It has its own Wikipedia page, and bloggers have been punking it up, but as a movement it’s more ‘dippy-hippy’ than’ punk’.
I’m all for punking up conference presentations and learning experiences. But when grey-haired teachers take on these terms, they’d better look at themselves first. This so-called punky attitude is coming from well paid teachers and academics, in the comfortable context of largely tired old institutions. If they want to peddle punk then do what punks did – free themselves from the cosiness of the establishment. Why don’t they do this? Because they ARE the establishment. Stephen Downes offers up Alice Cooper’s School’s Out as the Edupunk anthem. OK, then get out of school. Armchair anarchists are ten-a-penny, and when they get on a bit, tend to mistake punk for ponytails. Worst example: Johnny Rotten doing Butter ads on TV. What a rotter!
Use, don’t abuse, technology
It’s merely a bit of a rant by old teachers who are fed up with the job or having to use Blackboard, and want a little bit of excitement in their lives. In other words, it’s all about teachers, not learners. If they were really interested in punking up education and training, they’d use, not abuse, technology. The punkier side of learning is all YouTube, Facebook, games, gadgets and fringe technology. To drag learning back into the classroom with anti-technology rhetoric is simply a backward step. School ain’t punk. Staffrooms ain’t punk. Teaching ain’t punk. Teachers ain’t punk.
As my two fourteen year old keep reminding me – there’s nothing sadder than 40 and 50 year old teachers high-fiving the kids. Let’s leave it to the young turks who are already punking it up, independently of the dancing dads. The Edupunk video typical. After a confusing montage, to the Ian Brown’s superb Keep What Ya Got, Martin Weller of the OU narrates, perhaps the most boring video I’ve ever seen. Martin wants to ‘turn us all into Broadcasters’ – then trots out a series of obvious and ordinary ideas, such as using YouTube videos, chat, podcasts and so on. This is more Edujunk than Edupunk.
I’m now off to work up my next big idea – education with a groove – Edufunk.