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Learn your own

1 0 e u s s i

{d¥mn} way

ee fr e pl m sa – Issue 01, December 2012/January 2013 –

1 0 e u s s i

Learn your own {d¥mn} way

– Issue 01, December 2012/January 2013 –

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Staff Rebelutionary Life is a blog and tablet magazine exploring disruptive people and ideas that are unconventional, intentional, and effective. Sign up for the Rebelutionary Life newsletter below!

Anne-Sophie Dumetz Assistant Editor

Contributors DALE STEPHENS UnCollege AUDREY WATTERS Hack Education

Design and layout by SPARKETYPE based on an original design by DESIGN IS MORE f i L y r a n o i Rebelut

Issue 01, December 2012/January 2013


Design Sparketype builds affordable mobile apps for small and medium businesses and personal brands. We also publish our own feature and niche mobile apps, ebooks, and this tablet mag for Rebelutionary Life.

Sign up for the Sparketype newsletter below!


Brad Kynoch Founder, Chief Editor & Contributor

Under the Covers 6

Introducing Rebelutionary Life: Intro and manifesto


Issue Focus COVER STORY When you decide to learn, learn to decide: School can be a choice


PART 1: When school falls short Regaining the creative edge: Why formal ed’ cripples creativity





PART 2: Making the leap Live and learn: The unstudent lifestyle Eye on the future: How startups are dismantling the university

28 35

PART 3: Learning YOUR way Getting ahead without credentials: Learning to get what you want Track what you (need to) learn: A critical look at LearningJar Learning through entrepreneurship: Start small, aim high, and make a difference

46 51


// Issue 01 // “Learn your own damn way!”


FEEDBACK? Let us know what you think!


Credits We respect and admire visual artists, so we use only material that meets one of the following: • Public and free for commercial use without attribution • Creative Commons license indicates “commercial use with attribution” • Received written permission for use with attribution • Purchased appropriate rights for commercial use (e.g., stock image) Below are the images used in this issue that deserve our thanks and attribution: • 060/365 The World Is Not A • On Air with Sword by egeeksen / Playground (Explore) by Leland iStockphoto, used on cover Francisco, used in “Live & Learn” • Bright Black Press Shot by • 358/365 - April 27, 2009 by Gary Birnie, used in “When you Morgan, used in “Live & Learn” decide to learn, learn to decide” • Chalkboard Background by Karin • Extreme Parkour! by Dalziel, used in “Live & Learn” Rubén Chase, used in “Section 1: Where school falls short” • Eye I by Thomas Tolkien, used in “Eye on the future” • Spider Kid by Sukanto Debnath, used in “Regaining the creative • Graduation: Clean Slate by edge” JD Hancock, used in “Getting ahead without credentials” • Sir Ken Robinson @ The Creative Company Conference by • Writer’s Retreat by Sebastiaan ter Burg, used in Jeremy Levine Design, used in “Regaining the creative edge” “Section 3: Learning YOUR way” • jump by Joshua Davis, used in • The Money Tree by Kris Mouser“Section 2: Making the leap” Brown, used in “Learning through entrepreneurship” • Jump around by Araí Moleri Riva-Zucchelli, used in • Down in Front by Fernando “Live & Learn” de Sousa, used on last page If we made a mistake using or attributing an image, please contact us!

Welcome to Rebelutionary Life Magazine! Maybe you’re bored with your options, stuck in a rut, or feel like you’re missing something. Or maybe you’re just curious. Maybe you’re actively dabbling outside the norm to think in new ways, experience new things, or spice things up. Maybe you live on the fringe and can’t imagine doing things the “normal” way. Regardless of where you’re at, we’re here to help you ask questions, explore the unconventional, and open your mind to a world with fewer limits and more options. Because open minds break down closed doors.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect. —Mark Twain

Enjoy our mini manifesto, up next. (The version on our website is easier to print or share.) And you can learn more about us on our website! Thanks for joining us and we’re honoured to be in this together!

Brad Kynoch | Founder, Chief Editor & Contributor Rebelutionary Life |

Rebelutionary Life

manifesto (part 1)

Rebelutionary Life

manifesto (part 2)


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About this issue...

When you decide to learn, "Learn to decide" How to drive your own learning (and when to ride the "school" bus) by Brad Kynoch & Anne-Sophie Dumetz, Rebelutionary Life

In every issue of Rebelutionary Life Magazine, we look at a topic in an unconventional way. This issue, we’re exploring the ideas and tools that give people both fear and hope about their education and learning options.


ou’ve probably heard the chatter get louder about people questioning the value of a university / college degree and a controversial movement of fringe teens

and adults that are bypassing school* and earning their stripes in the “School of Life”. A couple years ago, it was low on the radar, but now some countries’ major national media outlets are covering it. It’s an emerging trend that has some in a huff and others excited. So whether it makes your blood boil or intrigues you, the idea is here to stay.

