Although I’ve worked and continue to work with institutions, corporate organisations and regulatory bodies, I’ve also long been an exponent of individuals seizing the means of production to create and share. I don’t see a conflict in that, in fact I see it as a healthy scenario of market forces at play, the ability of the little man to compete with the corporate giant.
In today’s world, technology has provided everyone with the tools to create, connect and contribute. There are parallels in my opinion with the music scene of the 1970s where huge, bloated, extravagant and self-indulgent bands were blown away by fresh-faced youths with attitude and energy. A DIY mentality was at the heart of Punk: “this is a chord, this is another, this is a third. Now form a band” That mentality spread to the means of production too. The Spiral Scratch EP, Rough Trade Records, Stiff, the fanzine ‘Sniffin’ Glue’, all examples of people prepared to do it themselves to great effect.
There is a rising tide of social learning sweeping the globe and it is unstoppable. It can’t be reversed (even if that was desirable), it can’t be ignored and it won’t go away. What we are seeing in education is a fight by the institutions to tame, contain and manipulate social learning (Coursera appoints new CEO), a struggle to deal with changing times and new attitudes. During this time there is an opportunity for innovative individuals, the EduPunks of today, to step in and exploit the space.
I’ve recently put together a Digital Design & Delivery Toolkit of my own comprising of (mostly free) digital tools, some commonly known some not so, that can be used in a learning design framework based on social, collaborative learning.
The purpose of this toolkit is not to set out all the tools on offer, that would be impossible, but to suggest some of those that are currently available and popular. Perhaps, more importantly, this toolkit will give designers, tutors and learners ideas about the methodology of using digital tools in teaching and learning, what they are and what they can do.
The skill of the designer is to use the tools to create something innovative and purposeful, the skill of the deliverer is to use the tools to facilitate learning and guided discovery. This is a digital tool, this is another, this is a third. Now create and learn!