my edupunk heroes

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.

Jim Groom

rev. devilhornsReverend 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…)

Brian Lamb

DJ Wiki, Mashup SuperstarDJ 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.

Jennifer Dalby

every picture tells a storyViral 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.

Alan Levine

Northern Voice - 1550 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 Couros

@courosabotAlec’s ego is big enough. I’ll just link to my previous post on Alec.

Stephen Downes

stephen downes with the backchannelAnarchy 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.

Cole Camplese

ETSTalk #16The 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.

19 thoughts on “my edupunk heroes”

  1. Nicely done. I have been looking for a word to call the movement I have always felt a part of, and I believe that I have not only found it, but that I have also found a new way to find others who want nothing but to create. Honestly, I thought there was something wrong with me for just wanting to sit down with people and create learning for others all day. But from the heroes that you have mentioned I don’t think that there is. The term guerrila professional development may be the most beautiful one I have heard all year. Thank you.

  2. Even my ego is not prepared to be mentioned in the likes of these wonderful individuals by someone like yourself. Thanks for your post D’Arcy.

  3. Eduglu might be a McGuffin, but it is a pretty cool ideal of what I see as being some of the core edupunk values – gather the good work and ideas that are already out there, mash it up then share the results. Rip, mix, share. It gives a goal to work towards.

  4. Dude, you are so edupunk, it is barely needs to be mentioned. For all you give away freely in terms of technology sharing, pushing ideas, very punk indeed.

    I often tell people that my secret for success to technology is… “Do what d’Arcy does”

  5. I don’t think I belong in the company of these amazing examples of EDUPUNK, but I am thrilled to be there. Thank you for including me. You are the perfect example of it. I’m so lucky to have been able to pull you into so much of what I do here on my campus. You rock!

  6. When it comes to DIY culture one should probably go a bit deeper and further than to the “punk”.

    People composing and singing their own music, dancing their own dances and making their own things is not really anything new. Actually it is pretty human and universal.

    For this reason I do not consider “punk” to be a great example of DIY.

    The media-technology-industry has made us mindless consumers and whenever there is once in a while wakening “hmm…why don’t we do something ourselves?” the same industry provides us with some great DYI-tools (electric guitar, DJ turntable and OLPC-XO) to keep us quiet and consuming.

    Can I already buy somewhere some edupunk stickers? They would look awesome in my laptop!

  7. I do believe I was sitting directly to your right when you took Jim’s picture and in the crowd when you took Brian’s picture … and all of these folks are in my google reader. So, does that make me an “edupunk” groupie? If so, guilty as charged … I’m a fan girl of all the edupunks on your list! I even wrote a paper for school about Alec, but I’m too nervous to let him read it :) I guess I’ll stick with “edunerd” when I refer to myself ..

  8. D … how I make your list is a mystery to me. I’ve been following your lead for years now and only hope that you keep blazing new trails. Thank you for thinking of placing me on a list with so many of the people I think about as the leaders in our space (I know, no real leaders, just a community) … edupunk or not, the fact that we have all worked so damn hard to spin up a true community of practice around disrupting institutions as it relates to teaching and learning with (or without) technology is a great thing. We all owe so much to each other and I can’t thank you enough for the work you do.

    But I guess a real edupunk would demand to be taken off a list so as to not draw attention to their efforts ;-) You rock D’Arcy!

Comments are closed.


The spammers win. I've disabled comments. Again. It's just not worth having to deworm my site from the inane autospam jabber that trickles through the spam filters. Sorry. I can be contacted via the Contact form here on the site, or out on the internets (I'm @dlnorman on twittar).

BUT I WANT TO POST A COMMENT HERE. WITNESS THE OPPRESSION INHERENT IN THE SYSTEM.

If you need to post a response, trackbacks are enabled and will be displayed normally.

The Trackback URL for this post is:
http://darcynorman.net/2008/05/29/my-edupunk-heroes/trackback/