The LAMP has been keeping busy this summer with putting the finishing touches on the Media Breaker. We’re finalizing the look and feel, creating helpful resources, curricula and even completed one round of testing with students. As we look ahead to more tests and its official rollout in the fall, it seems now would be a good time to answer two important questions: What is the Media Breaker, and why do we need it?
The Media Breaker is a video editor designed for remixing copyrighted content. You upload a video into the Media Breaker–we recommend short pieces, like a news clip, commercial (as in the video above) or a music video. Then you use the Media Breaker’s editing tools to reorder the video, add different music or sound effects, insert text and more. Now you are in control, and can call out things like stereotypes or misleading facts, or build an entirely new narrative. When you dig into the media you learn more about how it’s made, and how you can make your own videos and stories. Break the media, and you can change the message.
In our work with New York City public school teachers, we found that although many want to use media in their classrooms, they don’t have the time to learn how to use it themselves, and they can’t easily download or purchase new software. We think all schools and teachers should be able to use media as part of the learning process, so we designed the Media Breaker to live in the cloud. This means you don’t have to download a program, and the interface is extremely basic, so it doesn’t take a lot of time or past editing experience to use it. This means that educators who have never worked with video before will be able to learn to use the Media Breaker, and students can work on projects from any computer in a school’s computer lab, at home or at a library, all without having to download a program.
Of course there are many other challenges when it comes to integrating media with classrooms, and the Media Breaker can’t fix everything. But we hope people take advantage of the opportunity to explore video and remix as elements of modern education, and that people of all ages use the Breaker to take control of the narratives pushed out by mass media. All together now–break the media, change the message.
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