Why is being happy and healthy not part of public education? This is the question asked by Logan Laplante. This 13 year old takes the stage on Ted Talk and describes his hacker mindset and how he has applied this to his own education. He actually has a name for it and calls it Hack Schooling. He doesn’t attend a regular public school; instead he seeks out learning experiences throughout his community and on-line. Some of his courses have included manufacturing, survival skills and learning to perform. As a teacher, I heard the richness of his authentic learning throughout his talk. He almost describes his learning as a quest with no real end goal, learning for the sake of learning.
While listening to Logan speak I started to realize that maybe I had missed the boat, here is this kid teaching me how to make a life instead of how to make a living. There is so much power in what he said, his message is very simple, yet so hard for many of us to grasp. He is currently studying happiness and what makes people happy. Consider for a moment the amount of research, analytical thinking and logical reasoning he is using in order to accomplish this task. I’m not sure that is something we can actually provide in a school setting today. His talk made me realize that we as educators are so focused on measurable success that we forget about the richness of learning or are not allowed to design these experiences for our students.
The high-pressure teaching environments of today may be dismantling what true learning might look or sound like in the future. Logan describes a type of learning that supports his development well beyond the next quiz or test. He is immersed in learning with the resources he needs, to find the information that he needs, to produce a meaningful output that demonstrates his learning.
Critics might say that this student will have gaps in his education or he is special and needs this challenge. I say that every student deserves the opportunity to experience this type of learning and “everything is up for being hacked”.
Link to Ted Talk below: