Dare to Be Different…. Be Inspired!!


When it comes to learning and teaching there shouldn’t be a cookie cutter plan as to how it should be taught or interpreted. The problem with the Educational System today is that too many teachers are becoming “Comfortable” especially once they become tenure. Going through the videos and images of Jim Groom, he expressed his passionate views on that through many blog post and videos.

This passage in “Never Mind the Edupunks; or, The Great Web 2.0 Swindle” stood out to me the most because it holds so much truth and passion behind the words:

Ed techs like to claim that the Internet represents a revolution in human communication, one with profound effects on how we produce, consume, share, and value knowledge.20 If that is the case, maybe the ownership, control, and structure of these environments should be more than an afterthought. We strongly believe that higher education should embrace a mission to create, cultivate, and promote “safe spaces” that are not only open but also free from overtly commercialized interests. Educators are currently at a crossroads. The choices we make now will decide what sort of online environment will be available in the future. And despite all the current anti-institutional talk21surrounding today’s higher education that proffers corporate mindsets in the name of efficiency (we sense a hip neo-liberal party with the public paying the bill), institutions remain relevant to us if only because they represent an idea of a publicly-accountable alternative. We see a place for colleges and universities that are more supportive of and integrated with the wider public beyond the institutional gates, drawing on the lessons of successful open networks for inspiration.

I agree so much with this statement because I feel that Higher Education really needs to embrace and create a safe space for students to express themselves and learn through realistic views. Open Education is brilliant idea that should be embraced especially by Higher Education institutes, educators and students can both learn through this process. Straight textbook teaching is not working anymore, students of this day and age is technology driven and is eager to go online to find their answers to things that have tweaked their interest. Educators are at a crossroad and if they don’t challenge  themselves to “bare to be different”, they’ll just be another professor who is known for reading directly from the text and giving multiple choice exams instead of giving the students the freedom to research and come back and teach the class something from their finding. I’m not speaking of the traditional research but navigating through videos, images and blogs on the selected topic and relating it to their everyday lives as well as their future profession.

Edumaaaa punkedddd :O

I watched a video entitled, “A vision of students today” and I was so saddened to see what was going on in the video.  A quote that stood out to me that was probably written on the wall by a bored college student:

“if these walls could talk, what would they say?”

Imagine, that’s how tortured and bored college students are in class and how they suffer alongside not learning and learning in a way thats different and approachable to them.

This video really stood out to me in so many ways. I was hooked from started to finish and this video speaks the truth about those in debt after graduation, those are not 100 percent certain if they will have a job in the future, those students who are there with their laptop in class but don’t even pay attention because they are on Facebook majority of the time.

The video showed me the boredom these college students endure. Most of them are there and payed for their course but they are not really fully PRESENT there. They sit there probably because they are told that college is a great thing and that if you don’t have ab Bachelor of Arts degree after approxiamately four years you are nothing. That is not how we should be taught and our mindset in society is so different nowadays that it is totally different.

I personally feel that this video has enlightened me and proved to me that we are all feeling the same yet different about college and our degrees and our future endeavors in life. I hope one day our mindset changes and we are not left hostage as prisoners in our society. I hope that one day debt wouldn’t exist and that education could be afforable for every single person. I hope for many things but it would take more than an army to get to where I feel society should be.


So what now?

TECHNOLOGY, TECHNOLOGY, TECHNOLOGY!!!! That’s what I feel would really help society and I think that others would agree with me on this one. Technology helps people come together and also sets them apart. However, it really is something that I can personally say helped me to learn a lot about the world and how to use different programs that I have never used in my life like Sound Cloud and even Youtube and Flickr. These programs have really opened my mind to something brand new and showed me that as a future educator, I can incorporate the use of technology heavily into my teaching so not only can I make it fun but I can feel that the students would want to use it and enjoy it because, I was once an elementary student and now I’m on the road to becoming something which is my life-long dream and I don’t want to mess it up. I want my teaching as a teacher to be fun and joyful and I feel that by incorporating 100 percent personality, a dash of sarcasm and playfulness and a load of technology, the recipe for future success will be fantastic.

This is the video that got my head spinning and thinking so many things. It’s so addictivee. You will keep watching because, its the honest truth and many can relate to things that have happened. I’m glad that there is a video that enlightens everyone and talks about taboos that many are afraid to discuss.




One day I hope college students are happy and genuinely they are happy and they look something like this:


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staying uncomfortable brings new ideas!

