Research: In our quest to implement our burgeoning makerspace, a team from Chrysalis toured Microsoft last week to see their version, called “The Garage.” While the space itself was inspiring, as they have access to the latest and greatest technology, even more so was the philosophy, attitude, and community that surround it. Our guide, Steve Scallen, reinforced the importance of what he termed “hack culture,” which can be summarized as a penchant for disrupting the conventional or safe way of doing things by asking how else it could be done. An organization that promotes hack culture understands there are many ways to get things done that are meaningful and valuable.
Practice: Applying Scallen’s ideas to Chrysalis, you could say we “hack school!” We often reject the traditional ways that schooling is done in favor of more effective ways to get better results. Where most schools’ practices are dictated by what’s most economically efficient, we look at what’s most efficient for learning, basing our practices on what’s best for the brain and learning at each developmental stage. This happens at many levels…from the construction of nontraditional schedules to alternative demonstrations of what kids know. Hack on, Chrysalis!