In the TED Talk called “Hackschooling Makes Me Happy”, Logan Laplante describes how his hacker-mindset drives his well-rounded education. Outside the traditional arenas of the school system, Logan’s classes stress creativity, wellbeing, and spiritual depth. Logan’s path is through home schooling, but elements of his approach should be incorporated into the public school model.
Although “hacking” connotes dark rogues breaching firewalls, the hacker-mindset actually applies outside of computers. In fact, hacking is a close relative to the now-popular maker-spaces that are sprouting up in schools and communities around the United States. In education, hacking is important. It requires creativity and rewards perseverance and originality. These are skills essential for 21st century learners who have grown up in the digital age. Remember, the business and social problems they will be required to solve may not even exist yet! The hacker-mindset permits children to challenge and change systems to make them work differently, or, find alternative systems altogether. It allows students to explore and tinker; both processes apply to instruction and learning in history, writing, physics, engineering and so many more.
This concept, usually reserved for tech circles, can enrich the entire school curriculum. As educators, we must discover how this mindset could be more widely adopted through students’ personal input, small-group learning, and more flexible school days.
La Plante, L. (2013, February). Hackschooling makes me happy [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h11u3vtcpaY (TED Talk, 11:13)