EDUPUNK on Fox News?

Aaron Fowles sent along this video from Fox 5 News in Memphis, Tennessee that highlights the MidSouth Technology Conference, which is an edtech event for K-12 teachers (warning–first 30 seconds of video is an obnoxious Xmas ad). And while I was watching the video for the EDUPUNk reference at 1:11 (it’s actually a fleeting image from Aaron’s presentation) I was struck by the message that Fox took from the conference in it’s two minute report: school’s are engaging free web-based technologies for quick and easy innovation. Say what? Fox News 5 nails it?! Jesus, they are starting to look pretty good compared to The Chronicle and the like. I was ready for the fear and loathing, but it never came, and from what I can see of the conference, it looks like we really are starting to see the wider trend of free, web-based tools take hold as an alternative philosophy to expensive and proprietary systems.

What’s more, is that Aaron was presenting on creating your own Whiteboard using a Wii remote—-something I know Grant Potter and Patrick Murray-John have also been experimenting with—which is pretty crazy when you think about it.  You take a $2,000-$4,000 (note: changed pricing by a decimal point thanks to that jackass Tom Woodward) piece of equipment that schools are buying up to suggest they are using edtech, and you reproduce it with less than $100 worth of equipment that’s is highly portable. Now that’s impressive, and whether or not Whiteboards are the best use of instructional technology resources becomes that far less an issue because they’re cheap, you can hack them to do what you want, and you’re freeing up funds to invest in people to imagine what they can do rather than investing in soon to-be-outdated proprietary machines. Edufabricators 🙂

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55 Responses to EDUPUNK on Fox News?

  1. Tom says:

    I think you need to adjust your whiteboard pricing by a decimal place. Although, that could be how much they charge you higher ed suckers.

    PS – First, Fox has to push using technology. Then they wait and if anything semi negative happens they set the fires.

  2. Grant says:

    Not only cheap, portable, and hackable, but easy to use and serious fun. Wii powered surface my son’s fav way to play Spore –

  3. Reverend says:

    Don;t get smart with me, I was thinking in aggregate, but put individual prices. Give me a figure smart guy.

  4. Scott Leslie says:

    Before we get too extravagant in our praise for Fox News, realize that this was a local Fox affiliate, *not* the head Propaganda Machine, and clearly they strayed off message. Indeed, I think you left out the part at the end of the clip where they gave the “fair and balanced” counterpoint from a “Mr. Richard Head” where he exclaimed “All edupunks are babykilling, Soviet-loving hippies who are plunging our country into financial ruin through their support of healthcare reform.”

  5. Tom, stop confusing the issue by pointing out facts. Schools buy a fourty seven bajillion dollar gizmo, and edupunkers can reproduce its functionality better for the cost of a stick of gum. I saw it on Fox News.

  6. Chris Lott says:

    Speaking of Fox, it’s interesting to consider this alongside the most recent episode of the Simpsons, when Miss Krabapple (Lisa’s teacher) gets replaced by a super-tech-savvy but hollow gizmo-wielding substitute…

  7. Tom says:

    Not defending anyone or anything . . .

    I saw Bart’s teacher get replaced and they sort of made fun of the tech use but Bart was actually interested in school. I thought it was more about how the system destroys anyone who actually cares- at least that’s how I interpreted it.

  8. Chris Lott says:

    I think that was part of it– but while the interest was stimulated, the use was so clearly shallow that it seemed to be a mockery to me…

  9. Tom says:

    I’ll agree with that—- as long as Jim disagrees.

  10. peter naegele says:

    I always liked Johnny Lee’s wii mote demo:

    If a portable quick and dirty solution is all you need, the wii mote is fine.

  11. Joel says:

    I like you, Jim. I also like rock music. I like Tom, but I think he is out of line with some of what he says. D’Arcy uses words I don’t understand, but he’s OK I guess, I’m not sure about his sunglasses. Scott seems like he could use a nice piece of pie, I’d like to wrap him up snug in a blanket and feed him some. Chris is so perfect it makes my pinkies hurt. I wish someone could explain what Grant, Peter and Johnny are really up to, I don’t trust them.

    Is this video interesting?

  12. Everybody knows if we could save money on whiteboards we could probably afford two to three more wars of convenience.

  13. Tom says:


  14. Chris Lott says:

    Stack the pie higher!

  15. Joel says:

    I don’t know if my blanket is big enough to snug Scott, D’Arcy, and Chris all together. I suppose I could just hand-feed them pie where they sit, or I could get out from under the blanket and let Scott, D’Arcy, and Chris all snug up eating pie without me. But that would make me sad.

    I wonder if Tom would calm down if I fed him some pie.

    I can’t say why, but if I close my eyes I keep envisioning Mike running around and jumping like a rodeo clown.

  16. Tom says:

    I will calm down if given good pie.

    Additionally, I will bring extra blankets to pie dispensing location.

  17. Incidentally, I love whiteboards, because they allow for more unscripted (and democratic) presentations. I would say that most good software came into this world as a good whiteboard session/presentation, and most software from hell came into this world as a PowerPoint.

  18. Joel says:

    I’m not a rodeo clown, and I don’t pretend to be. But I love whiteboards as well. Through the mists of memory I recall sunlight streaming in through a bedroom window, fingers caressing the wires, my lips playing lightly off the buttons. An unspoken communication that is more than words, gentle laughter over breakfast in bed.

    PowerPoint is a truck stop toilet trader, roughly shoving itself down my throat and not even bothering to ask my name.

  19. Mike says:

    Yes, that is true. Powerpoint is the glory hole of presentation formats.

  20. Lisa Chamberlin says:

    Not sure why, but I feel the need to go rinse off after reading this comment thread.

