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DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education

April 6, 2010
Poster by Nick Bygon (CC By)

Poster by Nick Bygon (CC By)

I subscribe to  Online Daily, a free, regular email service by Stephen Downes, an educational researcher based in Moncton, New Brunswick. A recent email mentioned a new book by Anya Kamenetz, a journalist and author of Generation Debt, which was published in 2006. Her new book, DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, documents the changes in higher education that are taking place as traditional college degrees become more expensive and people turn to new models of provision, new forms of access, and peer production of content. A discussion about the issues raised by the book, initiated by Stephen Downes, led me to  explore further. Read a sample chapter and watch a short (4 min.) video of Anya talking about what led her to write the book (if you have time, there is also a 29 minute version of the interview). Follow her Twitter stream. What evidence have you come across of the transformation she talks about? Where can you imagine this going? What might the ideal student-centred learning experience be like? How will these developments change traditional universities? How soon are we likely to see a substantially different education landscape?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Juliet permalink
    April 7, 2010 12:14 pm

    Fascinating stuff, hearing about the work of Anya Kamenetz. I don’t think the transformation of learning is happening much in New Zealand yet although sites like Wikieducator could be the start of it. Juliet

    • Mark Mcguire permalink
      April 7, 2010 12:37 pm

      Hi Juliet.

      The transformation seems to be happening much more quickly in other countries, particularly the USA, where there are many different models of provision and new initiatived springing up all the time. The financial crisis has placed increasing preasure on established institutions to find ways to collaborate with one other (and with private companies in many cases) in order to remain viable. A lot will depend on how we students (and I mean all of us) vote with our feet, our eyeballs, and our money.

  2. April 15, 2010 1:30 am

    I am a strong supporter of Anya’s work and the Edupunk movement. However, I am concerned about the role of the teacher in a student-centered transformation. In my opinion, any radical transformation of higher education/education needs to focus on three key elements: the teacher, the process of learning, and the student.

    I lead a collaborative blog venture- The University of Venus – and I wrote a post on DIYU and Edupunk earlier last week – you can find it here – The Edupunks are coming…to an Edu-Factory near you! – http://uvenus.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/the-edupunks-are-coming-%E2%80%A6-to-an-edu-factory-near-you/. I would be interested to hear what you have to say.

    Great blog! I arrived here via a tweet from Christine Geith.

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