In order to begin this school year in a course I co-teach called ‘Global and Personal Actions’, I wanted to get students’ minds back into the major global issues that currently exist. It was over ten years ago that J.F. Rischard published High Noon: 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them. The course is loosely based around these global issues as well as more personal and local issues for which students can focus.

As we had a number of new students this year, I thought it would be interesting to have them dive into remix culture and use YouTube to create a remix of the abundance of videos available on these global issues.

I began this session of the course with a great hook – a video shown to us in a presentation by Jim Sill at the GAFE Summit in Tokyo last year:

The YouTube user Zapatou actually has a series of these videos, which are pretty awesome.

This got the students quite engaged and I asked them first off if they thought it was awesome. All agreed. So, next I asked WHY was it awesome? What features of the video made it awesome to watch? They hit on a number of points:

  • The footage was showing interesting things
  • The clips were very short and changed constantly to hold interest
  • There was music that went well with the clips
  • The beat of the music seemed to align with the changing of the clips

Then, I asked them how this video was possible. This lead into the idea of people being able to access, use and build upon other content that someone had created and shared. There are 200 videos included in the remix shown above! It is all possible if people use Creative Commons licenses to allow others to use their work.

Below is the assignment document that was given to students, which explains the assignment and provides reference material about CC and license use. You can follow the link if the embedding does not appear properly. This new theme I’m using has some serious issues showing content properly no matter what method or code I use. It seems as though the 4 weeks spent on blog redesign to have things not function properly was well worth it!

YouTube Remix Assignment by C Heisz

Once students chose the issue that interested them the most, they were off to find sources of video that they could use. The goal was to use the YouTube video editor to cut together their collection of CC videos into a remix video which ran between 2-4 minutes.

There were a number of things that came up during the assignment that are worth mentioning:

  • Although students were guided through how to search for CC videos that they could use, many of them then clicked on the ‘Related Videos’ sidebar after watching one and added numerous more that had a Standard YouTube license, which does not allow for reuse. When it came time to access their playlist of videos from the Video Editor, they were surprised to see that most of their videos were not available to use.
  • Although YouTube now provides music for you to use in your own videos, we found out too late that if you choose o use any of this music, the option to select a CC license when publishing the remix video is not available. The YouTube license must be used in this case. That really defeats the purpose of the assignment and of sharing content in general. The videos students used to make their remix allowed for reuse, however now after publishing their video using YouTube music, they cannot then use the same CC license, which is required (Share Alike). That was frustrating. Some students removed that music, found other options to use or went without and then re-published under a CC license.
  • The YouTube Video Editor is very basic. This is a good thing if you are first starting out in video making, but some students were annoyed at the lack of options they were used to in things like iMovie.
  • The Video Editor is also very finicky. Sometimes it would just decide that you could not add more video to your project, the clips would disappear and not be playable or the final project would just not publish upon multiple attempts. Some students left YouTube up on their computers ALL DAY before it finally decided to publish properly.


Featured Image: ♥ ¡epsilon! via Compfight cc