The School of Hackers #diglit

When I think of hacking I think of Lisbeth Salander. For those of you who have not read or watched Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Salander is a fictional genius hacker who for most of her life was considered extremely mentally retarded. However according to Bud the teacher, hacking doesn’t really mean what we think it means.

Hacking is about changing the way something is done to improve upon it. I liked what Logan LaPlante had to say in his Ted Talk, but as a future educator I must disagree also. I guess in a way I hack schooled also because my parents chose to homeschool me until 7th grade. My mom decided that teaching us kids anything beyond middle school was too much. For the first 6 years of my education I lived in a bubble of slippers, hot cocoa, and self pacing work. When I entered public school I continued to hack my own education within the traditional school system. I know for many parents they want what is best for their kids and maybe that is not the local school so they decide to try alternatives. My question is has anyone tried hacking the traditional school system? If we feel that schools are killing creativity then why hasn’t something been done about it? I admit being a homeschooler, and today’s schools want me to homeschool my kids but then I am reminded of something my high school Algebra teacher told me. He’d been offered a teaching position at a bigger school with a lot more benefits and he turned it down because he wanted to stay and improve our school. He didn’t want to leave; he wanted to stay and hack the school.

I want to hack education as well within the confines of the traditional school system. I want to change school for those kids who don’t have the option of being homeschooled or going to a private school. Not everyone has those opportunities and so we need to bring those opportunities to them. Education should be about the kids and therefore we should hack school for them and not for ourselves. I want to create a school system where students come to create, play, and find ways to hack their education. Learning should be fun! I want to be that teacher that makes it fun. I want my students to come to school everyday excited to learn and ready to learn.

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2 thoughts on “The School of Hackers #diglit

  1. My sister teaches in a Lutheran school, 6, 7, 8th grade science, math, and computer science, when she started at the school over ten years ago she told them to put at the end of the hall where her class would not bother people because they would be doing a lot of hands on stuff and be active and noisy. The kids learn, she has gotten a teacher of the year, and they do not want her to leave because her classes always test supper high. So some teachers do hack the system!

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  2. I think it’s GREAT when a teacher decides to stay in a low-paying job with hopes of making changes. Hacking the traditional school system is a radical and bold move… but very noble. You specifically mentioned, the “confines” of socialized education, and that’s appears to be where the rub is every stinkin’ time this is addressed. It starts slow and very small. With large class-sizes, single approach/textbook to each subject, and test scores now determining financial outcomes, it’s difficult to allow much freedom, right away. I really do hope that our class can come up with meaningful ways to allow kids to own much of their educational path. It means putting ourselves out there, sharing ideas that might be shot down or laughed at, and thinking WAY outside of the box. Way! But it must start somewhere. Are you familiar with Sudbury Valley schools? They’re popping up all over the country and I understand one is opening out near Omaha very soon. They have a very interesting approach with successful, happy students. However, it’s still far too radical for most families to embrace (IMO). But it gets us enough outside-of-the-box to start a discussion. 🙂 Good thoughts, here. Thanks!

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