[iDC] Discussion: The Edupunks' Guide
anyaanya at gmail.com
Sun Aug 7 23:00:08 UTC 2011
Thanks for your response.
My basic feeling is that the ideas contained in the word "edupunk" are too
important to remain in the subculture indefinitely. I wrote the guide for a
bright person of little means, at 17 or 25 or 35 years old, to help them
answer the question, "What can I do RIGHT NOW to learn what I need to know,
to accomplish the goals I set for myself, to take charge of my own destiny
both educationally and personally?"
For a large proportion of people right now--as for a large proportion, if
not the entirety, of the people on this list--that journey will include
earning a credential from a recognized institution. In the future, there
will be more alternatives, which is why I include a tutorial and sections on
"demonstrating value to a network" of practitioners, aka joining a community
of practice, which I represent as being as important as any diploma.
As for the "wider field of power relations." I'm not naive about this. Let
me break it down from experience. People in the for-profit higher ed world
have been cordial, but back off when I state in no uncertain terms that I
think their models are rife with fraud, corruption, and exploitation; The
Edupunks' Guide explains that for-profit and online education are not
synonymous, which many students don't understand, and warns students off the
Independent innovators in the open education world I largely count as allies
and I believe the feeling is mutual.
The folks representing and supporting public higher education in this
country, like the American Association of State Colleges and Universities,
and some people in the Department of Ed, and not a few community college
leaders across the country, have been quite friendly to what I'm saying.
They want to figure out ways to use technology to give students more
options, better learning experiences, and of course to cut down on runaway
costs. Government cuts to higher education are the reality of the world we
live in, and DIY approaches can help maximize the resources that remain. The
people on this list have been lamenting the state of the humanities; I
believe that the DIY approach can also help heal the rift that has opened
between mainstream society and the academy because it connects students'
experience in the classroom more closely to the broader world.
So who's really uncomfortable with what I'm saying and how I'm saying it? A
small subset of academics. People whose paychecks are currently signed by
the academy. People for whom the transformation of education is a matter of
academic interest in the narrow sense--you may be interested in informal,
uncodable and untranslatable forms of self-learning, Marco, but there is no
indication on RateMyProfessor.com that you refuse to give grades or
So let me ask all of you who play by the academic rules whilst researching
and theorizing the transformation of the academy--is that really punk rock?
On Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 2:31 PM, Marco Deseriis <deseriim at newschool.edu>wrote:
> When I read the title of the book, I immediately thought this was yet
> another example of how (formerly radical) subcultures are put to work to
> valorize and bring the practices of everyday life under capital.
> It would be interesting to know whether and how the author of this book
> addresses this potential contradiction. Personally, I see punk and other
> oppositional subcultures as expressing and disclosing forms of life and
> self-learning that are powerful precisely because they are informal,
> uncodified and untranslatable into student credits.
> In this case, there is also the additional risk that the DIY attitude may
> be mobilized as a form of endorsement "from below" of the rising online
> education industry sponsored by Republican governors such as Tim Pawlenty
> and Rick Perry. Or even worst to justify government cuts to spending in
> lower and higher education. After all, if we no longer need schools to learn
> why should we use taxpayers money for education? I am sure Anya has all the
> best intentions, but every reform movement falls into a wider field of power
> relations that should not be overlooked or underestimated, IMHO.
> This could be an interesting conversation and I am looking forward to
> hearing what Anya and other iDCers have to say.
> Marco Deseriis
> Marco Deseriis, PhD
> Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
> Department of Culture and Media
> Eugene Lang | The New School
> 65 West 11th Street
> New York, NY 10011
> Email: deseriim at newschool.edu
> On 8/5/11 12:36 PM, Stephen Downes wrote:
> It would be better to quote Jim quoting Jim.
> In any case, the use of the term is probably still wrong.
> And those of us actually working in the field now talk about someone coming
> along and "pulling a Kamenetz" - appropriating our work and making it some
> kind of pro-business thing.
> -- Sent from my Palm Pre
> On 4 Aug 2011 11:15 p.m., Anya Kamenetz <anyaanya at gmail.com><anyaanya at gmail.com>wrote:
> Quoting Mike Caulfield, quoting Jim:
> *"I often take credit... for this concept of Edupunk. I put out a term.
> And within 24 hours Mike Caulfield had theoretically made that term
> relevant, and [he] actually exploded it. I took all the credit, but
> actually Mike Caulfield made it sensible."* -- Jim Groom, May 12, 2010, in
> his introduction to my plenary at UMW Faculty Academy.
