HackSchooling – Educational Leadership Issues

Logan Laplante, a 13 year-old boy, spoke at a 2013 TEDx talk about his experience with the educational system, home schooling, tailored education/learning styles, and “HackSchooling”.  How can this young student’s new perspective encourage educational leaders to improve our current and future educational systems?

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57 responses to “HackSchooling – Educational Leadership Issues

  1. Rachel Mendonca

    I think this kid is amazing! Logan has so many things figured out at such a young age. He is right, it’s so hard for kids to know what they want to do at a young age…being happy should be their automatic answer. It’s so sad to me that so many children are unhappy today. I’m not sure how we fix that though. I love his term “hack schooling”. I agree that curriculum should be flexible and incorporate a variety of different medias, strategies, and tools to help a child learn. I think flexible curriculum can also help motivate children which increases learning as well. I think he’s right, schools do kill creatively, however, I don’t feel they do this on purpose. Today teachers are so focused on testing that they forget that learning should be fun and encourage creatively. I think as educators we need to get back to focusing on helping student be creative and motivate children to think outside the box and realize there are multiple ways to teach the same thing.

  2. I think this teenager is amazing. I have never seen a kid so enthusiastic and confident about life and his education. It seems that nontraditional schooling is increasing in popularity and might be better for our children than traditional. More schools should help to open a child’s creativity instead of stifling it. I saw the video of the other man who did a ted talk about creativity. It was a very good talk. Not every job out there is going to make someone happy. School should be educational but should also teach more life skills and that the children just need to find what makes them happy in life and to pursue that. Even if it seems out of the ordinary to others, if it makes them happy, than that is all that matters. In schools, whenever a budget needs to be cut, it is always in a creative class such as art, or music. Schools feel that these are not important when the budget is concerned. I think they are very important to a child’s development and happiness.

    • Gloria Rodarte

      Hi Erica,
      I really like the comment that you make about having children happy at school. If we, teachers, find out the interest of the child and then plan the curriculum, children will be happy and will like school better. Logan mentioned that he was a better writer writing about what he likes to do than writing about rainbows and butterflies. If children are motivated to do what they like to do in their lives, we will have more successful children. Happy children at school do not just drop-out from school.

      • Melisa Schillinger

        You are on the right track with this line of thinking. Why does it not make sense that this WOULD be the focus for school. We would not even have to worry about many of the issues that are occurring in schools today if we had a philosophy based on engaging the students through their interests and finding things that make them happy and want to be at school and involved in their own process of learning. I would have thought that this would have been realized long ago, but think that some things we are doing may be moving in this direction, which is great, but I would love to have seen some of this available to benefit my children and unfortunately, it may not. I am hoping that this thought process will make some impact and continue to be a driving force.

  3. Erica Moran

    In this ted talk, Logan talks about his experience with his different way of schooling. He calls this nontraditional way of learning “hack schooling”. I think this is a good, different and innovative way for kids to learn. When Logan’s parents pulled him out of the school system and had him learn in a different way, they were taking a chance. The school system is there for a reason, in general it works education the general population and it has been implemented for many years. However my experience with the traditional way of schooling is that there is a huge emphasis on getting a good grade, not learning and understanding the material you are taught. With Logan’s method of hacks schooling you get to choose what you learn by what is interesting to you, leading to a better understanding of the material because you are enjoying what you are learning. Taking Logan out of school seemed to be the best thing for a kid like him. He gets to learn in many different ways with classes that are applicable to what he likes and wants to do. As a result from this he is happy and healthy, which is Logan’s life goal. This simple yet profound goal seems to be unachievable in the traditional school system for Logan. By hack schooling Logan is able to be a trailblazer in this alternative education and lead the way for more students like him to achieve happiness. I think hack schooling is a great idea that can work out for the children of the future.

  4. Logan LaPlante has a great interpretation of what he needs and wants as a teenager, that can benefit his whole life. If more adults had amend set such as this, I think a lot of political and social issues would be less gridlocked and actions could be made to institute things that need to be done. As a 13 year-old young man, he has a wonderful mind set. One of which I once had, and wish to regain. It astound me that someone so young can still inspire me to feel as i once did, and he isn’t wrong about what he expresses. “Hacking” anything by using additional resourcing, networks, and programs; while having an adequate balance of healthy things in life contributes to a better learning experience of all things. I feel that most people have a misconstued conception of “hacking”, and Logan was able to create a new definition and understanding of the word. I think a curriculum such as his that is specialized to his lifestyle of choice greatly increases his learning. Rather than sticking to a stiff curriculum that is focused on a number of things that is “Standardized”. Just because a child meets a standard, doesn’t mean they have actually learned anything. They learned the concept, but not the real life application of what they are learning. Logan has adapted his learning environment to his specific interests, is able to relate it, apply it, and in more depth, understand concepts from a multitude of educational subjects. This is the way a youth, teen, adult, just people in general, should be learning. How they need to learn. Not like everyone else.

