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Episode Proposal - Education

Page history last edited by Nicole Veerman 10 years, 11 months ago

"A discussion panel on the current and future condition of edupunks..."


MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 2009 (TBC: 6 p.m.)



We were looking for edupunk events to attend in Canada. We couldn't find any. So in true maker culture fashion, we decided to go ahead and attempt to make our own.


Enter Ontario's first edupunk discussion panel.


We want to get at least three people together who have passion for edupunk. Sit them around a table and have a forty-five minute discussion on its current and future condition. And for those panelists further afield, we'll bring them in via live video linkup. Everything will finish off with a fifteen minute interactive Q+A session with questions garnered from online submissions.


We'll use the University of Western Ontario's studio equipment to professionally produce and record the discussion. We wish to broadcast live to the Internet.



Edupunk Conference Notes


The Elevator Pitch


We may be the last generation to attend traditional schools.

Excellent first sentence, you have my attention.


Not only are classrooms becoming more reliant on technology, ordinary people are starting to take it upon themselves to find ways to take control of their education. Enter Edupunks.  People who are mixing traditional education with the do-it-yourself attitude of the 1970s punk scene.


The debate on the future of education ignited when Jim Groom coined the term ‘Edupunk’ on May 25, 2008.


Okay, so now tell me what your episode is about. "In this episode we look at ..." Then tell me why it matters.



Research to Date


Once we decided to narrow the scope of our project to edupunks, we started our research by examining what exactly the term edupunk means.

Justify this, why leave aside open source textbooks, constructivist educators?


No small task. It seems to mean different things to different people.


We looked at a discussion on Youtube between the creator of the term ‘edupunk’, Jim Groom, and one of its critics, Gardner Campbell.  We also looked at articles (delicious tag mcedu) about edupunk, Jeff Jarvis’ What Would Google Do as well as various attempts to combine university with Web 2.0. These projects included “iTunes University” (professors who have made lectures downloadable onto iPods) and open-source textbooks (online textbooks that can altered by professors to suit course content).


Steve Weeler(see below) is a teacher with some radical views on edupunk . We researched some of his notes and talks, which provided us with some background for edupunk culture as well as some key definitions.


We also interviewed Eric Frank, co-founder of open-source textbook company Flat World Knowledge.  We are not sure if this will be used for the project but he had some interesting comments about the business side of the open source textbook movement.


We tried using social media to get more involved in the edupunk community.  We’ve joined a couple Facebook groups which have helped us find some potential interviews and local sources.  Jim is also following Jim Groom on Twitter in order to try and find out more information on edupunks.




--We assume that the conference will bring about a number of interesting ideas and will result in a wealth of information for our podcast and paper.

--Only people who have established themselves in a career then have the opportunity/finances to critique their education.

--EduPunk seems to be coming more from educators than students.

--People are still willing to pay for an education.


+ Edupunk is a meme.


+ Edupunk is just the starting point for a whole debate on the future of education.  Nothing more.


+ The definition of punk inherently suggests that edupunk will always be a marginal movement.


+ This is just another "movement". Nothing more.

Explain this


+ Coporations repackage and sell back to us (at high prices) software first developed on the open-source scene.

for example?


Possible Interview Subjects  



1.     Jim Groom: Came up with the term EduPunk. Instructional Technology Specialist at the University of Mary Washington.






2.       Steven Wheeler: Radical View on EduPunks.


--responsible for convening the University of Plymouth's e-learning research network and co-ordinating technology mediated learning for the Faculty of Education


            ***INTERVIEW  SET  UP  FOR  THURSDAY  Nov.5 3pm 


3.       Eric Frank: Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Flat World Knowledge—already spoken with him on Skype audio.




4.   Martin Ebner: Researcher at Graz University of Technology (Austria). Did a talk at EduCamp with Steven Wheeler. Says Universities need EduPunks.


--+ 43 316 873 8540



     5. Gardner Campbell: Director, Academy for Teaching and Learning at Baylor University

          --Phone: 254.710.4064 (Academy) 

           ***INTERVIEW  SET  UP FOR  MONDAY  NOV.2 4pm



      6.    Brian Frank





      7.    Mathew Hoy

              Podcaster--talk about DIY aspects




      8.    David Hall

              Filmmaker/Former Educator




      9.    Zoe Branigan-Pipe?


     10.    Colin Maxwell

              Scottish EduPunk educator



     11.    Cayden Mak

              Runs a Radical Pedagogy Reading Group--teaching and learning everywhere (grad students doing                outreach)

              Also working on an experimental academic journal--creating community and support for people                within academic institutions as well as independently who are doing research/writing on media                and mediation


               ***contacted via email, waiting for a response


The Focus, Scope and Angle of the Piece


With the advent of the internet and rise of technology in the twenty-first century, the ways in which we educate ourselves have begun to change.

The edupunk culture has become critical of the way traditional educational bodies have taken technology and incorporated it into a profit-based business model.  Edupunks are interested in a open-source based approach to education where educators share knowledge and technologies for the good of the group.  The movement unites education with the do-it-yourself attitude of the punk music of the seventies.

We hope to open the debate. We would like to include not only educators and theorists, who have done most of the work on edupunk, but students as well. 

Our project will address the potential edupunks has to change the way we educate the next generation.

Very strong, good.


Media Choices


+ Our twenty minute podcast will introduce Edpunk, tracking its origins from May 25, 2008 through until today.


+ We would like to get Jim Groom and Gardner Campbell "back together" for a Battle Royale. Call it our finale.


+ There's a debate surrounding choice of musical anthem tha could represents edupunks. A further podcast can examine the suggested songs and their lyrics. Does it fit the idea?


+ Video interviews with Londoners and UWO students.

Don't need to have a local focus here unless these are the best folks to talk to. This is a national story.


+ Individual paper ideas:

     1. The making of: EduPunk Conference.

     2. How EduPunk fits into Maker Culture as a whole.

     3. The future through the eyes of the administration, educators, and students. 

          --where are the students? --what are the issues?

Clearly needs work


Next Steps


--Friday: Conference run through with other groups

--Choosing who will do what at the EduPunk Conference

--Talking to Steve Wheeler and Gardner Campbell 

--Working with Curtis to find more EduPunk students

--Pick a focus for the podcast

--Choose clips for the podcast

--Decide how to organize the podcast

--Write our article


+ Attempt to localize the story by tracking down locals involved with the idea of edupunk.


+ We have to get on with our interviews- in person and/or on the telephone.

Yep, you do


+ There is also some "coporate rumbling" against Blackboard, a company that makes administrative, back-end education software. They attempted to a sue Waterloo based Desire2Learn.


+ Why did this idea originate from and being debated by teachers? Where is the rebellion from the students?


+ We hope to leave Jim Groom as one of the last people to interview. That way we can have a gain grasp on the subject before we head for the general.


Wayne's Notes

Good job team. Thank you. Think you need to get cracking on getting more concrete contact info and more interviews lined up ASAP. Would expand your story so that it can include Open Source texts more and folks who are trying to change the system from within (Zoe Branigan-Pipe for example). You're well positioned to have a strong episode if you get on the interviews early. Love your idea from last class about staging a edupunk meet up. Fold that into the next version of this pitch. Will send mark via email



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