*In this article, the term “school” refers to higher education institutions like university / college. We don’t mean primary and secondary school where kids get the essential education of their youth.

Don’t take a back seat to your learning


his issue isn’t a guide with all the answers about higher education. It’s a starting point to trigger your thoughts, help you engage in discussion, and ask challenging questions.

options, you’re continually choosing your own adventures— in life and in education, too. And you’re challenged to make the “right” choices. It’s not easy. But it’s not final, either.

You’re already well schooled on No matter how you choose to the merits of going to school. live and to learn, the intended We’re not trying result of any to discredit educational school, nor life experiDrive your learning are we trying ence is always to put out more than a 1. Look inward: the fire by simple piece Know yourself discrediting of paper. 2. Look outward: the alternaThe result tives. We just isn’t even Explore your options want you the path, 3. Keep choosing: to ask good or the Make intentional choices questions and destination. consider all It’s you. A the options. better, brighter new you. Someone who has the tools to be engaged in changing Always ask yourself if you’re still on the right path to learning, the world—the tools for lifelong for you. Make up your own learning, sharing, and giving. damn mind. That’s what this issue is about—how to be more Every day, you make choices. intentional and consider the You choose to go to work, or unconventional. school, or not. You choose one thing over another. And with each choice, you recommit to the path you’re on. With growing

More choices than ever


s an adult today, whether young or old, you currently have more options available for learning than ever before in human history. (Pause a moment and chew on that!) That’s both exciting and terrifying! The fact is, there are more options open than just higher education, but not everyone trusts the idea of learning outside schools. In addition to school, your choices now include at least the following:

• Read, travel, or volunteer / work for free • Take massive open online courses (MOOCs) or informal online courses (e.g., webinars) • Go to conferences, seminars, and workshops • Get tutored or mentored • Start a business or work for a startup • Join special-interest groups (e.g., meetups) • Participate in edu / business bootcamps (e.g., hackathons) • Join a “hackerspace” • and the list goes on...

Fearing the unconventional and the unknown Snubbing school has a lot of people in a huff. “It’s undermining what generations have put in place!” “It’ll corrupt the minds and futures of our kids!” “How will kids get jobs?” “It’ll become hard to find qualified people!”

“But they’re not weighing the consequences!” “But I won’t have the option for school later in life if the alternatives fail!” “What about enrolment levels in schools (and the loss of revenue)?”

Yes, it’s causing quite a stink. But there’s also a powerful message in it— in some areas of learning, there can be more effective, faster, and cheaper ways to learn certain things than learning them in school.

Calling the shots and weighing options School isn’t always the best choice for everyone—it depends on several factors, including: What you’re trying to learn: • What subject matter or skills? • Do you need to layer the learning over multiple years (e.g., medical school)? Or can you learn as you go? (e.g., technology)?

What you want out of it: • Are you doing it for professional reasons or personal growth? • Is it to impress your colleagues, grow in your current job, get a new job, or start a business? • Is it to gain membership somewhere? • Is it to make like-minded friends while learning? • If you’re being hired, what kind of credentials do they need? Or do they need skills more than credentials?

Your situation:

• Where do you live? Do you have a family? What can you afford? • How easily can you access the internet? • Do you face socio-economic challenges or discrimination? • Could you still go to school later if you choose to try other learning paths now? Would you be better off or worse off that way?

Your mentality:

How you learn best:

• Are you driven, hard-working, and patient? • Do you take measured risks? • Are you swayed by family or peer pressure? • Are you afraid of failing inside or outside school? • Do you like to be led through learning or are you self-driven? • Are you willing to learn new ways or would you rather stick with established techniques?

• Do you love school? • What are your ideal learning styles? (most effective, efficient) • How do you learn best to retain new information vs. testing well? • Want to try something new?

In no way is this an exhaustive list of considerations. But remember to ask yourself the tough questions and give thoughtful, honest answers that are right for you!

Opening your mind for renewed hope Don’t think of your education as a ride where you simply jump on the “school” bus because it stops on your street. But that school bus can still be a sweet way to get where you’re going, if it’s right for you. Whether you’re just starting out or whether you’re a lifelong learner, your education is a map that you draw, where you are in the driver’s seat, and you choose the path at every turn. So if you open your mind to other options, you may find you can break down some closed doors that have been holding you back!

Our cover image

This guy rocks. He embodies the fierce attitude you need to hack though your preconceived notions of what learning means to you. He’s got fire and we want you to feel it! Let us know in the comments what you think of him and this article! –Brad Kynoch, Rebelutionary Life

Rebelutionary Life Magazine FREE SAMPLE  

This is a 20-page FREE SAMPLE of Issue 01 "Learning your own damn way". In this issue, we explore when school falls short, whether and how t...

Rebelutionary Life Magazine FREE SAMPLE  

This is a 20-page FREE SAMPLE of Issue 01 "Learning your own damn way". In this issue, we explore when school falls short, whether and how t...