On thinking about edupunk, it strikes me that I’ve been drawn to a group of people that have embodied it for years. People that are open. That prefer to DIY. People who share, remix, mashup, and generally operate in the spirit of what is now being called edupunk. Here are my edupunk heroes, who inspire me every day (in no particular order). There are lots of other people that inspire me constantly, but when I think EDUPUNK, these are the people that really push me.
Reverend Jim. The poster boy for edupunk. Jim’s been kicking out the jams on this stuff for years, running completely against the traditional establishment. He teaches courses without an LMS. He mashes up wikis and blogs. He incites radical DIYism in everyone he meets. Jim’s hardcore exploration of DIY and individual publishing have made me rethink the nature and value of enterprise systems (they still have a very important role, but not in the way I used to think they did…)
DJ Wiki. The man who lives in a realtime mashup. His work with the OLT interns is absolutely amazing. He’s taken a group of students as interns, and has essentially pushed them into the role of professional edtech developers, conference facilitators, and so much more. He provides guidance, and lets them explore. And the stuff they come up with as a team is mindboggling. Brian’s mastery of media and depth of literary knowledge are simply stunning, and only matched by his openness and willingness to share.
Viral professional development. Jennifer has been working to help instructors at BTC to adopt pragmatic openness – starting by sharing as much of her professional development activities as possible. She set up an Elluminate play session today for several of the BTC instructors, and invited people from outside (via Twitter) to participate. As a result, we had an interesting discussion while playing and exploring a new tool. It was a casual way to safely learn a piece of technology, while modeling the power of the Network. Very cool stuff. Jen is brave, open, and able to connect people in a way I’ve never seen before.
50 ways to tell a story? Serious edupunk. Inspiring hundreds (thousands?) of people literally around the world to take DIY storytelling into their own hands and craft, publish and share their own stories. Alan’s been living edupunk for as long as I’ve known him (and that goes way back to the early 90′s when he ran the Director Web community website!) Alan has always been a trailblazer, an experimenter, and a pioneer of community based collaboration.
Alec’s ego is big enough. I’ll just link to my previous post on Alec.
Anarchy and individual empowerment, modeled by a person employed by the federal government of a G8 nation. Stephen’s been pushing toward personal publishing and DIY for years – long before most of his colleagues (including myself) understood where he was going. I first met him several years ago while working on the EDUSOURCE national learning object repository project. He was talking about stuff back then that we’re only now starting to see come true, most notably the use of RSS as the syndication format. Stephen is one of the few people whom I trust to see through rhetoric and hype, to break something down to the simplest components, and to see how things relate to an individual’s ability to control their own destiny. OLDaily. gRSSHopper. hardcore edupunk.
The director of an edtech unit at a huge university, who hacks WordPress themes for fun and publishes to blogs, wikis, podcasts, and various other community sites with impressive frequency and depth. Cole constantly pushes the people he works with, and the people in his Network, by encouraging people to collaborate and contribute. He’s the one who first saw the value in Twitter, when I initially dismissed it as silly and banal. He gets community in every sense of the word.
I am humbled by what these incredible people do. And am trying to figure out if and how I contribute back to the edupunk culture. I suppose 366photos is pretty edupunk (but not particularly strong on the edu- side of things). I suppose helping push Drupal, Moodle, Mediawiki, etc… on campus is a bit edupunk. And eduglu could definitely be called edupunk – but it’s still just a McGuffin, so likely doesn’t count for much at the moment.
Still, when I consider the work that these people do on a regular basis, my head spins.