> On Thu, Aug 4, 2011 at 5:58 PM, Stephen Downes <stephen at downes.ca> wrote:
>> For the record, Jim Groom didn't "help" coin the term 'edupunk', he coined
>> it, pure and simple, by himself, not "helping" some undesignated other.
>> The major popularizers of the term were probably Gardner Campbell and
>> myself, which is why we were the ones on the SXSW edupunk panel eith Jim.
>> We have our disagreements, but I think we'd all agree that if Jim says a
>> use of the term is incorrect, it probably is.
>> -- Stephen
>> -- Sent from my Palm Pre
>> On 3 Aug 2011 9:09 a.m., Anya Kamenetz <anyaanya at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hello all!
>> I was asked to try to start up a discussion for this week. This happens to
>> be the week that my new e-book is being released, titled The Edupunks' Guide
>> to a DIY Credential. It's the first-ever book underwritten by the Gates
>> Foundation, and a follow-up to my 2010 book DIY U. Where DIY U made
>> historical, economic and political arguments about the future of education,
>> this is a guidebook. The premise is that learners who are curious and
>> lacking in resources (money, time, physical access to a campus) can use the
>> guide to create the future of education for themselves right now, by writing
>> a personal learning plan, recruiting mentors and a personal learning network
>> of peers, participating in online communities, and using open courseware.
>> There are also profiles of a variety of institutions, organizations, and
>> networks that specialize in catering to the needs of learners who are
>> nontraditional in some way, and helping them to do all of the above and in
>> many cases receive accreditation for learning done in nontraditional ways
>> and contexts. The writing style is simple and assumes little prior knowledge
>> of anything, even Google.
>> As a guidebook, the arguments made by this book are implicit. One is that
>> anyone can be an edupunk, as long as they feel their needs are not being met
>> by the current education system. Among those who have objected to this
>> appropriation of the term is Jim Groom, who helped coin it (although Mike
>> Caulfield, another person instrumental in popularizing the term, agrees with
>> my usage).
>> Another is that rather than engage directly with reforming the system,
>> change can be made by learners pursuing their own goals with the resources
>> available to them now. One of the more prosaic changes I'd like to see is
>> for colleges to review their prior learning, portfolio credit, and transfer
>> credit policies to allow more students to receive credit for learning
>> achieved in open environments. I believe this might happen if more students
>> were aware of the options and petitioned their colleges to accept these
>> You can download the PDF here:http://www.scribd.com/doc/60954896/EdupunksGuide and
>> an e-reader compatible plain-text version here
>> http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/77938. In a couple weeks there will
>> be a better-looking Kindle version and an EdupunksGuide.org<http://edupunksguide.org/> site
>> with community features launches in September.
>> I'd love to hear what people think about the implicit arguments I've
>> articulated here and anything else you find worthy of note in the book
>> Thanks so much,
>> *New ebook! *The Edupunks' Guide <http://goog_1627357189>*
>> Fast Company column* Life In Beta<http://www.fastcompany.com/user/anya-kamenetz>
>> *Tribune Media column* The Savings Game<http://www.tmsfeatures.com/columns/business/personal-finance/savings-game/>
>> *Book* DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs and the Coming Transformation of
>> Higher Education
>> *Blog* DIYUbook.com <http://diyubook.com/>
>> *Twitter *@Anya1anya <http://twitter.com/#%21/anya1anya>
> *New ebook!** *The Edupunks' Guide<http://www.scribd.com/doc/60954896/EdupunksGuide>
> Fast Company column* Life In Beta<http://www.fastcompany.com/user/anya-kamenetz>
> *Tribune Media column* The Savings Game<http://www.tmsfeatures.com/columns/business/personal-finance/savings-game/>
> *Book* DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs and the Coming Transformation of
> Higher Education
> *Blog* DIYUbook.com <http://diyubook.com/>
> *Twitter *@Anya1anya <http://twitter.com/#%21/anya1anya>
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*New ebook!** *The Edupunks'
Fast Company column* Life In Beta<http://www.fastcompany.com/user/anya-kamenetz>
*Tribune Media column* The Savings
*Book* DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs and the Coming Transformation of Higher
*Blog* DIYUbook.com <http://diyubook.com/>
*Twitter *@Anya1anya <http://twitter.com/#%21/anya1anya>
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