We all have that favorite remix on our iPod or iPhone playlist – probably from Pitch Perfect or Pitch Perfect 2 – that perfectly combines our favorite songs into one giant mash up of gloriousness.
Remixes are popular among musicians, artists and filmmakers – but have you ever considered the educational implications of a remix? No, I’m not talking about combining conjunction junction with the colors of the rainbow – I’m talking about remixing.
Today in class we got to remix some media in order to learn basic coding and ultimately create a new product. We made our own remix of the famous “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster, as well as “My Six Word Summer.”
To create these remixes, we used the website Thimble. This site lets users remix various pre-existing posters using basic coding – that’s right, if you want to remix, you have to code!
Fortunately for the inexperienced user, the coding required to remix is very user friendly. If you click any part of the coding sequence, the image will light up what part is controlled by that code. There is also a tutorial option in which the program will walk you through how to manipulate each strand of code, if you aren’t brave enough to just wing it yourself.
This product was so easy to use – I feel like a real coder! It took a couple minutes to really figure out what I was doing, but the learning curve was quick. This site would be great for high school or older students as the coding aspect might be too complex for younger minds to comprehend – the manipulations can often be tricky to get just right. I could see this being used to teach coding, or even used as a way to illustrate English concepts (book summaries, main ideas) using coding logic.
The only constraint I have is that it can be difficult to make the code behave exactly the way you want it to in your image. I also found that there were certain things I wanted to manipulate, but couldn’t find the code for it. Besides that, I have no real complaints about this product.
Overall it was a really fun experience learning how to code in order to remix something that already existed. I would recommend this website to any secondary teachers looking for a fun and interactive way to get students interested in coding or creating their own remixes.