  5. Caylie Redding

    This is exactly how my mom taught us! I was homeschooled from K-8th grade and I was always dumbfounded to listen to my friends who attended public schools. Everything just seemed wrong to me. There was no flexibility, no personalization, and no freedom. They dreaded homework and classes. “School” was always so exciting for me because we were constantly changing things up and learning things in a hands on way. I believe that this is how kids learn. When they are excited about what they’re doing they absorb so much more! I’ve met so many kids today are having a hard time in life because they need to “find who they are”. I think that schools are so focused on having everything be fair and equal that they are losing the sense of individuality. I know my sister’s school just switched to uniforms and she feels like she’s now just another face in the crowd. My schooling was always centered on making us better forms of who we are, not trying to squish us into a certain mold,and I think all types of schools could learn from Logan. He’s brilliant! I am very excited to see where this “hackschooling” goes because I think it could do wonders for our education system and the way children respond to it.

  6. Kalvin O'Toole

    I have gone to public school my hole life. I don’t think of myself as drone just working to get an education. just because someone went to public school doesn’t kill his or her creativity. I believe whether or not someone is creative is part of the personality that they have created from long before school. Creativity is a concept that comes from how a person thinks, and people have a tendency to think what their parents think or people they look up to.

  7. Dustin Sonenthal

    Logan is such an inspiration. The fact that a kid of this age has so much insight on life, it wasn’t until recently that I a lesson that he touched upon and that is for one to reach their full potential in life, the person must be healthy, not only physically but mentally. Just as not everyone is made for college, not every kid will benefit from public school. We all know private school and homeschooling are also options, but that still involves structure and rigid curriculum. For those such as Logan, they need something that will be as changing as the seasons and I think the idea of hack-schooling is a viable option.

  8. Mike Jenkins

    While I agree that the traditional school system is critically flawed, I don’t think that happiness is something that can be revealed to someone through education. To paraphrase one of my favorite quotes (it’s from Milton’s Paradise Lost, unless I’m mistaken), the mind can make a hell of heaven and a heaven of hell. Schools implementing those eight TLCs from the video could show people a way to be happy, but not necessarily make them happy. Happiness, I’ve found, comes from an inner decision to be happy despite external stimuli. I’m sure that Laplante is as happy as can be, but that process and those values may not be the universal cure-all they’re made out to be. Don’t get me wrong, I have enormous respect for him and his ideas are fantastic, I just think they need to be tested and developed further. I love the idea of hack schooling.

  9. Ali-Marie Lostra

    This topic really hits home for me. My mother home schooled both my brother and I from kindergarten all the way until high school. She and my father both found that more of a one-on-one learning environment would be more beneficial for my brother and I. They too put a lot of emphasis on not only text book learning, but learning through different experiences. I cannot tell you how many field trips we took. During elections one year both presidential candidates had a rally speeches in our town. Instead of having normal class time those days, we went to the speeches and made up the missed class time that weekend. This is just one example of the different ways in which we incorporated different learning techniques. I agree with Logan that our society’s view of education is a very narrow one. Education is more commonly associated with career and monetary goals, and very rarely personal happiness and well being goals. We should educate not only to better ourselves financially, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as well. I think making school assignments correlate to things outside of the classroom allows kids to relate. When students relate to the material discussed in class, they are more likely to relate those concepts in day to day life. If kids can relate, they are more likely to want to learn.

