Archive for the ‘edupunks’ Category

How do we capture and share our community learning?

July 5th, 2010 by Graham Attwell

Well it is PLE2010 Conference week so no apologies is that is the theme of the week. And in pre-conference reflection mood I wanted to reflect on some of the things we have done well and some we have done less well.

Fist of all, PLE2010 has some 70 or so presentations and over 100 delegates. Considering we set out with no large organisations or associations backing the conference I think this is pretty good. The conference has been put together through the hard work of a fairly inexperienced organising committee backed by the experience and enthusiasm of the community – edupunk working at its best!

And most of the publicity has been generated not through traditional media but through the4 us eof social media especially Twitter – just look at #PLE_BCN for proof. There are still barriers to the do it yourself cvonference model – we had big problems setting up payments systems that worked> And whilst the opens ource EasyChair system is sort of OK it does have its quirks (it would be very useful if someone could do some more work on the software).

As I told yesterday, I am very happy about our mix of traditional calls fo contribution (needed for researchers to gain travel grants form institutions with more unconferencing formats for presentation. I am sure the event is going to be a lot of fun.

The issue I think we have not paid sufficient attention to is what we do with the outcomes of the conference. True all the papers etc. are available as on-line proceedings. But how do we represent the outcomes of the different sessions to the wider community? How can we capture ideas and use such ideas in practice and in future research? How can we use the conference as a live event in our community generating new shared knowledge and experience?

Face to face events are valuable, not just for the participants, but for the community as a whole. But I am not sure we make best use of them at the moment. Your ideas would as ever be very welcome.

Looking forward to seeing some of you in Barcelona. :)

Open and on-line at Alt-C

September 6th, 2009 by Graham Attwell

This coming week is the annual Alt-C conference. And, as is becoming standard for conferences these days, many of the sessions will be freely available on line. Alt-C themselves are broadcasting the keynote sessions through Elluminate.

The keynote speaker schedule (all times UK) is:

  • Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University, Tuesday 8 September, 09.25 to 10.25 ;
  • Martin Bean, Vice-Chancellor Designate of the Open University, Wednesday 9 September, 11.55 to 12.55;
  • Terry Anderson, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Distance Education at Athabasca University, Canada – Canada’s Open University, Thursday 10 September, 11.55 to 12.55.

Just head over to http://elluminate.alt.ac.uk/ to access these sessions.

But it is not just the keynote sessions that can be followed online. Many other session organisers are planning some form of on-line participation.

Tuesday, 8 Steptember, 1340 – 1500 UK time sees a debate on the future of Virtual Learning Environments, entitled “The VLE is dead” with short (and lively!) contributions from James Clay, Steve Wheeler, Nick Sharratt and Graham Attwell.  The event will be broadcast on Ustream. Deatils to follow.

Wednesday sees a Jisc Emerge symposium on Institutional Change entitled Emerging practice and institutional change symposium: a user-centred, learning technology R&D support-community network“. Speakers include George Roberts, Isobel Falconer, Josie Fraser and Graham Attwell. The symposium runs from 9.00 to 10.20 UK time. You can watch the Ustream for this session on the Emerge portal and of course contribute through Twitter.

For those of you living near Manchester but not enrolled for the conference, the wonderful fringe programme organised by F-Alt is open to all. Check out the programme on the F-Alt wiki (hash tag #falt09).

And of course, many other sessions can be followed on line. More details on the official conference Croudvine site or follow on Twitter on the #Altc2009 hash tag.

Podcast: Sounds of the Bazaar LIVE from Educamp

April 20th, 2009 by Graham Attwell

educamp09

EduCamp 2009 in Ilmenau was cool. Great people, wonderful atmosphere and engaging discussions.  I will be posting soon on the vent and what I saw as the major issues emerging from it. enough now to say that it was an event for EduHackers.

