This week, we went over two resources that seemed important to my ideas about education. The first one, Centering on Essential Lenses, was short but brought forth some good ideas. The biggest thing that I took away from this article was that we need to focus on things that will help us grow instead of the things that are holding us back. There are three main things that author Bud Hunt focuses in on: making, hacking, and playing. All of these seem important to me. In particular, I was most interested in the playing aspect. This struck me as odd because play is something we usually conflate with younger children. When we are just staring school, we have play time. We have toys in the classroom. Hunt isn’t suggesting that we should have toys in high school classrooms and neither am I. However, the freedom and creativity that comes along with that play time should be implemented in all classrooms. Being able to find play room within the constraints of an assignment or task will keep brains engaged and will help support creative minds. Being creative in art class isn’t enough — we should encourage people, in general, to be creative in many aspects of life. The cure for cancer, as a drastic example, won’t be found without some creativity.
The second resource that was important was Logan LaPlante’s TEDx Talk. This talk, titled “Hackschooling makes me happy”, was shocking to me. Logan is young — like, barely a teenager young — and produced one of the best TEDx Talks I’ve seen. He was fun to watch, sure, but I was most surprised by how profound his ideas were. He’s a middle schooler with an internship, after all. I would venture to say he’s more mature, and better educated, than most people his age. This talk made me consider the importance of traditional schooling. Is it always the best route? Is Logan’s education going to help him land a stable career someday? Is a stable career even important if he’s happy and healthy? Most of all, his video made me question my education. I was not a traditional student throughout high school. I did a portion of my schooling in the traditional way but about 80% of my credits were taken online. This wasn’t common, especially when I started it six years ago. Yet, it was definitely the right choice for me. It opened up opportunities that I would have never had without online schooling. I feel fortunate that I got that opportunity but I feel sorry for all the kids who are not getting the most out of their schooling because they are stuck in a traditional system that doesn’t best serve them.
Photo CC By Rene Rogge