Since way last fall I’ve been working on two follow-ups (of sorts) to DIY U and now it looks like they’ll be coming out within weeks of each other. Here’s the skinny.

I wrote and edited Learning, Freedom, and the Web in collaboration with the Mozilla community. The Mozilla Foundation threw an awesome festival in Barcelona last fall to convene and celebrate the open learning community of hackers, educators, and hacker-educators. The book contains the latest on projects that were born and brewed at that festival, like Badges (an experiment in open accreditation), Popcorn&Butter (a way of making hypervideo), and Hackasaurus (a hacking program for kids). There are lots of profiles of open-ed people like Joi Ito, Cathy Davidson, David Wiley, and more, and how-tos for people who want to try their hand at learning through making. The whole Mozilla ethos I tried to capture is showing, not telling; I think the book will be a really inspiring read for people interested in the future of education from any angle, and I hope that everyone who picks it up wants to try at least one new thing.

You will be able to pick the book up, by the way; there’ll be a handsome paper print-on-demand edition for sale, as well as a free downloadable PDF, and most exciting of all, pictured above, an Android/iPad/interactive browser app version, created by students at Emily Carr University in Canada, and also free. That version may also include video, and it’s easy to share pieces of it via Twitter/blog/whatevs. I got a preview yesterday and it’s supercool.

There’s been a lot of moving parts to this, but for sure LFW will be readable by Labor Day and hopefully before. Watch this space for the latest info.

After I turned in the manuscript for LFW, I got started straightaway on The Edupunks’ Guide. (see page 1 above). It’s currently being designed by the amazing Lisa Valuskaya and it will be available for free download by August 1.

The book is an extension of Chapter 7, the Resource Guide, in DIY U. UPDATE: it’s funded by the Gates Foundation, as the subject of this post indicates. This is a hands-on guide for today’s students, who are more and more going back to school, working, or transferring from one school to another. There are sections for people with no college experience and no set goals, people with some college experience who want a degree, and people primarily interested in open and informal learning. I interviewed about 100 learners who are all nontraditional in some way, to find out their strategies and roadblocks, and what they really need to help them succeed.

Some highlights include:

*Tutorials: How to Write a Personal Learning Plan, How to Teach Yourself Online, How to Build Your Personal Learning Network, How to Find a Mentor, How to Get a Credential, How To Demonstrate Value to a Network.

*The DIY Degree: A Degree At Your Own Pace (18 months to 18 years) at 81% Off Retail

*7 Ways to Get College Credit Without Taking a College Course/7 Ways to Learn College Material Without Taking a College Course

*Beyond MIT Open Courseware and the Khan Academy: 45 resources, networks, and organizations for open learning

In addition to a free download in the Kindle store, Google books and other places ebooks are available, by September there will be an website that people can contribute to and update.

The intent with this guide is to provide a practical, not an ideological definition of what edupunk can be. Most people take a DIY approach to learning because of cost and time constraints more than ideology. These are the organizations out there today that are supporting an open, more flexible, self-directed and collaborative style of learning, often at a lower cost compared to traditional institutions (and especially for-profits) or for free. And while I believe education needs to go beyond credentialism (hence the emphasis on “demonstrating value to a network”) I also recognize that right now, lots of people derive value from credentials.

So, that’s what I’ve been working on. Love to hear your feedback or questions!

4 Responses to “My next projects: Mozilla & Gates books both out in August!”

  1. In the title you say ‘Mozilla and Gates books…’ It appears that the first book was supported by Mozilla, was the second supported by the Gates foundation? Just curious how you’re able to offer your ip for free through offering these books free.

  2. Fred Ross says:

    Psyched to hear about the new book, especially with the wonky ceiling!!! To Cali… some towns and cities are beginning to bring WiFi to their communities. Let’s just hope Dr. Michio Kaku is off about the upcoming sun spot activity of 2012/2013.

  3. Nathan Vexler says:

    I’m so excited about this book! Could I get an email when it comes out?

  4. David Czuba says:

    Reading your book after reading David Brooks’s “The Social Animal” helps me understand the crisis state we’re in, and that the institutions perpetuate success among a thin elite. I’m one of the fortunate who, after 20 years, returned to college and ‘earned’ my MBA. With it, I got employed with a for-profit educational institution that is quite literally doing what Christopher Jenkes would like, giving the so-called dregs of society a chance at equality by inclusivity. I won’t pull punches…it’s f’n hard being a teacher of students who would otherwise be homeless, in jail, or doing drugs in the backwoods, but I have energy to contribute. In this light, going on to earn a PhD doesn’t make much sense.
    I’ll say I’m not elitist. My dad survived the German occupation of Poland. My grandad escaped Fascist Italy. Both served in the U.S. military, but never completed education beyond High School. What they did provide, however, was a healthy dose of criticism, not necessarily critical thinking. Turns out, that was a fairly good thing anyway, because it inoculates a person against the worst forms of stupidity, while maintaining a healthy respect for absurdity. Keep up the good work.

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