And of course Sounds of the Bazaar was there with a live Saturday lunchtime show. I think it was the best of the live shows we have done. Despite English being a second language for most particpants, they were queuing up to come on the programme. But don’t take my word for it. Listen yourself to the podcast below.

NB Thanks to all the production crew – Helen Keegan, Cristina Costa, Dirk Stieglitz together with myself, Graham Attwell. Thanks to to all the kind people from educamp which made this show so much fun to produce.

The music is by Cool Cavemen from their albums Raw und All Cool Hits. Youcan find more great Creative Commons music on Jamendo.com.

Web 2.0, edupunk and acting

April 14th, 2009 by Graham Attwell

I am a big fan of Mr. Downes. Usually I agree with what he says. But I think Stephen has called this one wrongly. In a comment in OL Daily on my post on last weeks open seminar on Edupunk Stephen says:

“In the 1980s, punk was replaced with what became known as New Wave. New Wave was a lot like punk, except that the artists were so dirty, untrustworthy, and disreputable. It represented, to many, the co-opetion [sic] of this movement. So when I read “Martin is seeking to open up the VLE and apply the ideas of edupunk in an institutional context [and not as] as subversive or a challenge to the establishment but rather as a way of enhancing the teaching and learning environment,” I want to call it N-Ed Wave or some such thing. Talking Heads. Human League. Soft Cell. Oh gawd. Say it ain’t so.”

I am not convinced about the movement from punk to New Wave. But as I said in my original article, we need to establish edupunk as having a meaning in its own right. The music analogy is getting stretched and has limited further purchase.

But coming back to Stephen’s comments about what Martin Ebner is doing, I disagree. Edupunk is about doing it yourself, about opening up educational technology to the users. And that can take many forms of activity. In a previous Evolve seminar on Personal Learning environments. In a CETIS presentation on Personal Learning and Web 2.0, Scott Wilson acknowledged the challenges posed by Web 2.0 to institutions. They could he siad, ignore, co-opt through embracing and extending or could invert though contributing and extending. Institutions should move:

  • From hosting to consultancy (HE no longer an ISP or corporate IT provider)
  • From closed to open ethos: on content, systems, processes
  • Adding value to the Internet, not duplicating functionality with added control mechanisms

Individuals could contribute:

  • Our information – data, research, publications, content via open web APIs
  • Our expertise
  • Our offerings and products
  • Our role as facilitators, guides, and trusted source

Martin Ebner is working within Graz University to contribute and extend the use of Web 2.0 for learning . And for me that is certainly within the Edupunk ‘tradition’. In a great post entitled ‘Learning to Love the term Edupunk‘, Frances Bell says she realises that that she has “missed a dimension that Chris Sessums captures in his response to a blog post on a previous Edupunk sessions

“Edupunk embodies this notion of educators as artists, those who intentionally trace and explore traditional boundaries and human expression. The edupunk meme signifies more than just a tart phrase pasted on the media landscape. To truly understand its meaning, you have to live it.”

That is really important, to capture the creative outlets that an edupunk approach offers to teachers and other learners.  I am prepared to live it, and am privileged to work with students in higher education who are negotiating challenging boundaries in learning, work and society.”

Jim Groom has also been posting a series of articles showing how the edupunk idea can be practised in education.

The disucssions on edupunk have the potential to evolve a new idea and vision of education and of the uses to technology for learning. That means not just talking but acting. Acting in collbaoration, acting as individual researchers and acting within institutions. As Frances Bell says: “Edupunk is only the beginning.”

Edupunk won’t go away, Edupunk is here to stay

April 10th, 2009 by Graham Attwell

A silly term, a fad, middle aged white male educational technologists at play? Edupunk has been called all of those but it won’t go away. Why is that? Because edupunk defined by Jim Groom as ” An approach to teaching and learning practices that results from a do it yourself attitude….inventive teaching and inventive learning” sums up the direction in which many of us which to see technology used in education.