After reading Jim Grooms and brain lamb article and watching some videos on edupunk, I realized that his idea on coming up with new material is what teaching and learning is all about. My reflection on the whole concept is that although we as future teachers might rely on the material taught in our first year, we must become an edupunk and come up with fresh ideas and teaching concepts. Future teachers should stray from the traditional system of teaching that we were or are being taught. I have heard that the first year of teaching is the most difficult, but it i can imagine it is the most rewarding. simply because you will learn so much from your students and learn things about yourself you didn’t know. In my opinion being an edupunk is what teaching should be about, providing new material to your student’s, learning about new advances in your field in order to project them in your teaching. Something that i learned from this course (AC230) that opens my eyes a little, is that being more hands-on with your students can be rewarding for you and your students. Having student’s make more projects, giving them a space where they can be as creative as they want (for example a blog or a website). Integrating as much technology as possible is part of being an edupunk because your applying new innovations to your classroom (Open Educational Technology).

Habitual Discomfort in Teaching & Learning

Imagining, reflecting and simply brainstorming are from my perspective the three key/essential components to reinventing and bringing your “A” game in all walks of life and would be the ingredients to break the habitual discomfort in Teaching and Learning. However one can say it’s easier said than done. Another can say “It’s been done before”. But should that stop us from trying? Absolutely not!

Over 8 years I thought I had it all figured out and that my job/career/degree in business would eventually take me where I really wanted to be, but as I woke up one morning, I simply told myself “you need change”. To make a long story short, having worked in a corporate environment it would have been so much easier for me to stay where I was, but I decided I wasn’t happy. It was simple, it was now or never.

The same approach I have today as I will soon begin a new career is the same way I need to stay in an academic setting. It doesn’t matter what subject area you teach, but the wheels of creativity and change must stay moving in today’s quickly evolving world.


The techniques used or discussed in the Jake Glover link talks about reinventing Physical Education. It highlights a video from 1991 where a teacher has students connected to a device to monitor heart rate in order to collect data on how their bodies are using the energy. One of the obvious ways to reinvent any subject area is by incorporating the use of technology. Things such as video games (as also seen on the video link) can help children in becoming more physically fit or interested and engaged in their health. Glover also finds ways to spread his message through the use of music by creating informative raps that provide specific terminology related to physical education with a fun twist to it.

Now the question is, what happens to the schools that don’t having any funding for these hi-tech devices such as bluetooth heart rate monitors/devices and exergaming which is a new to the world of physical education? It requires administrators to instruct their staff to focus on the basic fundamentals just as it was done years ago. A bag of balls, some cones and some simple drills and excercises to keep student active.


The Michael Wesch’s video shows students today and their varied visions of their role in education. The time spent on other daily factors seems to be more time consuming then their actual schooling. What message does that send educators on the difficulty of not only engaging students today but also meeting their individual needs? If we are discussing the reinvention of education, although we immediately jump towards technology, the implication that all educators know how to use it efficiently and purposefully is in correct. Starting with what is available and how it is used, is important in the process of revamping rather than reinventing education. All we are doing is changing the forum and the ways to receive and send the necessary information.

The bottom line is that just as Professor Smith, we need to continue to make it interesting for our students and one self.

Comfortable being uncomfortable

I hate being uncomfortable, lets just put it out there now lol. I am sure I am not the only either. However, after reading Prof. Smith’s post and Jim Groom’s talks I cannot help but feel like I must reach that “high point” of being uncomfortable while teaching. The reason I feel that this is a high point is because if we want to be “punk” or progressive educators than we must go where others have not. In order to do that we must venture out on the razors edge. A glimpse of that edge will make us better teachers, I think.

I really like Jim Groom’s and Brian Lamb’s article which speaks of edupunked and its future. It has an great quote: “Our energy simply prevailed. This speaks to the struggle that we face as educators when we want to change things. We must remember that change is always met with opposition. Therefore, we must have the will, courage, heart, and energy to prevail against the old and bring in the new. Below is a video of philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti who speaks of an intellectual transformation. I think it fits well.


Finally, I think the most important point is that to be edupunk and progressive is to be radical. This is not reform–thiis is revolutionary.
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Get Up and Get to Work!!

