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July 3, 2009 / compassioninpolitics

Edupunk: The Battle Royale Over Blackboard and Education Technology

(image credit: edupunk explained by Kevin Lim)

What is Edu punk?
What is Edupunk:

Edupunk is an approach to teaching and learning practices that result from a do it yourself (DIY) attitude.[1][2] The New York Times defines it as “an approach to teaching that avoids mainstream tools like PowerPoint and Blackboard, and instead aims to bring the rebellious attitude and D.I.Y. ethos of ’70s bands like The Clash to the classroom.”[3] Many instructional applications can be described as DIY education or Edupunk.

Here is Steven Downes’ introduction to Edupunk. Thanks to Chronicle of Higher Education for picking up this edupunk story and covering the battle royale. Here is a cool exercise around edupunk (Word Doc download) which could be adopted for high school and college. For more coverage…check out the just launched, you can check out the other 4 parts of the debate, and this interesting formulation of edupunk on slideshare.

The question remains…are Blackboards days numbered? What do you think? Does blackboard add value? And can open source tools really replace what Blackboard does? Is it a meme? Is it an ideology? Does it matter? What is punk about? Is the punk metaphor appropriate or misguided? Is the DIY movement important?

Edupunk Web Excursions + My Random Thoughts:

In later videos Garner suggests a Bill of Rights to guide a movement away from top down or corporate control. In a blog comment he made an interesting point:

For the record, when we started blogging at UMW, we used the metaphor of a “sandbox,” because we were vitally interested in emergent effects. I favor that metaphor because it’s more about play, collaborative experimentation, surprise, inclusiveness. Jim’s “edupunk” meme or ideology or metaphor reflects an angrier response, obviously.

I don’t believe in utopias, myself, though at the same time I’m quite idealistic.


Leave a Comment
  1. Stephen Downes / Jul 3 2009 9:03 pm

    It’s “Stephen Downes” and not “Steven Down” (sheesh).

  2. compassioninpolitics / Jul 3 2009 9:45 pm


    Ha. ha. Sorry about that.

    To everybody:

    Just read this critique of the hacking education event by Union Square Ventures that I linked to above and thought folks might want to read it (haven’t had time to process it myself):


  1. Best of Social Media and the University Classroom « Compassion in Politics: Christian Social Entrepreneurship, Education Innovation, & Base of the Pyramid/BOP Solutions

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