A Must-Read! DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education
“This book is all about the power of sharing ideas freely, ” says Anya Kamenetz, author of DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education. Actually, the book is mostly about sharing ideas freely, but Kamenetz first outlines the current state of higher education: college as the American dream, the sociological factors surrounding a college education, and the economics of obtaining and providing a college education. Addressing the changing educational landscape (as you can imagine, computers and distance education figure into this picture heavily), Kamenetz discusses opportunities and challenges presented by open content and social networking tools. She envisions a world in which learners hack together their education from a variety of different resources—“freely shared” ideas, such as open resources and newer phenomenons, like MOOCs—and where this type of education is valued as equally in the workplace and society as a traditional college degree. In a statement that many with close university ties might find radical, she proclaims—
“[w]hat edupunk—DIY education, if you will—promises is an evolution from expensive institutions to expansive networks; it aims to fulfill the promise of universal education, but only by leaving the university behind (110).”
In the last section of her book, Kamenetz provides thinking points for those contemplating their post-secondary education. With “edupunks” in mind, she suggests a substantial number of resources related to self-education and non-traditional education, and she offers ways the intrinsically motivated learner can connect with education providers.
“Our best hope is to get better at empowering individuals to find answers for themselves. In other words, forget about giving the guy a fish, or teaching him how to fish, either. Teach him how to teach himself, and he’ll always be able to acquire the skills he needs to find food, skills you haven’t even thought of yet for things you didn’t know you could eat (134).”
Which of Kamenetz’s ideals resonate with you?