[iDC] Discussion: The Edupunks' Guide

Marco Deseriis deseriim at newschool.edu
Fri Aug 5 18:31:56 UTC 2011


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> 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 
> <mailto: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
>     <mailto: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
>     credits.
>     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
>     anEdupunksGuide.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 itself.
>     Thanks so much,
>     Anya
>     -- 
>     *New ebook! *The Edupunks' Guide
>     <http://goog_1627357189>*<http://diyubook.com/2011/07/now-available-for-free-download-the-edupunks-guide/>
>     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
>     <http://www.amazon.com/DIY-Edupunks-Edupreneurs-Transformation-Education/dp/1603582347>
>     *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 
> <http://www.amazon.com/DIY-Edupunks-Edupreneurs-Transformation-Education/dp/1603582347>
> *Blog* DIYUbook.com <http://diyubook.com/>
> *Twitter *@Anya1anya <http://twitter.com/#%21/anya1anya>
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