Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Rip, Mix, and Learn - a new way of learning

For those who are reading my blog who attended the IT Institute with me, this is old news. For others, there is a lot of chatter on the Internet now about RML: Rip, Mix, and Learn. The basic idea is that with the Internet, a good model for learning is to rip stuff that's out there (or in other words, grab it, collect, convert it so you have it, whatever it is), mix it (which means personalize it, remix it, change it so it has your spin), and then learn from the process. It's a way of synthesizing material from many sources by mixing them into one product. We've done this for a long time. Traditional English papers often meant collecting quotes from others and remixing them so it made sense to you. Now with modern technologies we can do this in many new ways and do it much easier.

The implications, as I see them, for education are that students don't need to be receivers of knowledge, or dumpsters where teachers do some information dumping. Instead, they can be creators of new knowledge, remixed from old information they glean from the Internet. They can Rip, Mix, and Learn words, audio, video, and many other things and learn through the creation of the new products.

Will Richardson refers to a presentation on this topic by Alan Levine about this topic, and then Will goes on to say how blogging and other new technologies can enable RML by our students:
" 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..."

I don't know if I would take it as far as Will (can you imagine trying to manage all of those different feeds from all of you students?), but I agree with him in previous posts that blogging is a form of RML. Maybe that's why I love to do it!


Anonymous said...

This RML type of learning fits very closely with the project I am working on for kids 'at-risk' - young people that have been extricated from normal schools and pop up in alternative learning situations.

We are working on developing an electronic portfolio where they can develop their own online world of learning. It is designed to become a repository of who they are...and this is assisted through an online mentored approach.

Looks great!!


Vanessa said...

Hi Rick,

Great article and although I didn't attend school with you it is old news for me to since we covered this type of learning in the Educational Technology master's program at San Diego State University. :) Nevertheless it is great to see someone bringing the chatter together and clarifying it in the context of what is going on with the web. Also if you could reference the theory you're using it would be helpful for those who are not familiar with learning theories in general.


Rick said...

Thanks for the feedback! I'm sure discussion on RML ideas have been going on for a while. It's new to me ... but that doesn't mean it's new. Great to hear from SDSU - you've got a great program there!

Vanessa said...

Hi Rick, thanks for the comments. I appreciate the opportunity to collaborate and discuss the ideas.

Note, I didn't mean anything negative by the "old news" remark, just re-inforcing your comment in the article. As I'm sure you know, especially if you have children, everything becomes new again at some point. :)

@SDSU, yes we have a great program and I'm still in contact with a couple of my professors. In fact I joined forces with Dr. Saba on Distance-Educator.comP.S. I've made a few comments on my blog about the topic if you'd like to take a look/comment. :)

All the best