My Obligatory Post on Yet Another Buzz Word

EduPunk seems to be the new buzzword for… oh, I who knows. Wired Campus had this to say about it: “Punk rock was a rebellion against the clean, predictable sound of popular music and it also encouraged a do-it-yourself attitude. Edupunk seems to be a reaction against the rise of course-managements systems, which offer cookie-cutter tools that can make every course Web site look the same.” I love punk rock, so I just don’t see how that term even makes sense. True punks really rebelled against all things organized and governmental, and education is exactly that – organized and governmental.

If anyone knows the history of punk rock, they know that there was a whole punk underground that existed for a long time before anyone noticed, and then it became popular to be punk. They you had a ton of poser pop-punk bands coming along just making the term “punk” silly. That is what this seems like to me – “edupunks” are just doing what many of us have been doing for years, but seeming to make it look silly. Especially when you use rap/hip-hop lingo terms to discuss a punk term :)

Besides, the true “punks” tended to hate be categorized in any way. (I type this as I listen to Bad Brains “Rock for Light” :). So, I guess maybe I am a true EduPunk – because I would really hate to be classified by such a silly term. But I really have severe problems with BlackBoard (like many do), so if the EduPunk movement is the one that is fighting against it, I guess I have to join it.

Ultimately, the true punk rock music movement came to be about doing what you want, regardless of what others told you was “cool” or “hip.” The problem with pop-punk was that it told you you still had to fit a particular rebellious mold to truly be punk (see a great song called “School?” by a band called Crashdog for a good riff on this concept). From what I am seeing of the term EduPunk, it seems more like it should be called EduPopPunk.

Matt Crosslin
Matt is currently the Learning Innovation Coordinator with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His research focuses on Learning Theory, Innovation, and learner empowerment. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning. He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process.

9 thoughts on “My Obligatory Post on Yet Another Buzz Word

  1. I guess I don’t really have an opinion about the term EduPunk. But as a person in the education field and a person whose first show was the Dead Kennedys, (I’m listening to The Jesus Lizard – Down, as I type) I feel the need to provide my insight into punk conformity or non-conformity. I always found it incredibly interesting that all of the punks were dressed in expensive (to me at the time) leather boots and jackets and had spent a tons of time styling their hair, and meticulously adorning their jackets with safety pins. Conformity is all in your mentality and rarely is reflected in labels. This EduPunk nomenclature is just another useless term which will be forgotten.

  2. Who makes up these words? Maybe the next version of it will be “edupunk’d” – you know from the show where people get “punk’d”!! meaning that they pretend to provide you with a good elearning class, but really they fooled you and it was just a power point slide, and they capture your reaction (disdain!!).

  3. Matt Crosslin

    Very good points Russell. Wow – Dead Kennedys. That brings back memories. But, I live in Texas, so I mostly remember thrashing to a friends Fresh Fruit… cassette more than anything. No shows in our area :)EdTech buzzwords seem to die hard, so I wonder if this one will be forgotten or bought by O’Reilly and patented? Maybe we should go to EduPunk Journal?

  4. I actually saw DK at the International Club in Houston in 1984 for the Frankenchrist tour. I actually still have the once black, now grey, shirt:-) I’m from TX too – seen almost all of my shows in Houston.

  5. Matt Crosslin

    Well, I should have said I was from a little town in central Texas :) We used to try and figure out ways to trick our parents in to taking us to Houston or Dallas so we could go to concerts. No luck….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *