Pillars of a Hacked High School Experience

Does it develop personal connections?

Not all pathways and experiences will. Most should. Whether the new connection is someone at the local arts center, a peer across town or across the state, professional programmers, designers, marketing execs, or manufacturers; in general, the point of doing this is to meet more people than one teacher at the front of the classroom.

Does it Allow Extended Focus and Engagement?

Typically, high school classes have about 36 minutes of teacher engagement, with perhaps as much homework, perhaps not. Teen’s get the day’s, night’s, or week’s work done and…that’s it. Wait for instructions from an adult.

It Must Dramatically Expand Literacy/Vocabulary

Did this experience increase the number of conversations the teen can join? The number, scope, and depth of written materials she can read?

License (CC BY-NC 2.0) Some rights reserved by MegMoggington

Does it Demand Teens Produce or Earn Something?

This goes hand-in-hand with the requirements to develop personal connections and to require extended focus and engagement. It’s easy for adults to “grade” mass assignments like worksheets without really connecting with a teen. Helping them produce something meaningful challenges adults to a deeper engagement.

Does It Give Them A New Framework of Analysis?

Here we’re largely thinking of citizenship. High school government class tells us how government is set up at the federal, state, and local levels. There’s much more to being an informed citizen. Think contract law, cost-benefit, military force structure, the uncertainty principle, statistics; yin-yang, sine waves and bias errors; financial valuation, machine learning algorithms, moral foundations and natural law.

Does It Introduce & Connect Them to Future Paths of Learning?

There’s a world of learning out there. How do we expose teens to the nuanced highways into it?

Does It Excite Their Passion?

Sometimes teens just need a reason to get up and come to school in the morn. For some kids, the passion class may be the only thing that keeps them in school.

Does It Give Them Credentials for Employment?

A year of reading and writing poetry might expand vocabulary; it might by some [not me] be considered to offer a framework of analysis; we might point to the poems written as artifacts produced. Yet rare is the job that demands an amateur poet.

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When we say we’re redesigning the American High School, people look at us like we’re a bit touched. http://hackablehighschools.com

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Hackable High Schools

Hackable High Schools

When we say we’re redesigning the American High School, people look at us like we’re a bit touched. http://hackablehighschools.com