Introducing Edupunk
May 29, 2008
Commentary by Stephen Downes




The concept of Edupunk has totally caught wind, spreading through the blogosphere like wildfire. This post summarizes several recent posts and offers something like a definition (I would like to think that true edupunks deride definitions as tools of oppression used by defenders of order and conformity): "edupunk is student-centered, resourceful, teacher- or community-created rather than corporate-sourced, and underwritten by a progressive political stance. Barbara Ganley's philosophy of teaching and digital expression is an elegant manifestation of edupunk. Nina Simon, with her imaginative ways of applying web 2.0 philosophies to museum exhibit design, offers both low- and high-tech edupunk visions. Edupunk, it seems, takes old-school Progressive educational tactics--hands-on learning that starts with the learner's interests--and makes them relevant to today's digital age, sometimes by forgoing digital technologies entirely."


Brian Lamb, edupunk DJ extrordinaire, offers a distribute3d publishing framework screencast (distributed publishing is very edupunk) and writes "another dirty edupunk is bacvk on the streets." Jim Groom tells us that BlogHer nailed the definition of edupunk. He also ponders edupunk anthems - to which list I have to offer Alice Cooper's School's Out. And he offers examples of edupunk from the annals of murder, madness and mayhem (talk about running with a theme). Dave Warlick also comments. (And that's the entire world literature on 'edupunk' to date.) Total: 54226
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Comments

Re: Introducing Edupunk

Oh, please. What's next, governpunk? Religipunk? I can't think of anything less punk than education. No matter how you slice it, most of these people are trying to find more creative and cutting-edge ways to help students conform to the needs of the institutions that employ them. [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Introducing Edupunk

I can't think of anything more punk than education.

For the student, learning gives power to the individual. A society full of mindless drones trained to each do a single task doesn't really have the mental ability to rebel in meaningful ways.

For the teacher, every day is an exercise in punk. You're almost completely under the control of your coordinator, your principals, your superintendents, your school board, the media. Often, "the man" passes down restrictive rules and decisions that don't seem to align with what's best for you or your students. Often, you're only equipped with sparse resources you're able to scrap together here and there.

As long as "Oh, please" is the strongest argument against edupunk, I say let the band play. : ) [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Introducing Edupunk

I find Blackboard quite useful. What are you rebelling against, Edupunk? Don't get me wrong I'm always up for a revolution, but I need it to be about something---are you talking about taking up arms against campus IT? Okay, now that's a revolution who's time has come... [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Introducing Edupunk

Hmmm....a corporate rock song for an "anti" movement???

Perhaps what is happening is that the mainstream has caught on to the profitableness of web2.0 and that is making waves? Or is it just the politics of boredom again?

Sounds like a new "Dom"....question is, who are the Fugs? [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Introducing Edupunk

I first taught online before the existence of corporate courseware. I used a webpage, free discussion board software, and other free software to teach the first online classes at my university. This gave me everything but a gradebook. WebCT and Blackboard provided a university approved gradebook and everything in one place.

WebCT and Blackboard seemed to solve many problems, but it wasn't long before other options appeared - better than Blackboard and free. I returned to the original model and am free of the limitations and politics of Blackweb. Interestingly, this "small pieces, loosely joined" model is now heralded as eLearning 2.0. Those of us who quickly recognized the pedagogical and political limitations of corporate courseware may be the original Edupunks. Although this is way better that "early adopters" or "lone rangers," it is more than a bit tragic that those who reject corporate learning systems are defined as rebels.

In my case, the Ramones get much of the credit. [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Introducing Edupunk

In reference to the second Anymouse commenter, I can't agree more. Ironically, I've just bought an old book by Neil Postman, called "Teaching As a Subversive Activity".

EduPunk is really like a reminder, a brand, an awareness.

If you think about it, being a teacher is the very manifestation towards being anti-corporate, because we are choosing not to work in the private corporate sector. Being an edupunk, would elaborate on that, but taking classes into your own hands, building support on your own with your students, perhaps less so with the school which could often be behind the times. ;) [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Introducing Edupunk

One more thing from my last comment, I'm definitely an edupunk too: http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/article/1742/when-professors-are-more-wired-than-their-students

Nice work Stephen,
High-Fives from Kevin [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Introducing Edupunk

Yo, I'm totally down with you. I wrote a similar manifesto, "School of (Punk) Rock":

http://clamormagazine.org/issues/34/people.php

Thanks for keeping up the good fight!

Antonio [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Introducing Edupunk

Yo, I'm totally down with you. I wrote a similar manifesto, "School of (Punk) Rock":

http://clamormagazine.org/issues/34/people.php

Thanks for keeping up the good fight!

Antonio [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Introducing Edupunk

nice. I used to just call for SLACK (praise BOB); now I call for SLACK and EduPunk!

DoItYerself, kid... [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Introducing Edupunk

If anyone knows the history of punk rock, they know that there was a whole punk underground that existed for a long time before anyone noticed, and then it became popular. They you had a ton of poser pop-punk bands coming along just making the term "punk" silly. That is what this seems like to me - "edupunks" are just doing what many of us have been doing for years, but seeming to make it look silly. Especially when you use rap/hip-hop lingo terms to discuss a punk term :)

The true "punks" tended to hate be categorized in any way. (I type this as I listen to Bad Brains "Rock for Light" :)

- Matt, edugeekjournal.com [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Introducing Edupunk

ridiculous... it seems like all people focus on these days is on coming up with the next stupid "buzzword"... even if all it means is to dress up old concepts in to new clothes...

seriously... I feel sorry for those who are still trying to come up with Web 3.0 and such...

or should I call them WebPunks?


http://tweaklearning.wordpress.com [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Introducing Edupunk

Hi,

best concept I have heard about in the last years...

Stay PUNK, Jan [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Introducing Edupunk

Are any of you aware that the original meaning of the word Punk was prostitute? Unfortunate don't you think? [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Introducing Edupunk

Irrelevant. It has no such connotation today. [Comment] [Permalink]

My take on Edupunk (or a Filipino perspective on EduPunk)

this has been a progressive journey and coming from a very learner-centered approach - here's the PBWiki (vertsol.pbwiki.com) of my VERTSOL (vertical market solutions for the retail market) class and I've tried to incorporate more than 60 Web 2.0 apps (usernamecheck.com) like LinkedIn, full-stack deployment through Heroku (for Ruby on Rails proof-of-concepts of ecommerce apps like Spree), GitHub, screencasts, open source distro installer assignments, blogs (vertsol.org), and readers created by students (around 200 pages each) based on meditations on the ClueTrain Manifesto and other books (search VERTSOL on Scribd, SlideShare). There's a companion PBWiki by my counterpart Dave Q on is-ebiz.pbwiki which is more CSS/AJAX focused - but you'll get the idea. I've only stumbled on EdupPunk today but it's good to know this meme exists! :) I'm trying out Moodle also :) [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Introducing Edupunk

Education is always important and serves a purpose. The question is simply, what purpose and for whom? Edupunk is a cool concept. Like most new concepts it will be revolutionary for a short period of time until it is co-opted. I say use it while you can! www.stolypinsnecktie.blogspot.com


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