I’m proud to be partnering with Good Magazine to run a series of excerpts this week from The Edupunks’ Guide. Good also does these really cool contests where they invite readers to participate, and we’re doing one to ask people to visualize their personal learning journeys–how they got where they are today, and where they want to go.

Three-quarters of students don’t fit the traditional mold of straight-from-high-school-four-years-of-college-first-job. We want to see a real learning journey: online and real-world resources and communities you’ve found, classes, internships, conferences, jobs, dead ends or wrong turns, and the person or people who really made a difference in getting you where you are today (or where you hope to be).

Doodle a map of your most important learning experiences. Show us what it’s like to learn outside the traditional academic model.

Submit your entry here. We will accept submissions through Sunday, September 11. Check back on to see the slideshow and vote on your favorite. The winner will receive a GOOD T-shirt and see their infographic displayed on GOOD.is.

I am so excited about this, you guys!
Starting August 30 there’s going to be an open course running on P2PU.org called “DIY U: Getting Started With Self Learning.” It’s based on the Edupunks’ Guide. I’ll be moderating with Alison Jean Cole of P2PU. The goal: create and share a personal learning plan and find others who can help you on your learning journey.

I am tremendously impressed with what P2PU has been doing over the past two years and so pleased that they saw the guide as a resource to expand their offerings to people who need help getting started on their platform. It’s exactly the kind of collaboration and hands-on application that I hoped the guide would juice.

We’re running an initial pilot for 10 weeks for a small group of people, an experiment to figure out what works and what doesn’t. We’d really like to get a mix of people including those who have little to no experience with technology, self-learning and online learning, but who have unfinished learning goals that they’d like to achieve. If this is you or someone you know, get in touch and email me at diyubook.com!

William Pannapacker has been dropping brilliant and harsh knowledge on the academy for quite some time now. My favorite part of this latest essay, which has generated quite the debate, was his conclusion:

“In order to reform higher education, many of us will have to leave it, perhaps temporarily, but with the conviction that the fields of human activity and values we care about—history, literature, philosophy, languages, religion, and the arts—will be more likely to flourish outside of academe than in it. As more and more people are learning, universities do not have a monopoly on the “life of the mind.”"

The academy is in trouble because its business model no longer works. Academics, particularly in the humanities, don’t like to talk or hear about the failed business model because they have invested in a separation of church and state, by which caring about business undermines their commitment to their discipline–even when the business at hand is their own economic exploitation and that of their students. Those of us who dare to talk about business models are maligned as “pro-business”–harsh words, Stephen Downes!

My hope for the future of the humanities rests on the bravery of those like Pannapacker who can get up and say “I care about the life of the mind AND I care about the business model that makes it possible.” The humanities are not flourishing within the old economic structures of the academy–they are increasingly marginalized and deprived of resources. We either create new structures to shelter the humanities and humanists, or we let them wither. Ignoring or disdaining the economic side of the matter is not an option.