I honestly believe that in order to make a difference you have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone.  You have to constantly remind yourself of your goal and reason for being in the place you are, which in our case are  classrooms.  I beleive that most educators have become content and has hung their hats with what works because they never had a goal or vision or they stopped believing.  My fingers are not enough to count the amount of teachers that I  have seen and come in contact with that are passionless and uninspired, they are there to do their “job” get paid and move on.  Their is no zeal and no expectation to move beyond what they are currently doing.  The video that revealed students Vision of College today is not just happening in college but in every area of education.  We as educators need to stop compromising and start giving our best.  The students deserve the best, not some washed up lesson plan that has been used for 20 years as professor stated, we need to remember why we are educators.  We are supposed to create new experiences that will challenge and stimulate the minds of others.  To be called an educator you need to also educate yourself, this is part of our responsibility as an educator.  It is time to get uncomfortable and creative.  Let’s move forward and make a difference.

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Teach, Learn, Explore, Reinvent with Technology

“Lets start back at where it came out of.  It came out of a post that was just basically a rant about blackboard and blackboard’s new logic of NG and that they’re going to kind of occupy and colonize the web 2.0 world . . . The logic to me was why are we doing all this cool stuff only to have it incorporated and taken out from under us by a big corporation’s that are basically claiming web 2.0 now new age stuff and the fact is that people have been doing it like this for years. I mean this doesn’t start with anyone person or doesn’t start with any one logic and the idea of edupunk as an approach makes sense, the D.I.Y kind of build your own spaces. . .To me it was the fact  that people were responding to it and mass, and that they were excited about it or pissed off about it. . . there was obviously a really deep rooted reaction to a term that quickly became a concept”  Jim Groom

This interesting and informative video, I had to share with you, as it was something that I traced back to February 23, 2009 (almost close to a year after the term Edupunk was introduced). Here Gerry Bayne, Educause Multimedia Producer was in search of what Edupunk really was, definition.

Then I came across Jim Groom at Kansas State University: 2012 a more recent video where Jim Groom presented his thought on Ed Parkour, technology and education.  But before Jim Groom spoke, Michael Wesch introduced the term “Ed Parkour”.  So there I was very interested in knowing what Edparkour was, I googled it even before Michael Wesch finished his thought on it.  I found their website EdParkour.com. I roamed around and found out who “edparkour” was

Ed Parkour is not a person or a movement.  It is people on the move.  In parkour, the structures of the world are not taken as they were meant, but how they might be used.  Walls, obstacles, and barriers become objects to be leveraged, harnessed, and sometimes altered.  The practitioner of parkour sees the world as a playground of possibility.  Likewise, the practitioner of Ed Parkour tries to leverage and harness the “walls” and “structures” that try to control learning.  Ed Parkour is learning around, over, and outside the walls.

 And those people whom do parkour are traceurs. Are you a traceur?

This quote, struck me because it made me reflect on the notion of reinventing my future lesson plans, and doing it in a creative way so that it can be fun to my students and although there will be “walls, obstacles, and barriers” (gov’t laws and rules that control education) these mentioned will never stop my “educational-a-game”.

I connected this thought of “Ed Parkour” with Prof. Smith “imagine what it might be like to stay uncomfortable with your teaching, to recognize you need to continue to work on reinventing your educational-a-game. That the hard work will never stop and shouldn’t ever stop it just transforms – that’s edupunk.”

Seriously all of us in this room, want to become educators not only because we were inspired by teacher’s  and so on, but because we want to make a change in a child’s life and better prepare them to be “knowledge-able” and knowledgable at the same time.

“This need to move from having students just be knowledgeable, like knowing a bunch of stuff to actually being knowledge-able that is actually be able to navigate this new space to find information, sort it, analyze It, criticize it and ultimately create new information and knowledge”   Michael Wesch

In reflection to our maker’s project that is due this coming week,  it was more than a assignment with a due date, it was an assignment that broadened my view on technology. Like when I could use it, how I could use it, and for what purpose.  For that matter, it and all the other assignment that I completed did this.  They were fun, creative, informative, enlightening, and something very new to my knowledge that I would not have learned on my own time.  Without technology, media and all the public websites out there, we the people would not be able to learn, teach,network, respond, and explore beyond our local horizons.  Although my maker’s project is based on someone else’s idea I was able to get the concept, change it, reinvent it so that it works in my classroom.

Teachers whom are not willing to constantly change, transform, progress, with creativity would indicate that he or she is not serving the purpose of what an educators role is in society, which itself is always evolving (listen to Michael Wesch Timeline and you’ll know what I’m referring to).

