First up is Anya Kamenetz who wrote "The Edupunks' Guide to a DIY Credential.
College takes time. College is expensive. College is exclusive.This guide explains how and is supported by some big hitters like the Gates Foundation and received support from the fabulous Dennis Littky of Big Picture Schools and College Unbound. Here are some of the topics the guide addresses:
College is no longer the only way to get a great education.
- Do Research Online
- Write a Personal Learning Plan
- Teach Yourself Online
- Build Your Personal Learning Network
- Find a Mentor
- Get a Credential
- Demonstrate Value to a Network
- Open Content
- Open Social Learning
- Open Learning Institutions
- Dan Diebolt’s independent learning methods
- Reputation Networks
Next up is someone whose work I am more familiar with. Dale J. Stephens is doing great work with his "UnCollege Movement" which empowers people to take ownership of learning and credential themselves.
UnCollege is founded on three principles:
1. Introspection is essential. It is vitally important that you know yourself before you pursue higher education.
2. Passionate action outweighs school. Real-world success proves more than homework.
3. Self-motivation is requisite for success. Taking initiative is more valuable than completing assignments.
Stephens suggests the following reasons for joining the UnCollege Movement:
- College lacks academic rigor.
- 22% of college grads under 25 are working jobs that do not require a degree
- A college degree ≠ success.
- Creativity is the No. 1 “leadership competency.”
- 70% of learning comes from real-world experiences.
- Self-directed learners outperform traditional students (86th percentile to 50th).
Stephens has also written the UnCollege manifesto entitled Your Guide to Academic Deviance.
- Hope to hack your education;
- Will be enrolling in college;
- Want to complement your college experience;
- Are past your college years but want to give higher education a second chance;
- Want to be an educational deviant;
- To get the BEST education possible.
Here are a few things you will learn:
- How to bust societal expectations about college;
- The value (or lack thereof) of a college degree;
- Why life and education are interrelated;
- What being a contrarian entails;
- Introspective exercises;
- Twelve steps to self-directed learning.
The guide is intelligently written with smart ideas. You can click here to open or download the manifesto. For more information about UnCollege go here.