By the laws of prescriptive linguistics, the word “hack” can be used to either describe chipping away at something (as a verb), to cough (also a verb, eg. “I hacked up a lung”), or to write computer programs/gain access to computers illegally. The definitions I gained a found here. However, I learned something new today by watching the Logan LePlant’s talk on Ted Talks, “Hackschooling Makes Me Happy.” By the laws of descriptive linguistics, one could use the word “hack” in whatever way they want, so long as others know what the hell you’re talking about. A couple blogs ago, I posted about my learning experiences, and how I got to be the learner I am today, despite the dredge of public education. Logan LePlant does an excellent job of defining what the word “hack” means to him by describing his learning experience. It already blows mine out of the water, and he is thirteen(ish).

To him, hacking school is one of the greatest learning experiences he could have ever dreamed of having. He is learning in a more hands on way than any other students I have ever seen, and he actually retains the information he’s learning because of his experiences. The problem with our schools today is that we learn nothing but how to take the tests. Do you remember the shit you learned in high school after you took the tests to prove that you “learned” it? I sure as hell don’t. Kids simply don’t learn that way. They memorize it until the test is over.

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Photo CC by WWYD

Who is better to describe the problem with education than the kids that are forced to go through that bull shit? No one. That’s who. LePlant made several good points in saying how he learned. If you were to see him speak, you’d see that this method of education is actually working. Perhaps more kids would like science if they could get out of the classroom and actually see science in real life! We know his kind of education works too, because who else gets to speak at a Ted Talks at the age of 13? Not many. He was also smart, well-articulated, and a decent speaker. What more evidence do we need?

High school drop out rates were at 7% in 2012. That’s 7% of students who don’t get a high school degree. That’s sad. Do you remember in Preschool when most of you actually wanted to go to school? What happened? You stopped being able to play with blocks to learn to spell and were then forced with a pencil and test bubbles to fill out endlessly. That’s not fun, and that’s not a way to keep students in school, or to get the students who stay in school to actually learn.

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Photo by Daryl Cagle

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