remix-logoI ran across Remix America several weeks ago and am just now getting back to it. It looks interesting. The site basically is a repository for both older video clips and current news events that users can “mashup” into their own creations.

This country is a remix, it’s what we do. What did Jefferson and Paine and Adams do but mashup history, take a little from the Magna Carta, a little from John Locke, and a whole lot of rebellion. Now, thanks to the web and digital technology, everyone can join in.

This is a unique moment in our history — We can rediscover the promise of the Declaration of Independence next to the music of Louis Armstrong next to the beats of the Beastie Boys and clips of our candidates talking about “Changes.” Every one of us can own our best expressions of liberty, democracy and freedom, remix them as they see fit, and share them with the world.

Remix America has three sections: American Then, America Now and Remixes. American Then houses a wide variety of vintage music, speeches, events that you can grab as “raw material” for you to “play around with.” American Now is the “running commentary of our life and times,” video clips of current events such as President Obama’s Tuesday night speech to Congress. Remixes hosts . . . well, ya know . . . the remixes remix-catsof users. All three sections are useful in and of themselves but together they provide an interesting cross section of American history.

The remixing process is pretty basic – simply grab videos you want to mashup, add text, music and there ya go.

You can email, embed or download the videos in all three of the sections for other uses. For example, if I’m doing a unit on the 1960s, news clips of Kennedy’s Cuban Missile Crisis speech and the Kennedy assassination would be incredibly handy just by themselves. You can search by key word or browse through a handy list of categories.

Norman Lear, Lawrence Lessig, Creative Commons, Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Social Media are just a few of the folks involved with the project.

I like the idea that we talked about earlier this week with Kitzu – 21st century construction paper. Remix America is one more way for kids to cut, copy and create history products that they couldn’t have done even two years ago.