This week saw the final of the spring series of open web based seminars organised jointly by the UK Jisc funded Evolve network and the German EduCamp organisation. And, appropriately enough the subject was edupunk.

There were two very different takes on the edupunk movement by the presenters. Martin Ebner from Graz Univeristy started by quoting Antonio Fumero who said “It’s not about matching traditional models with existing tools any more; it’s about developing a brand new pedagogical modal and implementing the next generation web environment upon it. He contrasted the goals of creativity, individuality and collaboration to the “closed castle of the university.”

Martin said universities need edupunks. But rather than radical preaching, Graz has adopted a practical strategy of trying to open up the university VLE and learning support systems to allow students and staff to use their own tools for creating and consuming content. Martin said the “learning environment of the future has to support the individual learning needs of the learners….has to  support the lecturers as well and …has to consider the web as [a] communication and collaboration environment.”

Steven Wheeler from Plymouth University had a more radical approach – or at least he would have if his university network hadn’t closed him out of the Elluminate platform used for the seminar. On his blog he explained what he would have said:

  1. “Edupunk is a philosophy deeply rooted in the belief that educators can ‘do it themselves’, and use tools that are open, ‘free’ and non-proprietary. It’s a movement against the commoditization of learning and against corporate profiteering. It is not just about selecting open tools and technologies. It is also about the freedom to choose the methods of teaching that are open and student centred. I would even go as far as to claim that Edupunk teachers should be challenging the curricula they are required to teach, and especially the assessment methods that are imposed from on high. These are the structures that constrain education and stop learners from achieving their full potential.
  2. Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) and in particular Learning Management Systems (LMSs) contribute toward restrictive practices in education and constrain both learner and teacher to operate within a model of learning that is institutionally beneficial, but does little for the learner themselves. VLEs are generally difficult to use, with far too much effort needed to be put into understanding how the system works, to the detriment of the time and effort spent actually learning.
  3. An exemplification of Edupunk philosophy is the rise of the personal learning environment (PLE) in which the learner selects his/her own tools and technologies to apply in formal and informal learning. Typical PLEs will incorporate a social networking service, reflective and collaborative tools, e-mail and a mobile device. I use a mashup of wiki (shell to aggregate all tools and provide a collaborative space), blogs (reflective tool and mind amplification space) and Twitter (microblog to update and inform and also to receive ideas and contact from others with a similar interest to me). I also use my wireless laptop and iPhone as communication/end tools.
  4. Edupunk is more than ‘do it yourself’. It is also a counterculture against corporate control and exploitation of learning, and brings the punk band (the teacher) closer to the audience (learner group). It is unashamedly anarchic and harks back to the concept of ‘deschooling society’ first proposed by Ivan Illich in the 1970s. Illich famously argued that we don’t need funnels (directional learning through institutional control) but webs (multi-directional, hyperlinked learning that can be tailored by the individual to her/his own needs). Rhizomatic approaches to learning fall into this kind of philosophy.”

This is interesting. Both Martin and Steve embrace the idea of edupunk. Both are supporting the introduction of Personal Learning Environments. But whilst Steve sees edupunk ” bricolage, anarchy and subversion and a challenge to the establishment” and the VLE as contributing to restrictive practices,  Martin is seeking to open up the VLE and apply the ideas of edupunk in an institutional context. He does not appear to see it as subversive or a challenge to the establishment but rather as a way of enhancing the teaching and learning environment.

Could it just be that the idea of edupunk is now becoming part of the mainstream and as it does different strategies will emerge? Is it also possible that edupunk is becoming a (valuable) concept in itself without the need to be viewed as an analogy to the punk music scene of the 1970s. I hope so.

If you want to listen to the debate the Elluminate replay of the seminar is available on line.

Open education – Spring programme

January 9th, 2009 by Graham Attwell

It is the season of predictions for 2009. Here is mine – 2009 will be the year of Open Education. Seminars, workshops, lectures, courses – all available on line and for free. I am not sere I trust my  star-gazing ability – or my ability to predict technology development trends for that matter – so we are doing our best to make sure it comes true by organising a series of events ourselves.

