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How To Use The Edupunks’ Guide to a DIY Credential

College takes time. College is expensive. College is exclusive. College is no longer the only way to get a great education.

The Edupunks’ Guide is a followup to my 2010 book DIY U, and specifically the Resource Guide—Chapter 7. In that book I say more about why higher education needs to change. This guide focuses on how education IS changing, and how you can be a part of it.

An edupunk is someone who doesn’t want to play by the old college rules. Maybe you have interests that don’t fit the academic mold. Maybe you’re in a remote location. Maybe you have a family, a job, or other responsibilities and you can’t take on life as a full-time student. Maybe you love new technology and new ways of learning. Or maybe you’re just a rebel!

If so, you’re in luck. There’s been a revolution in the way people spread knowledge. Sharing information openly over the Internet is way cheaper than purchasing it commercially in dead-tree format, and often the learning that happens this way is faster, more up-to-date, and more relevant to our immediate needs. A simple example is learning to make pizza. A few years ago, you may have had to take a class or at least buy a cookbook. Today you can put “how to make a pizza” into YouTube and within minutes, you’re watching a video that shows you how to fling the dough!

More and more people around the world are building on this knowledge revolution to explore new modes of learning and to transform what we mean by “education.”

What DO we mean by education, exactly? There are three big buckets of benefit that an educational institution, like a college, historically provides.

● Content—the skills and knowledge. The subjects, the majors. You could think of this as the “what” of education.

● Socialization—learning about yourself, developing your potential, forming relationships with peers and mentors. The “how”.

● Accreditation—earning that diploma or other proof that will allow you to signal your achievement to the world, and with luck get a better job. The “why.”

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