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The Next HOPE (2010): "Burning and Building Bridges: A Primer to Hacking the Education System" (Download)

The Next HOPE (2010): "Burning and Building Bridges: A Primer to Hacking the Education System" (Download)

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Sunday, July 18, 2010: 12:00 pm (Bell): Public education today consists of underpaid, overworked, and generally dissatisfied teachers who are tasked with force-feeding students overwhelming amounts of information, perfectly regurgitated onto multiple-choice exams. State exams, for their part, are written by people who understand neither content nor students. Over the years, we have successfully created an education system that stifles creativity, stymies logical reasoning, and stunts learning. Long gone are the days of self-motivated learning, when children used their hands and their heads, piecing the world together with all their senses.

Fortunately, we have hackers and hackerspaces. Makerspaces and art spaces, music spaces and theater spaces. Here are the last vestiges of true education, where individuals still take objects and learn from them -- observe, break apart, analyze, fix, and piece back together. If we can accept the productive and creative capacities of such spaces, and use them as community centers for learning, we have the potential to become the next big force in public education. This talk will be about hacking education as we hack anything else. That is, break the existing system, throw out what gets in the way (tests, outdated formulas, teacher-centric classrooms), reconstruct the pieces conducive to learning (inquiry, manipulatives, the outdoors, the real world, use of tools), and piece back together an education system that works for us, rather than against us.

Hosted by Christina "fabulous" Pei