  10. Joanna Aitken

    I, like Logan, also wish to be happy and healthy when I grow up. In fact, I tell my children this all the time, do what makes you happy. I think that Logan is an inspiration. However, I feel that there is a lot more to education than simply learning to be happy. Logan says that it requires practice to be happy and he is not wrong. But, unfortunately life requires more than just for us to know how to be happy. My son goes to a Montessori school, which was a change for me, as a parent, from the traditional schooling that I had. There are days that he comes home to inform me that all he accomplished that day was creating a comic book and helping plant a garden. These are amazing, creative things for him to be learning and I love that, but I still get caught up in the fact that he needs to know Math and he does not get a lesson in it daily. The idea that we should be teaching our kids to be making a life rather than a living is a great concept. I only wish that it was that simple. I believe that the idea of hack schooling is good and it would probably benefit many children. Everyone learns differently and this would be one way to accommodate that. I guess I just have mixed feelings because it is such a different concept from the schooling I received. Change is good though, especially if, like hacking, it changes the system to work better.

  11. This kid is an inspiration to me, as I’m sure he is to many people. I felt an instant connection with him because I too, share the same feelings towards our traditional school system. I think it’s flawed, kills creativity, and gives us a “cookie-cutter” out look on life where everyone in the world is meant to be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. Personally, I think that we can only reach the full potential of the human mind as well as develop a higher sense of creativity when we are challenged with a variety of problems with thousands of different ways to solve them. Unfortunately, I don’t think I received an education or am currently receiving an education that allows me to use my creativity to its fullest extent and it would be nice to see a curriculum that challenges our minds as well as our creativity.

  12. I strongly believe that the world needs more people like Logan. He proves that age is not a factor in development of ideas because as a teenager, I feel that he has already inspired and created far greater ideas than many adults. The traditional schooling that we are “supposed” to follow is almost robotic. We are taught from a young age that we must graduate from high school and go to college to get a degree to become a scientist or doctor, like Logan said. Logan’s approach at having more creativity and happiness by living a healthier, more involved lifestyle is genius. I think that the major flaws in our school system today are that they do not promote creativity because it does not seem that many teachers or administrators even care if there students are happy and healthy. Hackschooling is an innovative approach to having a more developed school system and I am so excited to see further developments of this concept in the near future.

    • Jesus Lopez

      I would have to agree with you Alexa, the world does need more people like Logan with the same motivation. Not many of us or kids have that motivation and it’s perhaps of the type of system schools are teaching. I felt when growing up my goal was to graduate that’s all, I didn’t realize till high school that it was more than just graduating. There is no creativity In schools like you said and they need to promote that.

  13. alexs

    This is a very cool idea, no doubt. And I absolutely think that happiness
    and health should be better emphasized in traditional schools. But his
    parents did it right, and that is not easy to do.

    I was home schooled from 5th grade thru 7th grade. While I did learn some cool things and enjoy the flexibility of it, my brothers and I did eventually hack our schooling…literally. We hacked the computer program that my parents used to give us school work and cheated for about a year and a half. When we did eventually go back to traditional school (for me, 8th grade) we tested remedial because we didn’t learn anything.

    I’m not saying all kids would do this. But it is a warning for parents, both of my parents worked at home, and homeschooling just isn’t easy. I think the ideal situation would be if this hacked schooling was public school, not home school.

  14. Jake Chandler

    I enjoyed watching Logan approach education from a different standpoint. I noticed that he did not once turn his presentation into a redundant public school vs. homeschool debate. He basically stated that his concept of “hackschooling” was a better fit for him. I think that a program similar to his would be so much more beneficial to students. Logan had an early internship to a job of his interest, which would help him greatly in the job field, and learned all of the required concepts but through his own interest. Anyone can tell that when someone is genuinely interested in a subject they are going to do better in that subject than vice versa. I think that it is a great idea to hack what is known as the traditional system and bend it to make it work more in your favor. I believe Logan is going to be very successful in life because at a young age he is getting some very strong life skills that cannot be obtained in the traditional system.

  15. Kevee Doerr

    This was such an interesting video. I give Logan props for getting up there and sharing his story I do not think I would even have the courage to do that now. He had such incredible insight on life for being so young. I have never really thought about that public schools in a way take away from children’s creativity. Public school teachers have a set curriculum that they have to teach to and I do not think that teaching that way is necessarily a good thing. However, I did not agree with his opinion on the schools take away from children’s happiness. Happiness comes from decisions that we make everybody has the ability to be happy whether they are in school or take on the “hackschooling” idea. But all children learn in different ways so if teachers teach just to the standardized test that children have to take not every child will get the same thing from that. I think “hackschooling” is a really interesting way to go about learning and children would definitely get to use the best of their creativity.

