Similar to the punk rock phenomenon that eschewed mainstream music, the philosophy of Edupunk rebels against the rise of course-management systems. These applications incorporate watered-down versions of cutting-edge technologies such as Web 2.0 applications.
At its essence though, Edupunk champions the “do it yourself” attitude and is student, teacher or community created rather than corporate sourced. The details of Edupunk are still formulating, as the term was coined on May 25th when Jim Groom, an instructional-technology specialist and adjunct professor at the University of Mary Washington, wrote about it on his blog. As a result, the definition above is pieced together from various blogs and articles on the subject.!@!
An example of Edupunk is the University of British Columbia’s “Murder, Madness and Mayhem: Latin American Literature in Translation” experiment of creating articles on Wikipedia. The goal was to bring a selection of articles on Latin American literature to featured article status, which means the article is considered to be one of the best in Wikipedia, as determined by Wikipedia’s authors.
While Edupunk seems to be the antitheses of corporate learning, I think we can learn from the ideology. Too often, corporate learning isn’t cutting edge. What stops us from pushing beyond the status quo to develop innovation in learning? How similar or different are our barriers to those in higher education? Why can’t we learn from them?
It’s time to take that leap of faith and embrace Web 2.0 technologies and incorporate them in unique and inventive ways in learning. Why can’t we use wikis as a means for best practices? Why can’t we do training in Second Life? Why can’t we start a learning blog? So I ask: Are you up for punking up your learning?