Remixing Digital Creativity

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This is a review of Nicky Hockly’s session at the International House Barcelona ELT conference, February 2019, by our roving reporter, Georgios Vlassios Kompas. This is the first of five reviews from the LTSIG strand, although Nicky was actually the third speaker to appear on the day. This review also appears in the February newsletter, along with an interview.

Nicky Hockly

The well-known Nicky Hockly presented the first session after the lunch break!  You would think that everyone would not be able to fully participate in her session, after a good lunch break, but Nicky did an amazing presentation and kept everyone interested.  As many of you may know Nicky has been a coordinator of the LT SIG in the past and has been greatly involved with professional presentations at IATEFL.  She is also currently involved in her own business venture The Consultants – E (tce).  Nicky has also written a lot of books about Digital Pedagogy, webinars, and mobile learning.    

Her presentation at International House Barcelona (IHBCN) was entitled: Remixing Digital Creativity, where she tried to remix digital creativity in a variety of ways.  She started by asking the audience to unjumble quotes, participants were trying to find the correct combination, it didn’t take them long and they found the correct ones.  She then defined what Creativity is with some of its features…  

Can creativity be any or all of these?  Nicky made it a learning experience and had people really get into the creativity ideas.  It’s quite difficult to be able to understand the multimodality of creativity with all its characteristics.  How can humans be creative?  What about computers and Artificial Intelligence?  Maybe that’s an interesting topic for another speaker. In fact, Pete Sharma had done exactly this in the previous session, giving us some interested, related ideas. My review of his session follows this post – so look out for that one coming soon.

She continued with the notion of remix and what can be really remixed?  She elected from the audience that both images and video can be remixed in different ways and she gave some examples.

Nicky showed how modern and very famous paintings can be remixed as well.  This is the list of the original paintings that are used in this collage of photos:

  1. Van Gogh – portrait recreated as a photo
  2. Monet’s waterlillies updated to reflect modern life, by Banksy
  3. Infiltrated by star wars characters
  4. Recreated with vegetables (by Chinese artist Ju Duoqi)

It is quite important how brave some artists are, especially Bansky, that he remixed Monet’s waterlilies with a supermarket cart. Nicky went to a quite popular means of creativity, that is used a lot nowadays: MEMES.  Nicky explained that one of the most famous memes was originally for World War One. In recent times, this meme has been used and remixed constantly, and variations of it have appeared on coffee mugs, t-shirts and posters.

Nicky went on to show some modern memes that were very entertaining, amusing and especially relevant to teachers.

To follow this, Nicky elicited more of these quotes from the audience and this created a very vibrant atmosphere and a lively discussion in the room. Everyone seemed to have a lot to say about teacher grading, not shutting the lights off at night while grading, and many more anecdotes were shared in the room. Nicky then shared some very useful links that can be used to create your own memes, and suggested that participants might want to try them out later and use them with their students or just for fun.

Next, Nicky interacted with the audience about the significance of the memes above, and this led to an interesting discussion taking place.

Much of the discussion concentrated on a meme about faking a British Accent.  It was interesting to see the opinions of the participants of the audience, some of whom were British.  In essence Nicky highlighted how much a meme can represent and what sort of socio political impact it can have towards society.  There were a lot of comments and opinions about the specific meme, some including that it mentioned a British and not an English accent, others focused on the word fake and its significance.  In the end all agreed that a lot of hidden meaning can be hidden in a simple sign. Participants also commented, that memes have been extensively been used in many aspects of life and especially in education.  

Nicky concluded with the definitions of creativity and remix, which you can see on her slide (below).

As you can see, both creativity and remix share similar characteristics. They can also both help teachers design  interesting lessons and activities which will translate into fun activities for students in the classroom.To finish off her session, Nicky prompted all participants to follow the link below  or scan the QR code to sign up to receive the Consultants-E newsletter if you want to receive regular updates, from her and Gavin Dudeney, and exciting technological news in your inbox.

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