And I’ll end with this thought on Edupunk with a video source that also hit me, Sir Ken Robinson: Do Schools Kill creativity? where he states,

“What TED celebrates is the gift of the human imagination. We have to be careful now, that we use this gift wisely, and that we advert some of the scenarios that we’ve talked about and the only way we’ll do it is by seeing our creative capacities for the richness they are and seeing our children for the hope that they are. And our task is to educate their whole being so that they can face this future. By the way we may not see this future, but they will and our job is to help them make something of it.”  Sir Ken Robinson

We’re living in a conversation, and its moving fast

Converstaion: Edupunk

Edupunk a term coined by Jim Groom, is described as an approach to teaching and learning practices that result from a do it yourself attitude. The Do it yourself movement is just a re-introduction of old methods. Methods that involved personal involvement and skills, like the upkeep of houses, stitching clothes; maintaining equipment and every other aspect of living. This is very important considering education today, we learn in terms of abstractions rather then fundamentals of life like cooking, building, sewing. What the DIY learning and teaching methods all about is rebuilding that lost entity of our lives. Edupunks based on self-directed learning by which means you learn it yourself. Also known as autodidact. Learning by doing is a method which is contemplative, absorptive.

According to a blog by Nick Desantis, blogging about Jim Grooms edupunk, “These days he avoids the word because he fears people were preoccupied with the label rather than its goals. He uses a new creative outlet instead.” I really believe that the two images Professor Smith posted resembles Grooms transformed perspective. I feel that when edupunk all started it really was about just getting it out there, so he went all out and it was once about him as a part of his movement but now he entirely is for its meaning. In Grooms disengagement with edupunk he wrote his famous Dear Edupunk blog, stating his divorce of the label, which really says it all.

In modern class environments more traditionally controlled venues take place where commercial tools like PowerPoint, even Blackboard are used. These supposedly open learning tools are really based by closed Learning Management Systems. The edupunk movement is an educational reformation where individuals can be the carriers of their own knowledge.

Who says knowledge has to be based on solely theories and formulas? But it can be simply replacing your RAM or hard drive. Knowledge is the key to success. Knowledge is knowing how to fix your tire when your stranded, that’s the key.


Habitual Discomfort in Teaching & Learning

Edupunk as revolt in 2008.

We started the semester by listening to Jim Groom’s TEDxNYED talk, The Educational Apopcalypse which inspired the URL for our summer course site. But there’s a little more about Jim Groom to talk about (ok that’s an understatement) when thinking about educational technology. Back in 2008 he coined the term “Edupunk” which as a movement burned brightly then subsequently faded due to it being co-opted, and now more likely transformed.

Then transformed into a community in 2012.

The two photos above are both of Jim Groom. In 2008 the edupunk image is one in which he shows his face with an attitude and positions his fists which if launched forward would hit you smack in the face. I think the photo speaks to the provocation he hurled onto higher education – compelling an enduring conversation about technology’s role in education and the value of education itself.

The second photo from 2012 with “DS106 4LIFE” doesn’t include his face, and the fists  don’t face you directly, more presented to you to show their change with time. This is a Jim Groom that wants you see the community not him. Don’t belie this new look as softer though (those are fists still) and the fiery passion for transforming education.

What I find most compelling about the story of edupunk and Jim Groom is that he never allowed himself to become comfortable. You could say his star rose with the early debates about edupunk, but he never hung his hat on the movement (though he likely could have). To have done so wouldn’t have been very ‘punk’ and though someone else set-up shop around the term without even acknowledging his part, he doesn’t really care to grouse.

This attitude got me thinking about what I always remember hearing from other instructors about teaching, “the first year is always the hardest.” And after that, you sort out your curriculum, your style of teaching and then you can practically coast. You have your lesson plans, your notes, and all the history of the preceding years to lean on. Which actually in a lot of ways is true. YOU DO LEARN A LOT in your first few years of teaching.  And you could hang your hat on those years, stay comfortable and make a career out of those initial years. You could never change…

That’s what we’re practically taught as instructors, find what works and don’t deviate. But what happens when things change, as education is now being impacted by the internet and communication? Honestly not much! Classrooms didn’t suddenly radically change (revisit Michael Wesch’s video for a reminder), they’re basically the same. Because most educators have hung their hats on ‘something that works.’

So I invite you to imagine what it might be like to stay uncomfortable with your teaching, to recognize you need to continue to work on reinventing your educational-a-game. That the hard work will never stop and shouldn’t ever stop it just transforms – that’s edupunk.

In a blog post reflect on these ideas and the links above and see where they and your journey through articles, blog posts, videos, images, etc. takes you. Please quote, embed, and/or link to as many of the pieces you find that strike you. Also you can read Jim Groom and Brian Lamb’s article Nevermind the Edupunks; or, The Great Web 2.0 Swindle in which they reflect on edupunk two years after it’s inception.