While at first glance this looks like it will be something about how to hack your school’s server, I guarantee that’s not what it is. Frankly, I’m not that tech savvy so I couldn’t do it if I wanted to! Hacking, in its truest form, means to fiddle with something to make it better, just ask Logan LaPlante or Merriam Webster. You will have to dig to the bottom of definitions associated with the term hack, but it is there, its one use of term.
Let’s take a moment and look at the content from Logan LaPlante’s TED Talk and Bud Hunt’s Blog, “Centering on Essential Lenses“. They both talk about this idea of hacking or making changes to make something easier or better. That applies just about anywhere in life and school. I love the concept overall and it will be something I try to do as often as I can when teaching. The glamorous world of the Social Sciences is not something most people are actively excited about, especially teenagers. So finding hacks that help students find why it is important to understand geography, history, politics, psychology, and economics will be a goal of mine moving forward.
Finding ways to hack will almost always come after making and playing around with a project, idea, or topic. As Hunt points out, his making/playing is coming in the form of suburban home ownership and the challenges that may be presented. Eventually, he’ll figure out the hacks that make that easier. For me, I like to landscape and garden and have done so since I was little. I started with my Grandpa, after he passed I just kept fiddling with things and eventually my parents let me plant my own garden in our backyard as well as a number of flowers around the house. I learned what worked best to control the weeds, which sprinklers water most efficiently, when to water, when to pick produce and what grew best in my eastern Nebraska garden. I figured out the hacks that made that easier.
In teaching, I have a lot to learn, but I know there are things that make conveying information to students easier. There are things that you can do to make the information more enticing and get the students involved in their learning. That ranges from games to more student guided learning. As far as hacks go, I’m open for ideas!