Educators at all levels throughout the country are working to prepare their students for success in college, careers, and everyday life by finding ways to engage them in the classroom, give them real-world experiences, and assess them on life skills. Deeper Learning gives students skills that include critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and learning how to learn. However, there's a myth that this type of learning environment requires a new school building, a large grant, or permission from policymakers. But we know that many of the best changes educators are making to increase deeper learning are low- or no-cost creative realignments of existing resources and capabilities in their schools. With so many schools facing budget cuts, there is a need to increase and share these creative solutions and help interested educators implement them in their own schools.
To help connect educators across the country, we partnered with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to create School Hackers, a free, crowd-sourced--or “educator-sourced”--website that inspires and enables educators to share their hacks and find inspiration from their peers. School Hackers provides the peer-to-peer collaboration so important to educators through a free virtual playspace for ideas. Our goal is to enable educators to seek and share creative approaches to increase deeper learning for students across the country. Because we may be able to do more with less, but the possibilities are even greater when we work together.
What's a School Hack?
A school hack is a low/no-cost idea where you realign, repurpose, or reimagine resources and capabilities to engage your students. It’s a process, approach, resource, tip, or trick that helps you become a more efficient and effective educator. It's a creative idea that's in response to a time or budget constraint. Examples include:
- A principal sharing a school schedule she created that aligns with deeper learning practices
- A teacher showing how to display student work in a new way
- An instructional leader sharing his remixed report card format that communicates student learning more effectively than traditional report cards
- A school leader showing a model for reusing existing school space to encourage student collaboration