Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Edupunk and Colonization of Web 2.0

Great debate/discussion going on between Jim Groom and Gardner Campbell in a series of videos posted on YouTube called EDUPUNK Battle Royal. Jerry Bayne on behalf of Educause is the referee/moderator.

One of the issues is the corporatization of education by major learning management companies who have been very aggressive (piratical?) about claiming many Web 2.0 features that have been developed by innovators and DIY ers.

The punk movement may not be the best metaphor for the counter-culture ethos arising in the face of the coporatizing of education. However, it works for the time being. As was pointed out in the video, the punk movement actually turned out to be the biggest corporate sponsored scam of all. Still the idea of resistance is there and to those that object to the punk meme, I think a true punker would say f**k em if they can't take a metaphor.

A couple of great images raised in this video. The notion of the big LMS companies corporate agenda to take over education is colonization. Certainly fits. They are like the Company of Adventurers moving in to Canada at "the pleasure of their majesties" and squeezing the last bit of juice out of a whole continent and leaving a devastated indigenous population and a servant class of colonialists.

Also love Grooms image of a LMS being a "florescent lighted space for learning". Really captures the dismal blandly uniform experience that passes for online education in many instances.

My ICT for Teachers course was constructed and conducted entirely using Web 2.0 tools. The object of the course was to increase teacher literacy with web based tools so what better way to do it. I think the course may be regarded with great suspicion by the institution. They use Moodle which means at least that they don't get involved with the type of hostage taking that Blackboard or WEBCT imposes on institutions. Still the institution is more interested in saving money and control than empowering learners with the possibilities of web based learning tools.

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