Tag Archives: hacking

An Invitation to Hack

On Hack Your Notebook Day I found myself thinking about all the possibilities for hacking curriculum.  Especially as we think about our students and who we are and are not reaching with our teaching,, we often think about the materials we are compelled or choose to use.  I feel strongly about the need for teachers to hack their curriculum on the behalf of their students…and to encourage students to hack the curriculum for themselves too.

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By curriculum, I don’t just mean those self-contained programs in binders and workbooks, but also the novel unit, the teacher-developed projects and materials, the cute unit inspired by a pin on pinterest… Even the lessons we have poured heart and soul into–they all deserve careful scrutiny with our students’ needs in mind.

We all have students who need scaffolds and we all know (or are) teachers who need scaffolds…there’s nothing wrong with leaning on some support structures.  The problem, for me, is when the structures get in the way of student learning and teacher development.  My least favorite words out of the mouth of a teacher are, “Just tell me what you want me to do!”  And I’m not really fond of those words from students either.  They imply a lack of investment, a lack of agency, a lack of understanding of purpose and audience.  And all of those might be true.

So what do we (I) do about it?  I propose that we hack.  Let’s carefully examine the materials we are required to use and/or decide to use.  Who do they work for in our classroom?  Who benefits?  Who doesn’t?  Who do we give permission to “break the rules?”  Who is handcuffed by the materials?


Experiencing the Underbelly

I often write about the benefits of being a connected educator.  Today I experienced a bit of the underbelly.

As I do everyday, I spent my morning teaching students.  We sang, discussed, explored some new math strategies, wrote and shared.  From the time school started until lunch, I didn’t have time to email or post or tweet.  But apparently my twitter account did…

When I looked at my phone at lunchtime I noticed a number of twitter alerts and text messages visible on the lock screen.  Texts from my son and my nephew warning me that I’d been hacked alongside DM (direct message) notices from people I don’t know (even virtually) recommending web links to me–and one from a friend asking if I had been hacked.  I had a few twitter mentions from some virtual friends suggesting I change my password because they were getting DMs from me.  A peek at my email showed some more messages from people I know recommending that I change my password–they too were getting DMs from me.

I also got an email from Twitter telling me my password had been reset.  Apparently my account had been quite busy while I was otherwise occupied with my teaching!

So I spent some time resetting my password, and then responding to my friends and family to let them know that I appreciated their advice and warning.  I also noticed that I wasn’t the only one victimized by Twitter spamming today.  Here are a couple of other tweets pointing out the problem.

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I don’t like that my account was hacked or that it looked like I was sending out annoying messages to my Twitter community.  But I also know that this goes with the territory.  Being a connected educator means that I have to deal with the hassles of technology and social media as well as reap the benefits of it.

I appreciate that my Twitter community remains cool and matter of fact even when faced with annoying and sometimes confusing security breaches…and they help me know how to act when I experience these same issues.

And in spite of the problems, I remain a connected educator.