Alan’s has been writing a lot lately about employing all of these wonderful new technologies to teach students how to “Rip, Mix and Learn” and this presentation he gave a couple of weeks ago has me thinking a lot about that concept. It was at I-Law that I first heard the concept from Lawrence Lessig who talked about “Rip, Mix and Burn” in the context of copyright. It intrigued me then, and now that Alan’s making it even more accessible, it’s even more intriguing.
I think blogging is a basic form of “Rip, Mix and Learn” (RML). Just like I’m doing right now, I’m ripping and idea from Alan and others, mixing it up with my own experience and reality, and writing about it as a way to clarify and learn. And really, it is the writing part that forces me to organize these thoughts and give some form to them. It’s when the learning coalesces.
Today, Alan writes about RML with RSS as he’s building combined feeds with Blogdigger. The “rip” is to take feeds from a number of different sources, “mix” them into one feed, and “learn” from the results. The easy example for students is to create a number of search feeds for the same terms from various sources (Bloglines, Feedster, Google News etc.) and then stick them all together at Blogdigger.
What I think has even more potential at some point is the mixing on all the content feeds that a particular student might have to create a virtual portfolio feed. For instance, as a teacher using all of these tools in the classroom, I would love one feed that watches what my student posts in her Weblog (either just in my class or in all of her classes,) what she saves to Furl, the pictures that she takes to supplement her work at Flickr, the e-mails she receives to her rss-able Bloglines e-mail account, and her contributions to the class wiki. I wouldn’t mind that as a parent either.
Anyway, it’s cool to think about the possibilities. Still just a wacky vision in a few wacky brains, but you never know…