[iDC] Discussion: The Edupunks' Guide
stephen at downes.ca
Tue Aug 9 20:10:54 UTC 2011
Given all the practical advice I've offered over the years, I think it's
unfair to say (as Anya Kamenetz does below) that "I've never read
anything you've written (and yes, I've read plenty of your writing) that
would be particularly useful, comprehensible or interesting to a bright
19 year old like Weezie, much less a 64 year old trying to earn a
community college degree, like Melvin Doran, the LearnerWeb participant."
Still, recognizing that it would be helpful were my advice offered in
one place, I offer a compilation of my popular and useful work:
Access :: Future
Practical Advice on How to Learn and What to Learn
an e-book by Stephen Downes
This is just one book. I also have a ton of other material on really
practical hands-on stuff (how to create RSS feeds, how to set up Drupal,
how to create a radio station, etc.) which I'll compile and post some
time in the future. And maybe I'll release the 'open education' book,
the 'connectivism' book, etc. in the weeks ahead, if there's any demand
On 08/09/2011 7:44 AM, Anya Kamenetz wrote:
> Hi Stephen,
> Thank you--sincerely--for taking the time to read the guide and offer
> your opinions. You even found some nice things to say!
> I am sure if you took the time to write a popular guide to DIY
> learning, it would be far more intellectually coherent than what I was
> able to produce in the short time given me. You have, after all, been
> working on and discovering these ideas for a lifetime while I have
> only been interpreting and communicating about them for a few years.
> In fact, if you have the time, you and some colleagues should write
> The Real Edupunks' Guide. I would promote such a thing far and wide.
> However. I've never read anything you've written (and yes, I've read
> plenty of your writing) that would be particularly useful,
> comprehensible or interesting to a bright 19 year old like Weezie,
> much less a 64 year old trying to earn a community college degree,
> like Melvin Doran, the LearnerWeb participant. Believe it or not,
> there are lots of people who don't know how to use Google or do the
> most basic kind of research.
> And this is also why I focus so much on cost. I come to the topic of
> education from covering student loans. Simon characterizes the academy
> beautifully as a welcoming place and a lever of social mobility, but
> it doesn't function that way so well any more in the US because of
> tuition that rises at twice the rate of inflation every year. The
> popular discontent with organized education is inseparable from its
> rising cost.
> It is true, that building your own car doesn't save money, but
> changing your own oil sure does, or even better converting your car to
> run on veggie diesel. A lot of people are indeed attracted to the DIY
> approach initially because of cost savings, and as they start to
> participate realize other benefits or the process. I think, in the
> guide, I explain pretty clearly how to start participating. I talk
> about forming a goal, finding a network, approaching a mentor. It's
> through this kind of participation that people--hopefully a much, much
> broader range of people than before--will be drawn into the process of
> "becoming" that you describe so beautifully.
> But when you write the real Edupunks' Guide, please don't say "Want to
> learn how to make Thai food? Great! Go make some Thai food." I'm
> sorry, that's just not helpful.
Signature Stephen Downes
Research Officer, National Research Council Canada
100 rue des Aboiteaux, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada E1A 7R1
Website: http://www.downes.ca ~ Email: stephen at downes.ca
<mailto:stephen at downes.ca>
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