Over the next few days I will be posting details of a whole series of different events. First up, here is the spring Open Seminar series being organised by the JISC Evolve network in collaboration with the German Educamp Network who are staging a series of conferences around Web2.0 social software and elearning. is organising the third EduCamp in Germany.

Emerging Sounds of the Bazaar Live

26 January 1900 CET, 1800 UK time – Dragons Den special – Learning and Multi user Virtual Environments

23 February 1900 CET, 1800 UK time – The reality of communities

March 2009 – time and date ot be announced – LIVE broadcast from JISC Emerge conference.

You can listen live to all the programmes by going to http://tinyurl.com/6df6ar in your web browser. This will open the live stream in your MP3 player of choice.

Emerging Mondays Seminars

The open online seminars will take place on the Elluminate platform. We will announce the address for the events shortly, together with the final line line up of presenters. Each seminar will feature tow short introductions with most time being given over to discussion.

PLEs and E-Portfolios – is this the future of education?
January, 19th 2009, 1900 CET, 1800 UK time. Click here for access to Elluminate.
Speakers: Graham Attwell, Pontydysgu
Moderators: Thomas Bernhardt and Marcel Kirchner

  • What does a PLE look like?
  • What is PLE? A technical concept or a pedagogic method?
  • How can we use e-Portfolios and PLEs in practice?What is the difference between a PLE and an E-Portfolio?
  • Is the PLE the future of education?

Careers and the Internet – how does Web 2.0 impact on our Online Reputation and Identity
February, 16th 2009 – 1900 CET, 1800 UK time. Click here for access to Elluminate.
Speakers: Steven Warburton, Kings College, Eduserve funded Rhizomes project
Moderators: Cristina Costa and Marcel Kirchner

  • How can we use E-Portfolios and other tools for applying for jobs and building identities
  • The risks and opportunities in developing a web identity
  • Privacy 2.0

Enterprise 2.0 – the potential of Social Software for learning in enterprises
March, 16th 2009 – 1900 CET, 1800 UK time. Click here for access to Elluminate.
Speakers: Timothy Hall, University of Limerick, Ireland
Moderators: Cristina Costa and Steffen Büffel

  • How is social software being used for learning in enterprises
  • Can social software support communities of practice
  • How can social software support informal learning

Edupunk – Free the educational system
April, 6th 2009 1900 CET, 1800 UK time
Speakers: Dr. Martin Ebner and Steven Wheeler, University of Plymouth
Moderators: Thomas Bernhardt, Marcel Kirchner and Cristina Costa

  • Edupunk – hype or reality
  • Does e-teaching need a pedagogical apprenticeship?
  • Why and how far students should be involved in the developing process of courses?

ThoughtFest 09

5-6 March, Salford, Manchester, UK
Thought Fest is a two-day event being organized by Pontydysgu with the support of the JISC Evolve network and
the European Mature-IP project.

The event will bring together researchers in Technology Enhanced Learning in an open forum to debate the current issues surrounding educational technologies and discuss how and where research impacts on practice and where practice drives research.

Whilst there will be keynotes by Graham Attwell and Steven Warburton, Thought Fest is a user driven workshop and we welcome ideas for sessions, demontsrations activities. Accomodation and food for free – you juts have to pay for your travel.

More details here or sign up on this page.

Educamp
April 17th – 19th
Venue: Ilmenau, Thuringia, Germnay
What is the EduCamp all about?
The EduCamp-Network (http://educamp.mixxt.de/) is organising the third EduCamp in Germany. This will also be the first international EduCamp. The event will take place from the 17th to the 19th of April, 2009 in Ilmenau, Thuringia. Details of previous EduCamps can be found at http://educamp.mixxt.de.

