full_1327454393_b23ab759a3_z

"Hacking" has become a buzz word that I now hear almost daily–mostly in reference to the new concept of "hack spaces," like the Hacktory here in Philadelphia. So, when I came across this article: "'EdCamp' Turns Teachers Into Grassroots Idea Hackers," by Liz Dwyer of Good (I think I see a trend in authors I like...) I started to think of the broader trend of hacking. It seems to relate directly to one of the original definitions I found: to break up the surface of (the ground). The idea of "breaking new ground" or challenging the old, originally established ways of doing things, is precisely what the teachers at EdCamp are doing with a new structure of learning and collaboration in the field of education. Instead of attending traditional, large, development conferences, these teachers are gathering in their local communities to "hack" the  ideas and practices that have been previously established as the norm. EdCamp was originally thought up in Philadelphia by a group of teachers that had attended a BarCamp unconference and adapted the basic rules and concept to include their peers in education. This user-generated conference had "two basic rules: Everyone must be able to 'share and learn in an open environment,' and instead of passively listening to tips from a presenter who hasn't been in a classroom in 20 years, teachers are 'the main actors of the event.'"

By empowering the 'front-line' (teachers) to co-create potential solutions for an identified problem, more consideration is taken in designing outcomes that best fit the needs of the end-user (students).

Comment