A media ecological analysis of do-it-yourself education: Exploring relationships between the symbolic and the material realms of human action | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1539-7785
  • E-ISSN: 2048-0717



Drawing on the work of Marshall McLuhan and subsequent theories of media ecology, this article seeks to build upon an understanding of the complex interactions of the material and symbolic aspects of human action. To do so, I perform a tetradic analysis of an educational movement referred to as Do-It-Yourself (DIY) education. Broadly defined, the DIY education movement includes any attempt to decentralize or disrupt traditional place-based educational models through the sometimes collective, other times individual use of digital media. Thus, The DIY movement is not simply a description of a particular model but rather, models that emerge or otherwise reflect a particular educational ideology. Accordingly, examples of this model could include online educational communities such as YouTube or for the purposes of this article, MOOCs. Ultimately then, through an analysis of the DIY movement I seek to elucidate the educational forms that emerge as a result of the interplay among discourses and technologies related to contemporary understandings of teaching and learning.


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