Review: The Edupunks’ Guide to a DIY Credential by Anya Kamenetz

Many students take the traditional route through college by living on campus and attending classes all day on that four-year hike to graduation. Yet, what about those that don’t have the luxury of time and money to drop everything and reach the collegiate finish line? Or what about those Good Will Hunting types that are rebels to the old college rules and don’t want to sit in a lecture hall, take the time or pay the money? This growing population is what author Anya Kamenetz has coined the “edupunks.”

This July Anya Kamenetz published The Edupunks’ Guide to a DIY Credential, a free eBook that teaches students how to develop a personal learning plan through the use of online resources and a community of self-chosen mentors. The entire book feeds the mind of the edupunk in delivering ways to take advantage of the rapidly growing resources on the Internet to receive a credential.
Kamenetz puts choice and drive back into the students’ hands to bring fourth a 21st century idea: self-guided and self-motivated learning.
The book kicks off with a questionnaire that helps students identify their current level of education, goals, learning style and learning motivation. This helps jumpstart the learning exactly where the individual reader needs to begin or focus.
In my opinion, by page five The Edupunks’ Guide effectively embodies its mission and purpose – offering a free, online resource that tailors the guide itself to the individual reader – and it only gets better.
Kamenetz walks through, step-by-step, how to do online research, write a personal learning plan, learn independently online, build a personal learning network, find a mentor, get a credential and demonstrate value to a network.
She points to books, TED talks, films, documentaries, websites, and other open educational resources to develop new knowledge and learning through the abundance of  free resources found online. These resources can supplement learning in ways that a lecture hall does not suffice.
What’s more, the guide offers life skills that are not always picked up in a traditional college course such as actively building a professional network or reputation after earning a credential. Many students today graduate from colleges and universities with few connections that drive opportunity and continued learning.
In addition, others struggle to learn how to demonstrate their knowledge and skills through portfolios, activities, networking events, and more. Learning to cast this net is a valuable life skill that is often overlooked between textbooks, lectures and final exams on college campuses. This guide targets these challenges to help students succeed with combined effort of knowledge and life skills.
The Edupunks’ Guide is more than a resource for the edupunk or college rebel. It’s also an excellent read for the college bound high schooler or average college student enrolled at a traditional university. It’s even a great refresher for the post-graduation, lifelong learner.
This DIY guide’s wealth of ideas and resources helps readers grasp hold of ways to take learning into their own hands and thrive on their life passions and goals. Click here to download your free copy of The Edupunks’ Guide to a DIY Credential by Anya Kamenetz.

Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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