  16. Reginald Cruz

    What a wonderful video! This really puts new perspectives to me in regards to education. When he speaks of hacks, I really thought about how some of my high school teachers said to me that I can’t just mentally solve problems (specifically math teachers). But the way I saw it in my mind was so much more different than the steps I learned. I found some “hacks,” I suppose, when it came to solving problems all the way from Algebra to Calculus. This wasn’t encouraged by them, they wanted to see steps. Of course I understood that knowing the steps is really important for more complex problems, but doing the problems my way saved me a lot of time for finishing the AP exam. Many of my friends did not finish the exam because they were writing down step by step (which is good), but they couldn’t write fast enough. This boy definitely shows how breaking tradition can be beneficial. I really loved how he shows that hackers are useful for challenging systems of all sorts; it shows that nothing is really impenetrable which gives way for us to improve in any field. I’m curious to how he got into the education that he’s receiving. Is it available to anyone? Is it expensive? It was an impressive talk. It’s great to see how creativity can help expand a mind greater than generic curriculum.

  17. I really loved this video and Logan’s presentation regarding his education and “hack schooling.” However, I don’t think it is on the education system that children and adults alike are focused on making a living rather than making a life. I think it is a reflection of society as a whole. Schools and teachers are simply trying to prepare students with the skills they will need to be successful in today’s world, and traditionally those skills do not include things like creativity. However, it can be said that some of the most successful teachers find a way to merge these two in the classroom, so that their students are learning the skills they will need, in a fun, stimulating way. It comes down to the capabilities each student has and the environment they learn best in. Adjustments should be made to their education accordingly. There’s a quote by Einstein that says “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish on it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live it’s whole life believing that it is stupid.” This fits really well with the education system I think, because all students are expected to follow a set curriculum, when in reality there are so many different learning styles and abilities. Kids are typically discouraged from doing things that would make them happy because they’re told, “You won’t make any money,” or “You’ll never find a job.” In today’s society, it seems like being successful and being happy are two mutually exclusive things, and you have to choose one, which shouldn’t be the case.

  18. Allie B

    I think this kid is really awesome especially having the guts to go up there in front of everyone and tell his story. I can really relate to him in the sense that I just want to be happy in the future and that I have no idea what I want to be when I “grow up”. He has such an amazing outlook on life for being so young and I think kids should be more like him. His “hackschooling” approach is really interesting and it gives kids so many more oppurtunities to be more creative and get out of the same boring school systems. However, I do not think this could work for all kids because everyone is different in their learning techniques and lifestyles. Students are expected to meet a certain standard but that doesn’t mean they have learned anything along the way. If those eight TLC’s were implemented into schools, students would learn how to be happier and healthier in life and give them chances to use their creativity rather than conforming to the typical curriculum.

  19. Jessica Gannon

    While I have known people who were home schooled and know information about it, I have never seen this approach taken with it. It was inspiring to see such a young kid fulfilling his dreams and learning based on his passion of skiing. I believe the public school system could learn a lot from this talk and alter education based on these philosophies. It is simple, if more children were passionate about learning such as Logan school wouldn’t be such a dreaded part of childhood. However, for children to be passionate about learning the public school system needs to change. If more classes were sculpted around the children’s interests and passions children would be excited to learn. I think Logan’s approach to learning is brilliant, he is able to learn core curriculum concepts in real life situations. He is also taught how to thrive in the real world, using concepts not taught in traditional classrooms. His real life experiences better prepare him for his future and a life filled with happiness which is what he strives for.

  20. Ashley Dawkins

    This kid is incredible! He has such a vision of what he wants out of life, which most people never figure out, let alone at the age of 13. Logan is completely accurate when he talks about adults expecting kids to know what they want out of life, when really all they want to do is hangout with their friends or, in Logan’s case, ski. He also makes a great point when he says that this is the problem with traditional education. Students are forced to learn subjects, that they are not necessarily interested in, in ways that may not work for them. This was one of my issues when I was in grade school. I could never sit still, so having to sit in a classroom all day, listening to my teacher talk was torture for me. I was never a huge fan of home schooling, mostly for social reasons, but after seeing how Logan goes about his education, I cannot think of a more innovated way to learn and essentially be a happy, healthy, well rounded person.

