16 Aug 2013
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Students encouraged to mashup and remix digital content

By Rebecca Wood

Students have the opportunity to predict the future with the final round of DigitalNZ’s Mix and Mash competition which closes in November.

‘Stories about the Future’ is the emphasis for this round, with previous rounds asking students to examine stories from the past and the present.

The competition encourages students to access digital content from New Zealand, remix it, mash it up and create something new.

Fiona Fieldsend, manager of DigitalNZ Services, an initiative of the National Library of New Zealand which is part of the Department of Internal Affairs, says this year’s competition has focused on students making use of content that is either out of copyright or available under a Creative Commons licence and using it to tell a compelling story.

“We’re really focusing on schools and the use of data. The concept of digital citizenship, that there is digital content out there that can be reused, is a huge challenge for students and teachers to get to grips with,” she says.

Matt McGregor, public lead at Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand, agrees and says Creative Commons licences are a great way to introduce the basics of copyright to students.

“Although the content has some restrictions, it is content they can use,” he says. “We want students to have active engagement with their cultural heritage.”

Creative Commons is a global non-profit organisation that has developed six free licences copyright holders can assign to their work that gives the public permission to reuse it, eliminating worries about plagiarism and using copyrighted works.

The licences have many benefits for the education sector, particularly as they also provide a way for teachers to legally share and collaborate their teaching resources.

McGregor says it’s important to start reframing beliefs about content and how it can be used.

“Students get a lot of information about what they can’t use but we want to open it up and show them what they can use.”

Go to www.mixandmash.org.nz for further information on how to enter the competition.

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