For quite some time I’ve been thinking about the power of remixing to inspire new understandings of great speeches and documents, of giving learners opportunities for creatively reinterpreting great works and ideas in modern contexts.
While a production of this professional quality may not possible for every student, it serves to demonstrate how we might rethink our teaching and project around great works and primary sources. We have what seems like a limitless supply of remixing and digital storytelling tools.
What if Susan B. Anthony had Final Cut Pro to share her passion On Women’s Right to Vote? What if Patrick Henry had GarageBand to convey his powerful Give Me Liberty or Give me Death? What if Chief Tecumseh could share his distrust of a people who believed their could sell a country (“Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well as the earth?”) using any of the scores of powerful new digital storytelling tools? How would it look? Would the remixes reach new audiences? Would they evoke greater understanding and empathy?
(Note: Adam Gault’s production truly puts to shame my own old remix of Gettysburg, inspired by the Peter Norvig’s parody Gettysburg Address PowerPoint, which aimed to expose how presenters were using the tool and losing any beauty and power in their rhetoric.)