet journalists grapple with all the time. How do we learn to successfully “sample and remix” content generated by others?
We’ve found that appropriation is a particularly complex skill when it comes to schools. Teachers are concerned with the apparent ease of plagiarism and confusions around copyright and fair use. We tend to talk about appropriation in terms of remix culture because most young people are more familiar with it. In the Teachers’ Strategy Guide, we even talk about Herman Melville as a remixer because of the way he incorporated elements from many sources, including the Bible and scientific texts, with a classic story of revenge in his novel Moby-Dick. With remixes we don’t just mean a creative work that borrows pieces from others, but a creative work that builds on and transforms the meaning of the original source or sources. We see in the process of making remixes a way for students to think about media critically, become an author, and understand their audience.
That being said we understand educators and students want to know more about their rights around copyright and fair use. NML made several required challenges in the Learning Library that explore real-world situations and provoke discussion around the state of copyright and how our use of new media is challenging it.
New Media Literacy: An interview with Hillary Kolos—Learning Matters