The power of the connectiveness of the web is such that it doesn’t take long for a new idea to get around. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily have to be good to spread but spread it will.
Right now, one high profile concept bouncing around the echo chamber in which I live seems to be “edupunk”.
I’m not completely clear if this is something good, bad, or otherwise. But it does have a Wikipedia article, so that means it’s important, right? :-)
According to that venerable source…
Edupunk is an ideology referring to educators and education strategies with a do it yourself (DIY) spirit. Most instructional uses of blogs, wikis, various mashups, and podcasting among many other uses of emerging technologies might be described as DIY education or Edupunk. The term was first used on May 25, 2008 by Jim Groom in his blog, and covered less than a week later in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Examples of Edupunk are Legos, Edusim, chalk, Hypercard, Moodle, use of the Bliki (blog and wiki mashups), students’ art work on the outside wall of the classroom, and students teaching their teachers how to use technology.
Edupunk is also a rejection of efforts by government and corporate interests in using emerging technologies to exercise control over education, its processes, and its stakeholders, somewhat similar to punk ideologies. There is also an element of resistance to large and influential education businesses like Blackboard cooping emerging, collaborative, DIY technologies and techniques and repackaging them as their own product.
Ok, do it yourself education is good. Mostly. I guess.
Instructional uses of blogs, wikis (Bliki??) and the rest certainly could be good, although right now most teachers have little understanding of these tools and how they fit in the classroom.
And I’m all for rejecting Blackboard!
However, I just wonder how adopting new, extremely vaguely-defined terms is going to help us connect and communicate with the majority of educators who are still rather nervous about having a link to the web in their classrooms in the first place.
Especially when we have plenty of old, extremely vaguely-defined terms in education already.