Edupunk – Where is all of this headed?

Learning to Change-Changing to Learn

The open learning movement has taken the world by storm, especially in the area of higher education. The possibilities of the internet seem endless and innovators and ed techs are constantly creating tools and coming up with ideas to make learning more accessible and at a lesser cost. But the established institutions are not taking this threat lightly. They have acknowledged open education but have worked their way into it and have set up proprietary rights. Jim Groom and Brian Lamb in their article, Never Mind the Edupunks; or, The Great Web 2.0 Swindle have warned about the dangers of this infiltration and the overt and covert means that are used.

Jim Groom, coined the term “Edupunk” in 2008,

to describe the growing movement toward high-tech do-it-yourself education, independent from traditional institutionally controlled venues and commercial tools, such as Powerpoint or Blackboard and other closed Learning Management Systems. According to Groom, “Edupunk … is about the utter irresponsibility and lethargy of educational institutions and the means by which they are financially cannibalizing their own mission.”

Related to the term edupunk is  the concept of DO IT YOURSELF (DIY), which is bypassing the established educational institutions and using the resouces of the internet to educate oneself and learning from others online.The idea is to be independent of all the commercial aspects of education and become more responsible for one’s own learning. Because of this growing influence of open education, colleges are being forced  to adapt and some have  begun to offer courses online free of charge , such as those offered by MIT  named  on OPENCOURSEWARE.

The idea of collaborating with others is an integral part in the open education system but not everyone agrees completely. One such person is the New York Times columnist, Susan Cain, in her article, The Rise of the New Groupthink , calls for the return to the individual effort and claims that many creative ideas are the result of people working by themselves and not in groups. This is contrary to what Jim Groom is saying. The relatively new offering online of the course entiled “DS 106”, goes against what Susain Cain is proposing.

It is worth noting that open education is now a prevalent idea in places such as New Zealand, Canada, China and other parts of the world. We in the United States sometimes tend to be parochial in our thinking but the internet is a world wide phenomenon and ideas emanate from just about any location.

7 thoughts on “Edupunk – Where is all of this headed?

  1. I’ must agree with you, “possibilities of the internet seem endless and innovators and ed techs are constantly creating tools and coming up with ideas to make learning more accessible and at a lesser cost.” Since taking this class, i have learned so much that seem endless. And now with internet everyone has the opportunity to free education. Its just simply amazing!

  2. I’m glad you brought up the NYTimes Groupthink article. I read it as well and found it really interesting. The fact that working constantly in face-to-face groups or the lack of personal space in the office environment (the endless wallless open plain now in vogue that allows better communication) works against creativity is something I agree with wholeheartedly. But did you notice the exception mentioned about “electronic brainstorming” at the end of the article? Which talks about why internet/electronic group work is still successful because, “The protection of the screen mitigates many problems of group work.”

    This is why I don’t think that what Jim Groom says is contrary to the Times Op-Ed. It’s the medium that matters, allowing the private creativity to flourish amongst large groups.

    And I think the link to the NYT article in the post is bad. I included another one in this comment, is it the same article?

    • regarding the link you posted, it was the same artice but New York TImes allows only one view. I tried viewing your link but it opened only once.

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