Posted in MAET: CEP 811

Maker Culture: Failure to Thrive

This week was my first introduction to many things: maker culture, remixes, Mozilla Popcorn. Most importantly, this week was one of the first times in recent memory that I looked forward to failure. When reading the opening material for CEP 811, I took comfort in the fact that failure was not only a possibility in this class, it was an expectation. As this expectation differs drastically from the way I normally lead my life, I was surprised to find a certain relief in this realization.

Over the past two years in my AP Language and Composition classroom, I have guided students through a project called “Genius Hour.” The concept of the project is that students are given a full 90-minute class period every other week to work on a passion project. Students can pursue anything they desire in that time, as long as they demonstrate higher-order thinking skills and are reflective in their work. My tagline for the project is, “failure is an option; failure to produce is not an option.”

I have often wondered if I myself would be OK following this mantra. Well, this week I learned that I am! I have always considered myself to be tech-savvy, and perhaps with another 30-40 hours on Mozilla Popcorn I will feel competent enough to truly feel like a remixer. For, now, I am comfortable calling this remix my first experiment in being OK with failure. While I did not fail to produce (the video does exist, after all!), I certainly failed to thrive at this point. However, what I discovered through this process is that failure is essential to maker-culture. If we make everything perfectly on the first try, what have we learned about the process? If we never fail, how do we know to be resilient, to try something new, and to be creative in our problem solving?

No, failure is most definitely an option. And a good one at that.

Without further ado, I present, “Failure.”

Images and Sounds Used in my Remix: Muse Fablab


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