Photo CC By: purplechalk
As I sit here tonight wondering why I decided to wait to the last minute to finish my blog for the week, I reflect on the thinking that I have done in terms of the educational world. I have read twitter feeds from my classmates describing a beautiful future for both teachers and students–and I can’t help but wonder–there were/are thousands of teachers that went through educational programs and most likely hoped for the same thing. So why hasn’t anything changed?
This leads to the topic of hacking–I will be the first to admit that I too believed this word to have a bad rap. When someone mentions that word the first thought to come to mind is that its some technological geek who got him/herself in trouble. Anyone with me on that?! However, after reading Bud Hunt’s post and listening to Logan’s speech, I have turned that mindset in a different direction. An educational one at that.
Hacking an education means bringing back creativity, allowing kids to explore their learning avenues, and letting education cater to their likes and needs. Hacking and education means that we allow kids to actually be kids again–and that is something that has slowly changed with the evolutionary world. If we look back to our elementary years–what do we remember? I remember that I–as well as my classmates–were allowed plenty of recess time, P.E time, etc–we also completed various Arts and Crafts, and one other particular activity that sticks out to me was the family nights that our elementary school incorporated. This included math night, reading night, writing night, etc. They happened every couple weeks I believe. Do you know what that created in all us elementary students??? A love to learn attitude because we were simply allowed to be kids.
I personally have seen the drastic change in the education programs and systems with my experiences substitute teaching the last couple years–to me, kids are so rushed from one thing to the next–there is so much crammed into one day that it is amazing that they feel like kids whatsoever. It’s a matter of learn this specific subject a certain specific way, then move on to the next subject, then a short 15 minute break here, then shove some more subject matter on the desk, and repeat the cycle. Additionally, the most parent involvement I see these days is a parent calling to complain about one matter or another, and “having” to show up for parent-teacher conferences.
So all in all this brings me back to the original question–why isn’t anything changing? In reality, there is only so much we can individually do as a teacher, we have great ideas, but can only run with them so far. However, if we can DO instead of just talking about it then maybe we can begin hacking the educational system. Hacking an education needs to require bringing back those practices where kids were able to learn in fun ways everyday–not just as a reward. It also means bringing back more time to play–be kids, and get that energy released somehow. Lastly, hacking is going to mean making sure that parents are highly involved in their child’s classroom and educational life. Obviously, as their teacher you see them typically 5 days a week, 8 hrs a day–therefore, you sometimes probably see them more than their parents do. So bringing back those fun parent nights that involves games and activities related to their child’s learning is something that I personally will aim to include in my future classroom/teacher duties.
I am truly glad that I was able to have the opportunity to view Logan’s speech and read Bud’s post–because it brought the hacking perspective to a new light. Hacking doesn’t have to be something bad–it can truly work to the benefit in an educational perspective.