Hacking Away

My junior year of high school, one of my friends decided to do something, well . . . out of the ordinary: he decided he was going to hack the school’s fire-walled system. He didn’t tell anyone, and after it was all said and done he was in some pretty hot water to say the least – but I’m sure the administrators were more impressed than upset that he was able to do it! That being said, I agree with Bud Hunt’s comments on how the term ‘hacking’ has taken on a negative connotation. After all, it’s all over the news. There is, however, a flip side to the term. Gamers have one, and now education has one as well. According to Logan LaPlante, it’s called ‘hackschooling.’ This consists of the following: following the happy and healthy 8 TLCs, utilizing technology and online resources, taking part in experiential classes and camps, and possessing the creative hacking mindset. Sounds simple, right? Well, in my opinion it is, and extremely interesting as well. This approach to learning takes schooling to a whole new level, in my opinion, and makes it that much more genuine. That’s because, according to Hunt’s article, the learner is 1) making, 2) hacking, and 3) playing. When I think of the term “playing,” I think of Mr. Rogers talking about how play is the most essential activities a child can participate in, and that a child essentially learns more when playing when compared to other activities. This can be translated to the older/adult learner as well. In my eyes, if you’re wanting to play with something, you’re wanting to explore, dig deeper and discover the ‘whys’ behind certain situations. When you’re playing, you’re creating, making, and essentially hacking your education. This sounds more fun than being in a traditional educational setting. That doesn’t mean that that traditional setting is sub-par, however. The traditional classroom can certainly hold its own in terms of educating children. It can be enhanced, however, and that’s what I want to do in my future classroom; I want to enhance it.Mr Rogers                                                             Photo CC-By Neil Fein




  1. sharinglovelife · January 31, 2016

    Great blog. So true, Mr. Rogers was all about play, imagination, and exploration. Just out of curiousity, what does your friend do now? Hopefully he is still playing too. Appreciate how you want to enhance your classroom, superb idea.


    • joshuapilkington · February 1, 2016

      Thanks! My friend is one of the head guys in the IT department at Western Nebraska Community College here in Scottsbluff. Josh


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