  21. Eduardo Velazquez

    Overall, I would say that this video was very informative and really did raise excellent points. It does seem to be that the majority of public schools and teachers tend to stick to their ways and don’t try to emphasize many types of learning. The many methods of learning within “hackschooling” are a great idea and work to teach not only through traditional means but by exposing children to all aspects of life and the many different skills outside of the classroom. Happiness is a very subjective and short lived feeling. when i think about it happiness seems to be something that has to be constantly worked toward and i think Logan has a good idea of how to achieve happiness repeatedly. Being exposed to many different opportunities and learning styles allows anyone to better distinguish what they love to do and would find happiness by doing repeatedly in life. As always, one thing to note is that nothing can be applied to every single person and while “hackschooling” may not improve everyone’s learning I think that at least a little exposure to “hackschooling” could lead to many children discovering a love a learning through different means.

  22. Brooke Keever

    Logan Laplante is an inspirational thinker at such a young age. Wow! His hackschooling approach is an Innovative and unique idea that a lot of children could benefit from. Everyone’s ultimate goal is to be happy. He is right, lots of parents put pressure on the idea that you have to go through the motions of school in order to have great success, and then that’s when the happiness comes. There should be excitement all through educational experiences. That keeps the mind happy and healthy. However, he had an immense amount of determination within that had some influence from his mother. My mother would find that what his mother did was a huge risk, and would never consider that an option. Though, I have had amazing teachers that have thought outside the realm of going through the motions of the curriculum in the public school system. Those are lessons that have stuck with me most. Logan’s ideas should be incorporated in our education today, and bring back the excitement of education as it once was years ago.

  23. Jaclyn Silva

    This kid is amazing. I was really inspired by his talk and especially his comment about how education is set up to teach us how to make a living and not how to make a life. I completely agree with this statement. I feel like the school system has failed me for the past 16 years. I have had to take so many classes that are completely irrelevant to my field of study and interests. I understand that the university wants us to be well rounded students but I can honestly say that I got nothing out of my biology or political science class except resentment and anger. I will never apply anything I have learned in classes like that to my communication career. Logan will be successful because his parents and educators have realized that he excels in subjects he finds interesting and then they base their ciriculum off of that. I feel that I would be more prepared for the real world if all of my education was based upon things I find interesting and want to make a living off of instead of forcing me to sit in a three hour lecture for core humanities.

  24. Cameron Dodrill

    Based on Logan’s TedTalk I think he brings up a lot of valuable points, mainly his idea to find shortcuts or “hacks” to receive a better or faster results. While I don’t challenge the way of schooling he uses, because it obviously works for him as he appears to be well-spoken and well-written I can’t definitively say it would work for everyone, or the country as a whole. At the end of the day our education system is there to create a workforce. Society altogether has created the need for the traditional school system we see today. The reason our system is setup in a way that you go from high-school, to college, to a job, then get married and finally be happy is because our society has placed the largest value of someone as a person that can be self sufficient, think American Dream. Logan obviously has a passion for learning and Traditional school systems continue to be a problem, because no two people are the same. There is no doubt the school system is broken but there also needs to be a viable way to continue supplying people to the workforce, because not everyone can be a professional skier.

  25. Frank Zuniga

    Logan seems to be a really sharp kid. I love his definition of the Hacker. “Hackers are innovators. Hackers are people who challenge and change the system that make them and it better”. We need more youth, adults, leaders, and people in positions with impact on our children to have this mentality. Why are we settling for the norm? How would we improve fron one generation to the next without this type of philosophy? We have to got to be more concerned with the overall happiness, and healthiness of our future and Logan is right on point for me.
    I love how he also captured “living” not just “life”. The definition he provided of the 8 TLC’s I believe we all got to implement into our daily lives. We only get one shot at this life and we should be able to maintain our happiness and his 8 TLC’s are a great foundation to believe in. It may not be adequate for everyone, but they are great start.
    I’m sharing this video immediately! Great job young man.

  26. Scheryll Cudney

    This is really amazing. Its impressive that someone so young is positive about their education and has direction. I do remember the pressure I felt in my high school years to be expected to know what i wanted to do with my life. I feel now it was absolutely unnecessary to put that kind of stress on children especially with the tradition way of being taught in public schools. This “hackschooling” seems to be the perfect thing to make learning fun again. Obviously the public school system is failing but there isn’t much being done to change it just more testing. The constant expectation to regurgitate information rather than really absorb it is killing children’s creativity and desire to learn. Really its unfair. Kids shouldn’t be taught to hate school.

