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Remixing Content: Deepen Learning through Student-Created Lessons

Submitted by on August 12, 2013 – 10:16 amNo Comment

The best way to learn something is to teach it. This old adage is true for teachers and students. While content creation is often considered the instructor’s domain, students can benefit from becoming content creators: they develop mastery of course concepts and learn to identify the gaps in their knowledge. A creative way to have students create course content is through remixing. A “remix” is an artifact (e.g., a video, song, lesson) created by cutting and splicing various works together to create something new.

What does a remix look like?

Remixes are most often associated with music and pop culture, and they come in a variety of forms. Internet memes are some of the better known examples of remixes. Many memes are mash-ups of pop culture iconography, for example Harry Potter and Dr. Who. Memes typically combine a viral image and a caption that reference pop culture icons:

Small creative groups often generate mash-ups in response to current pop culture events. For example, after The Walt Disney Company and Lucasfilm Ltd. announced their merger, Comediva created the parody video Bonjour Star Wars that combines the storylines of Beauty and the Beast and Star Wars:

Remixing in Education

Although we typically associate remixes with cultural references, instructors can use the idea of remixing to let students be content creators. By designing their own remixed lessons, students learn how to relate concepts they’ve learned in a course to form new, unique messages.

3 Tools for Creating Remixed Lessons

Here are three fun, user-friendly tools students can use for remixing content:


Ted-Ed is a free tool that lets students turn videos (from a course or the internet) into interactive lessons. Students create discussion questions, quizzes, and references lists that require viewers to reflect on video concepts.

Click on the image to see an example of a TED-Ed flipped video, If molecules were people… by George Zaidan and Charles Morton: TED-Ed  If molecules were people


ThingLink is a free tool that allows students to turn images into interactive, multimedia-rich lessons. By uploading PDFs, audio files, video files onto the image, students can combine various media to form a new perspective on course topics.

Scroll your mouse over the ThinkLink below to see how it works:


Similar to ThingLink, Glogster is a “digital storytelling” tool that lets students create interactive web posters using text, graphics, music, videos, and more. By combining works from the web or your course, students can create their own perspectives on course topics. Click the image to see an example the Glogster poster, Game History by game4: Game history timeline

Your Turn!

What are other ways do you let your students be content creators? What other remixing tools would you add to the list above? Share with us in the comments section. [social-bio]

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