I made the point that edupunk is a sort of metaphor, and like all metaphors we only map certain parts across to the new domain – in this case I thought it was the DIY, have-a-go approach of punk, and some of the anarchic nature of it. What we wouldn’t want to map across was the slightly Stalinist approach that came with punk where people were either punk or not, and anything that was not was decreed rubbish.
And this made me think about some of the angst people have had about the term – it’s seen as an either/or. Are you an edupunk or not? As I stated a while ago, I don’t think I am, too much of what I do is just mundane or corporate or conservative in approach. But it struck me that it’s not about being an edupunk, but rather preserving some area of what you do where you can do edupunk kinda stuff – or eduWomble, or research, or play, or social networking, whatever you want to call it. Just as Google has Google Time when employees can experiment with stuff, so universities and educators need to have edupunk time – a period when you can explore stuff away from the mass of concerns that arise whenever you try and do anything with education: learning objectives, accessibility, workloads, technical expertise, cost implications, etc. All of these are important, but sometimes you need room to explore in an area that is free from having to meet a wide range of criteria at the outset.
So new management proposal – 10% edupunk time for all. Any takers?