Friday, May 14, 2010


In my readings for this week I became aware of the reuse of learning objects or content for learning. This is not somthing entirely new to me. As some of the readings suggested, this reuse or mashing up of content originally began in music. Being a dj myself, I have over the years also made my fair share of mashups. I would take a song with no vocal and layer an accapella over the top (my newest one here: )This ofcourse brings up licensing and trademark issues, but my argument is that I am not making any money out of this and do it purely for my enjoyment.

As far a s reuseabilty in my own institution goes, it could be better. As we read this week, the reuse of objects depend to a large extent on the file type of the content. this means that the file should in a sense be "open" in nature to allow maximum reuse. At my institution all files uploaded on the lerning management system are pdf's. The reason being that not all computers on campus has the same version of Microsoft Office installed and this means that the file will open on one PC, but not on the next one. This obviously has huge implications for reuseability as we all know that one can not alter a pdf document.


  1. Reading about mash-ups brings up the memory of making collages in school as a kid. We’d bring in magazines, cut them up and rearrange the images into wild patterns or funny little scenes. These days all that stuff is property not to be tampered with and I’m having trouble understanding why everything has become so rigid.

    It’s odd that as information on copyright becomes more and more available people seem to be less knowledgeable about it. Maybe as there is more of everything out there on the net the new autonomy has become purposeful ignorance? Like if you don’t know you can’t be held accountable for it but if you aren’t accountable how do you claim autonomy? No wonder people avoid the subject.

    Be interesting to list the explanations I hear every day from instructional staff on copyright. But I dare not. I can understand your position on music you create. If you take a music track (an idea) and overlay your own lyrics (a unique creation) you’ve re-expressed the idea in a new form—at least in the wholeness of the new sound mix. That raises a question of how many layers down do you go before it stops being yours? Neither the musical instruments nor the notational framework were original to the people at the layer (track?) you started at. So your explanation seems to be as valid, especially with the expectation of gain removed, as the original producers. Except they have a lawyer and now it’s about power, not ethics.

    I liked the music!


  2. Scott, my First Year Art History Prof corrected me when I called something a collage. She called is assemblage (pronounced ah-sem-blage) ;)

    Being a fan of House music I appreciate the fact that you produce mashups Schalk. I enjoyed your sample very much so thank you for sharing.

    I agree with Scott that it has become more about power. Freedom vs control is an issue that I suppose we are never going to resolve.

  3. Thank you guys for the comments. This week I had an issue with a copyrighted name I wanted to use for a party we are organizing. It was interesting to deal with this type of stuff in "real life".

  4. Schalk, in my department we are regularly creating educational materials (workshops, handouts) and often have to re-make portions (graphs, images) because the original image or graph is copyrighted. So copyright is always a concern and a limitation. It would be lovely to have more freedom to create educational mashups.