  27. Erin Imoto

    I had actually watched this TEDx talk not too long after it was posted and, yet again, I am in awe of Logan’s mindset and confident ability to speak to an audience. At 13, school was just something I had to go to. Although there are parts of it that I recall that got me more interested in learning than others. I am amazed and slightly jealous that he has figured out something that took me until the end of my college career to figure out for myself; I want to grow up to be happy, first and foremost. There are countless times where I, as well as fellow classmates, have asked ourselves how an assignment or class will benefit us in the future. If we have no interest in something, then why are we putting ourselves in debt to take the course? Logan is correct when he touches on the fact that at times, public education doesn’t leave much room for students to actually thrive to learn. He is as hands on in his learning as our teachers/professors have wanted my age group to be for years. Overall, I could without a doubt say that his overall health is far better than mine.
    Now at the age of 22, Logan’s TEDx talk got my mind thinking and yearning for more than most speakers that have visited my classes during college. I hope to see Logan continue his passion for learning, his strive for overall wellness, and his outlook to grow in other ways besides vertically.

  28. James Williams

    It is incredible how mature, enthusiastic, and intelligent this boy is at his age. I went to public school my whole life and do not regret it I was fortunate to grow up in a town that I loved with what I thought to be a very effective school district. I would have loved to experience learning in the way that this teenager and his peers have. This kid is incredibly lucky to have family and friends and a community to provide these resources and opportunity to make learning like this possible. Not all kids are fortunate enough to have this kind of opportunity especially kids in poverty stricken areas of our country, but I feel if would be a major improvement to start incorporating these ideas of learning into our public school system. I believe it would inspire kids to continue with their educations and be more happy and enthused to go to school every day.

  29. Katrina Parks

    Well this was pretty much amazing. I feel this student really has a much better handle on life and what it means to be thriving in it than do most of us. We often say ‘live life to the fullest’ but not really think about the many capacities of life that that saying really fits. Living life and education should focus more on the many different ways to learn. Learning should be fun, interactive, and create passion. It should server as an extension of your best qualities and interests and enrich the very fabric of your being. I feel that traditional school has its place, but maybe that it could use a little face lift. While it serves a great purpose educating youth in both human interaction and social cues, as well as expanding the knowledge of the mind, it may also inhibit the unique qualities that makes us all so individual. I feel that home schooling can be good…when done correctly. I wish we had more schools that were available to everyone that operated like a really good home school. Children and adults need to be able to expand on their passions and learn where they fit in the world, but sometimes when you are forced to take things that do no interest you or that you are not great at it can really stifle what they education process is really about.

  30. Nicole Frosini

    I think while this Ted Talks X exemplifies a new kind of thinking that learning can be flexible, it also exemplifies a huge growing disparity in our nation. This student clearly has access. First and foremost he has a parent that is able to and wants to get engaged in their child’s educational experience. The network of “out of the box” educational experiences his mother has worked to enroll him in are truly exceptional. He also has financial access. He is very blessed to be able to work on what makes him happy. I think it is undoubtedly a valuable pursuit. But, with so many intrenched issues such as poverty affecting public schools it can seem daunting how to incorporate this style of teaching. It is hard to be happy when your hungry.

  31. I think this kid is onto something. He has a great point about what school should be like for each and every child: Individualized and making them want to learn and to grow, and to help them be happy, instead of just being mainstream. Each child deserves to be able to do what they want in school and to want to continue to be in school and to learn. The only problem I see with Logan’s approach is how to incorporate it into the daily education of the public school system. I really doubt the school district would be happy with children using knives, even for survival purposes. But I also think that learning how to properly use and be safe with weapons is something all children should know, just to be safe, especially if they live in a household with guns and other weapons. Learning to survive on nature alone is a great thing to know and I like how Logan got a more spiritual attachment to nature when doing such. Being able to get out of a classroom more often and be in nature is a great way to be able to learn, because you are free when you’re in that environment. Another problem I see is being able to make hackschooling beneficial and fun for each and every student, especially if each student has something different that they are interested in, and when you are only allowed so many field trips a year. I think that Logan’s idea of hackschooling is something that every school district should think about implementing, at least in part, and if not the district, I think every teacher should be aware of this so that they can help their students to learn and grow and be happy as best as they can.

