Anarchy In The UK

I was never into punk when I was at University (I went to see Queen when I was at Leeds University) but I can appreciate how it changed the music scene. So I was interested to see the recent buzz on Twitter and in the blogosphere over the term ‘edupunk’. Mike Caulfield likes the term because “it captures the cultural revulsion many of us feel with the appropriation of the Learning 2.0 movement by corporations such as Blackboard“. And I feel that Tony Hirst encapsulates the edupunk approach which “favors technical accessibility over grand design” from his comments on the CRIG DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) Metadata Barcamp :

A couple of things to note: JISC apparently likes to fund SOAP powered webservices. Whilst these might conceivably make sense for complicated web service transcations, they’re probably overkill in our sector most of the time (a sigh went up from the developers whenever a SOAP interface was mentioned).

REST, it seems, is the punk response to the pompous stadium rock of SOAP and the Web Services stack. And in a post on Changing Expectations: Educational Publishing Tony published a video clip giving his contribution to the edupunk movement:

Now David Harrison recently commented in response to my post on From Disruptive To Innovative Technologies:

I think it was me that raised the question at the event in the context of “Can you imagine going to your Vice-Chancellor and saying … I want to introduce and support some disruptive technologies into our organisation”.

It’s clearly even less likely that institutional policy makers will find the term ‘edupunk’ appealing. But just as punk transformed the music scene, and the wider cultural environment perhaps edupunk will have a similar impact on the educational system.


  1. Another point that Tony Hirst makes in his post on CRIG DRY is that for many of the services he felt he was going to have to read the documentation, rather than just get stuck in and messing about (“JISC services don’t offer a quick hit”). Punk was clearly more than this, but it seems this attitude of ‘do it yourself’ without reference to formal techniques or training has a flavour of ‘punk’ about it as well.

  2. “the first rule of edupunk is…there is no edupunk”

  3. Slightly surprised that something as regimented as REST should qualify as ‘edupunk’. Not really sure I get edupunk – but I don’t suppose that matters! 😉



  1. Mike Caulfield » Blog Archive » Edupunk and REST - [...] then I read something like this from Brian Kelly: REST, it seems, is the punk response to the pompous …
  2. Offline Thinking » Edupunk and REST - [...] then I read something like this from Brian Kelly: REST, it seems, is the punk response to the pompous …
  3. Edupunk begets Euprog at CETIS 2008 Conference « UK Web Focus - [...] by Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) on 30 November 2008 I commented on the “Edupunk” meme a while …

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