The Monster Mash

Monster Mash (1)

This week our reading for ILT 5340 at UC Denver was from Lankshear and Knobel (2011) Ch4: New Literacies and Social Learning Practices of Digital Remixing.  This chapter explored the many ways that remixing happens.  I had heard of remixing music and have done a little bit of this for music class.  I love putting songs together to create something new.  Many times this comes out of necessity.  I am not sure I knew I was actually “remixing” something; I just needed to adapt the lyrics, change the length of the song or add to the melody to fit the program we were doing.  In this chapter by Lanshear and Knobel (2011), they explained that remixing was not limited to just music, but could be done with writing, photography, serviceware, Fanfiction, fan art, and movie trailers to name a few.  This reading inspired me to do some research to find a way to create a remix with my chosen theme for the semester:  Exploring your own backyard or neighborhood with your children.

After throwing a couple ideas at google, I found a gem!  I am excited about trying this out with my children next weekend.  I found a blog titled, Make Your Own: Ghosts of Denver Past and Present from the Denver Public Library.  Basically, idea LAB and History Colorado joined together to create a mashup project for families.  They have provided a database of historical pictures of places in Denver.  Your job is to download the picture, find it downtown, and recreate the picture.  Then, using Photoshop or any editing program that you are comfortable with, create a mashup of the two pictures.  Each picture on the database includes some history of the building which we will discuss before we head out to find a couple of buildings.  A fun afternoon in our very own backyard with a little history lesson and photo editing software exploration!

My research lead me to a question: What is the difference between a mashup and a remix?  Is there a difference?  When I went back to chapter 4 of Lankshear and Knobel (2011) I noted that when they began to talk about serviceware they began to use the word mashup and explained it as two interfaces that are joined together (pg. 108).  So when I overlay a picture on top of a different picture, is it a mashup or a remix?  I needed to read more… now I was confusing myself.  A little more research led me to a storify of twitter feeds started by our good friends at DS106 about this topic.  Here is the initial tweet:

As seen onFavicon for

Remix or Mashup? What’s the Diff?

Asking the twitterverse to help explain to students in ds106, Digital Storytelling (

byAlan Levinea year ago5,694 Views

Overall, many people felt that a mashup was combining two different things while a remix was an alternate version of something.  But when you combine two different things isn’t that an alternate version of something??  Hmm, happy to hear your thoughts on this because I am still not sure I have come to a clear definition or understanding.  For now, my family is planning a trip next Saturday to do our Mashup/Remix of some popular places in downtown Denver. Watch for a post late next week to see the children’s creations!

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