  21. Lisa Chamberlin says:

    Oh, and Tom…don’t make the Bava angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.

  22. Reverend says:


    I can’t imagine why 🙂 I think dirty sexual metaphors for edtech is the next craze in the opened field. Folks are just piloting it out here in the bava comments because they know it is one of the last free speech zones in higher ed. And, truth be told, I am even more interested than ever to see who this Joel maniac is.

  23. Shannon says:

    Jim you are just trying to find a reason to blog about 70s porn, admit it.

  24. Blog it? He’s still SHOOTING it.

  25. Aaron Fowles says:

    It’s Fowles with an S.

    Like I posted on my own blog, but will repeat here: IWBs are not all that and a bag of chips. They are just the bag of chips. A teacher needs a solid pedagogical background to teach. Basta. In attempting to reach every child, however, teachers need to study technology.

    Some teachers get too caught up in their gear, it is true. A much larger opportunity for improvement, though, lies in the teachers who are not using the tools that are available to them.

    As a quick add-on, IWBs are great for classrooms that only have one computer. Many urban classrooms are in that very condition. Thousands of teachers lug their own laptops into the classroom everyday, some have to bring their own projectors (I am lucky enough to have one from the ESL department in my district). An IWB opens that one computer up for use by the whole class, which is, in three words, made of awesome.

  26. I had to google what the hell IWB stood for. Acronyms are awesome.

  27. Lisa Chamberlin says:

    IWB=Intestinal Water Bugs?
    Insipidly-written blogs?
    Inspiring Water Boys?

    I could do this all day.

  28. Les Nessman says:

    Did someone say eduSkank?

  29. Reverend says:


    Ignore the riff raff the bava comments pick up, I’ve been trying to get rid of these people for years. As to your point, it is about the people, I agree, and when you demonstrate who an investment in people affords innovation beyond simply a tool, I think you make your own argument that much stronger. Thanks for passing on the link, and sorry about the name misspelling, I am a terrible speller, and even worse comment moderator.

    @D’Arcy, @Les, @Shannon, and @Lisa,
    You are, indeed, riff raff, but you’re my riff raff. I love you all.

  30. The Chronic says:

    You educational technologists are so funny. So funny we’ve decided to parody you non-stop. Please don’t stop blogging or we’ll run out of things to make fun of.

  31. Joel says:

    There’s a community here, I’ve come to think of it as family. I imagine Jim as a father-figure at the head of the table, laughing heartily as us kids bicker and compete for his attention and approval. He’s a loving and stern taskmaster, and I shed a tear contemplating him depicted in Holly Dunn’s classic “Daddy’s Hands”

    Daddy’s hands were soft and kind when I was cryin’
    Daddy’s hands were hard as steel when I’d done wrong
    Daddy’s hand weren’t always gentle but I’ve come to understand
    there was always love in Daddy’s hands

  32. Boone Gorges says:

    The thought of “Jimmy’s hands” makes me feel violated.

  33. Chris Lott says:

    Great… EDUPORN — there’s a genre I don’t want to see, even if Jim swears tub girls are awesome.

  34. The Chronic says:

    This whole EDUPORN thing could be worthy of close study. Can EDUPORN replace the LMS? Where’s the authentic EDUPORN? Is “Boom Chicka-Wow-Wow” the EDUPORN anthem?

  35. Luke says:

    All of your nutty comments aside: this was the rare local news feature that gave me some hope. You know, besides the ones about piano playing animals.

  36. Reverend says:

    I couldn’t have said it better, you poetry gives me pause.

    Fox 5 is the truth.

    Brilliant! I do too.

    Who are you? what kind of satirical craziness are you up too? Also, I completely agree with you on EDUPORN so does @Chris, he’s just smart enough not to admit it within this thread.

  37. Tom says:

    Are “Jimmy Hands” anything like “Jimmy Legs”? If so, just give Jim a cigarette and some coffee. He’ll stop touching you and stop shaking. He’s really just searching for change and/or cigarettes- the molestation is just an added bonus.

  38. Mikhail says:

    I love this thread. I really really do.

    Keep your stinking Jimmyhands off me, you damn dirty EDUPUNK!!!

    Oh, and, speaking of EDUPORN, no one has yet noted that the reporter looks like Little Annie Fanny in a really unflattering outfit.

  39. Thinking about the Wiimote reminds me of that story about Chinese tv using a computer game to visualize some event. Gaming tools are one fine compartment in the Edupunk toolbox.

  40. Aaron Fowles says:

    @Bryan – True true. Serious games are EXTREMELY useful in the classroom. They’re that sort of insidious education you often hear about.

    @Chris – If you stick “edu” in front of any word, you get some awesome things. Edupunk, edublog, educhicken, edutext, eduface, eduspace, educat, edu….cation?

  41. Mikhail says:

    @Aaron. Nobody sticks “edu” in front of words like the bava. NOBODY!!!

    Here’s a question: If the Fox News Channel were to air a story about an ed tech conference and spend some time on EDUPUNK, what might the spin be like? What could Bill O’Reilley say about the Right Reverend?

  42. The Chronic says:

    Yeah, because cations were so awesome on their own. Like monkeys.

  43. Chris L says:

    I, for one, welcome our monkey overlords.

  44. I’m giving a talk about tomorrow, in fact, and am considering a riff on this. Will you guys be around on Twitter?

  45. Ed Webb says:

    At your command, Captain Alexander. What time (approximately) will you need the rabble to do its thing?

  46. 4:45-5:45 PM, eastern time, Grand Inquisitor Webb.

  47. Reverend says:


    I’ll be there!

  48. Mikhail says:

    @Bryan The link is broken. I should be around as well.

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