  32. Leslie Anderson

    I wholeheartedly agree with the views, dilemmas, issues, and morals presented by Logan. Although this style of educating todays youth is incredibly unique and against the norm, I believe the benefits from such a program has the potential to truly impact the future of education in a great way. Unfortunately, the mundane tasks that comprise a traditional school experience for a child often pours over into the rest of their lives as individuals eventually enter into seemingly endless and pointless careers and jobs. While it would be a bad idea to completely abandon traditional curriculum taught throughout America’s education system, incorporating the lessons and ideas that kids such as Logan expereince would only enrich their lives in a multitude of ways. The very innovative aspect of the hack schooling idea is that while Logan applied his passion of skiing, a student can apply his own passion.

  33. Austyn Critz

    Its crazy to think that as an adult, a 13 year old kid has so much more insight and knowledge about life then I do. Logan has a perspective on life that some people spend their entire lives trying to find. As he said in the end of his video he may never know what he wants to do once he grows up, but he knows what he wants to be and that is happy and healthy. I feel that Logan’s educational opportunity is something that more adults need to look into for their children. Just the same in corrections and rehabilitation, there is no one program that works the same for all individuals. Logan has the opportunity to create an education system that is tailored to his preferences. What we have learned from the past is that the more insight and participation we have in creating something the more effective it will be and the more inclined we will be to participate to the best of our abilities.

  34. I believe the way Logan was taught and influenced how to learn in a non traditional way is inspiring. Listening to his speaking skills and ability to hold a conversation and lead a discussion by himself is important in order to function in the everyday world. The teaching method itself is very exploratory but shows that children are able to learn outside the traditional classroom. However for those are not self-motivated it may be more difficult for someone to learn in this setting. I do agree that certain children are able to learn this way and it is very innovative style of teaching however I do not believe it is for everyone. Although his thought process is very basic and his ultimate goal is to be happy I believe there is more to life than happiness. Happiness brings you a long way way but so does knowledge and the value of knowledge. We may not want to learn about every subject in traditional teaching but it does lend us to be more well rounded and cultured people.

  35. Claire Peterson

    I agree with most people when they say Logan is an inspiring kid and has very creative points about education. Logan’s idea of making happiness a top priority for kids is not only a valid point but should be an essential part of learning and developing as a kid.
    I enjoyed hearing about how Logan takes on his education his own way and really focuses on what is best for him. Logan’s motivation to find new ways of learning is a great approach and I wish the best for him.
    However, I come from a family of educators in the public school system and I too have worked at an elementary school for two years, and I respectively disagree with some of his statements regarding public schooling.
    When Logan states “We don’t seem to make learning how to be happy and healthy a priority in our schools”, I disagree completely. I have seen from not only from my grandmother, my mother, my father and step mother’s experiences but from my own experience of working at a school and know the truth of how important the happiness and health of a child is and would say it is THEE TOP priority. I think it is easy for people to look from the outside of the school system and make these judgments and comments on how schools only focus on the curriculum and not the child. It is true school’s have requirements for learning and curriculum to cover in a timely matter, but there is much more to school then that. School’s provide many services that people are unaware of, including: opportunity’s for free meals, free school supplies, tutoring, counseling, after school care and even transportation. These services to me seem helpful and contributing for any child’s health and happiness in some way.
    Also, when Logan adds “Happy and Healthy are not considered education”, and list the 8 ways to help lead to happiness and health that schools do not interpret into the lifestyle, including: exercise, diet and nutrition, time in nature, contribution and service, relationships, recreation. relaxation and stress management, and religious and spiritual, once again I have to respectively disagree. For example in terms of exercise schools are required to have some physical activity through out the day, for diet and nutrition each school’s cafeteria is required to serve a well balanced meal at every meal and even has a vegetarian option everyday. For time in nature, from my personal experience my school was fortunate to have a arboretum, so we took daily walks and spent time in nature, for other schools I have worked at, field trips to the local mountains are caves are a annual event. For service and contribution, schools help put on several different fund raisers and community service clubs to help the unfortunate, for example around the holidays for the less unfortunate, families are adopted and receive food, presents and clothing. For relationships, every school puts effort into making sure a child feels comfortable and happy, helping build relationships with classmates other students and even the entire school having regular pep rallies, and I have seen strong relationships build with kids with each other and myself included.
    For recreation, schools have numerous clubs, sports teams, and events put on by the school to help provide extra curricular activities for the kids. I even coached a national organization called “Girls on The Run”, which focuses on raising young girls self esteem through group bonding, conversation, and exercise! Relaxation and stress management is also an important part of public school, my parents and my own teachers always find a time in the day whether it be after lunch or recess or in the morning to just let the kids rest their heads and close their eyes to relax. Religious and spiritual is something that public school can’t get far into depth considering it is a law and church and school are to be separate, but there still can be different clubs and groups whom wish to practice religion, because the school cannot deny them that right.
    In conclusion, I agree with Logan and find him to be a very bright kid, but some statements about schools are just simply not true. Even though school do have a requirement to cover certain curriculum, schools do also make any kid’s happiness and healthiness a top priority, and just because they are not tested on it, does not mean that kid’s are not learning how to be happy and healthy.