There will be some initial structure for the programme, but after the panel discussion on Friday, the EduCamp will be organized as a barcamp. Sessions and workshops will be organised by participants at the beginning of the event. On Sunday the topic under discussion is “EduOpenSpace” (OpenSpace?). Participants will form clusters to discuss some of the related topics.

Topics
The issue of how we can use social software, such as weblogs, podcasts, wikis, micro-blogging, VoIP in education in schools, universities and companies is a subject attracting much interest. Developing connections to other people and joining learning networks is central to the Information society. Mulitple knowledge resources all access to the exchange of experiences and the construction of knowledge.

The last EduCamps meeting discussed ‘Teaching and Learning 2.0′. This meeting will continue those discussions.

EduCamp is an open event and everyone interested in welcome to attend. It will take place at the Humboldtbau at the Technical University of Ilmenau.

The main topics for the EduCamp are Corporate Learning 2.0 and e-learning in schools or universities. Other topics include the use of E-Portfolios, Digital games and virtual worlds in education. In line with the idea of barcamp, everyone is invited to propose their own topics for discussion.

Edupunk will never die

September 25th, 2008 by Graham Attwell

Edupunk will never die. From latest edition of Wired mag as posted by edupunk pioneer Jim Groom.

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    News Bites

    Consultation

    Diana Laurillard, Chair of ALT, has invited contributions to a consultation on education technology to provide input to ETAG, the Education Technology Action Group, which was set up in England in February 2014 by three ministers: Michael Gove, Matthew Hancock and David Willetts.

    The deadline for contributions is 23 June at http://goo.gl/LwR65t.


    Social Tech Guide

    The Nominet Trust have announced their new look Social Tech Guide.

    The Social Tech Guide first launched last year, initially as a home to the 2013 Nominet Trust 100 – which they describe as a list of 100 inspiring digital projects tackling the world’s most pressing social issues.

    In  a press relase they say: “With so many social tech ventures out there supporting people and enforcing positive change on a daily basis, we wanted to create a comprehensive resource that allows us to celebrate and learn from the pioneers using digital technology to make a real difference to millions of lives.

    The Social Tech Guide now hosts a collection of 100′s of social tech projects from around the world tackling everything from health issues in Africa to corruption in Asia. You can find out about projects that have emerged out of disaster to ones that use data to build active and cohesive communities. In fact, through the new search and filter functionality on the site, you should find it quick and easy to immerse yourself in an inspiring array of social tech innovations.”


    Code Academy expands

    The New York-based Codecademy has translated its  learn-to-code platform into three new languages today and formalized partnerships in five countries.

    So if you speak French, Spanish or Portuguese, you can now access the Codecademy site and study all of its resources in your native language.

    Codecademy teamed up with Libraries Without Borders (Bibliotheques sans Frontieres) to tackle the French translation and is now working on pilot programs that should reduce unemployment and bring programming into schools. In addition, Codecademy will be weaving its platform into Ideas Box, a humanitarian project that helps people in refugee camps and disaster zones to learn new skills. Zach Sims, CEO of Codecademy, says grants from the public and private sector in France made this collaboration possible.

    The Portuguese translation was handled in partnership with The Lemann Foundation, one of the largest education foundations in Brazil. As with France, Codecademy is planning several pilots to help Brazilian speakers learn new skills. Meanwhile in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the company has been working closely with the local government on a Spanish version of its popular site.

    Codecademy is also linking up up with the Tiger Leap program in Estonia, with the aim of teaching every school student how to program.


    Open online STEM conference

    The Global 2013 STEMx Education Conference claims to be the world’s first massively open online conference for educators focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and more. The conference is being held over the course of three days, September 19-21, 2013, and is free to attend!
    STEMxCon is a highly inclusive event designed to engage students and educators around the globe and we encourage primary, secondary, and tertiary (K-16) educators around the world to share and learn about innovative approaches to STEMx learning and teaching.

    To find out about different sessions and to login to events go to http://bit.ly/1enFDFB


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