What’s Next After This Class?

In the above presentation at 2010 OpenEd Conference, Gardner Campbell asks you to “think the unthinkable” about the future of education and in particular takes to task the use of educational technologies designed to mimic the old model of classrooms. He also presents these ideas in his essay, “A Personal Cyberinfrastructure.” Both of Gardner’s texts are in part inspired by Jim Groom’s “A Domain of One’s Own.” Jim aks the question, why not give everyone their own domain, from which all of a student’s academic endeavours will be aggregated to a variety of places they inhabit during their time in college. It would become a space that a student would be,

…crafting of an identity with a purpose, the conscious consideration and creation of one’s professional/academic identity online: a domain of one’s own!

To Jim and Gardner, the need to stop fashioning for students special spaces for teaching and learning is a principal problem. They wish for educators to start looking to the internet itself as it’s classroom, where you carve out your own space to teach and learn (a bit like what we’ve done here with apopcalypse.dewlines.org).

For this summer session you’ve been given a space to contribute to as an author, but now it’s time to take your work and place it into your own domain. To do this you are going to need to export your posts through the Dashboard’s Tools > Export function which will give you an .XML file that includes all of your work.

After that you will need to create either a free WordPress.com blog, or step-up and buy your own webhosting plan and with WordPress installed. Either is fine, though commercial hosting plans give you a lot more flexibility and control. Here is a link to how to create your on blog with a commercial host, and the WordPress.com option is pretty self explanatory (the site guides you through the process).

So there are two assignments for your last efforts in this class:

1. Create your own blog:

  • Export your posts from this blog and import them into your own blog.
  • Create an “About” page on which you give a brief description of yourself and your professional goals. You are also welcome to create additional pages and include any kinds of materials you’ve created in other courses or on your own.
  • Pick a theme for your blog and customize it. Add any plugins you’d like. Remember, this is now your space, it’s up to you to cultivate it!

2. Make one final post to apopcalypse.dewlines.org. In this post please include:

  • a link to your blog;
  • and finally describe what you expected to get out of this class, and if that changed as the course proceeded. What was most important to you? What was least important?

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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.

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.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/zvxasVoT0aM[/youtube]

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.
blackjack online

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.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fnh9q_cQcUE&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PLC5E808F62936F1E9[/youtube]

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.