  36. TJ Pascual

    There is no question about how educated and down to earth Logan is, however, this so called “Hackschooling” has only been showing the positives of the program. Yes it may be different, exciting, and full of imagination but it lacks the benefits of traditional schooling. The social bonds and memories that are made in public schools can not be replaced. People skills are required in many fields of expertise, and without public schooling, these skills can not be achieved. Like Logan said, kids do not know what they want to be when they grow up. Many children change their minds multiple times, in this event, how can they pursue a career when they may not want it later in the future. It is a very risky path when you choose “Hackshooling” and I believe only few would achieve success through it.

  37. Alexa Youngberg

    I think this video was very interesting! I have gone to public school my whole life and I understand where Logan comes from when he talks about how creativity is hindered in the public school system. I agree with this but I don’t think that creativity is completely gone, I think it’s limited because of the different types of people that are involved in public school, and those who might get offended easily. I like how Logan points out that many kids in the public school system are kind of robots who are just working towards grades and a certain type of education rather that just doing what they love to do. I agree with this point because there have been times in my schooling where I have questioned why I am doing something, and why I had to write on a certain topic rather than writing about something I wanted to write about. I think videos like this have the power to change way of thinking when it comes to education, and hopefully help future educators think of different ways to help facilitate their students’ creativity.

  38. This kid is amazing! While I love the idea of finding ways to teach things to students easier, I’m not a fan of the term “HackSchooling”. It makes this style of learning sound sub-par when it is merely an alternative to traditional methods used in today’s schools. The truth of the matter is that while “HackSchooling” would be wonderful for some students not all students learn the same way. Having gone to an alternative high school I know very well that not all students do so well outside the traditional classroom. It can be very difficult to force yourself to sit and read a textbook! Some people need more structure than others. While I believe that this style of schooling isn’t for everyone, I am sure some students would benefit greatly. Some students need the independence to grow. Like I said before I am all for finding easier ways to teach subjects and maybe some aspects of “HackSchooling” could be used in a traditional classroom, the challenge would be finding ways to implement them.
    As for traditional schools not teaching students how to be happy and healthy, I believe schools are actually starting to focus a lot on the health aspect. Schools try and provide balanced lunches and physical education classes as much as possible. However, teaching a student to be healthy shouldn’t be placed solely on the schools shoulders, it has a lot to do with the environment at home as well. When it comes to teaching students how to be happy, that can be a bit of a grey area. What makes one person happy may not make another feel the same way. My question is how schools would teach someone how to be happy when happy is so dependent on our personal beliefs of what happy is?

  39. While I love the idea of finding ways to teach things to students easier, I’m not a fan of the term “HackSchooling”. It makes this style of learning sound sub-par when it is merely an alternative to traditional methods used in today’s schools. The truth of the matter is that while “HackSchooling” would be wonderful for some students not all students learn the same way. Having gone to an alternative high school I know very well that not all students do so well outside the traditional classroom. It can be very difficult to force yourself to sit and read a textbook! Some people need more structure than others. While I believe that this style of schooling isn’t for everyone, I am sure some students would benefit greatly. Some students need the independence to grow. Like I said before I am all for finding easier ways to teach subjects and maybe some aspects of “HackSchooling” could be used in a traditional classroom, the challenge would be finding ways to implement them.
    As for traditional schools not teaching students how to be happy and healthy, I believe schools are actually starting to focus a lot on the health aspect. Schools try and provide balanced lunches and physical education classes as much as possible. However, teaching a student to be healthy shouldn’t be placed solely on the schools shoulders, it has a lot to do with the environment at home as well. When it comes to teaching students how to be happy, that can be a bit of a grey area. What makes one person happy may not make another feel the same way. My question is how schools would teach someone how to be happy when happy is so dependent on our personal beliefs of what happy is?

  40. Robert Maktenieks

    Although on one end this sounds like an excuse to ski, Logan Laplante has a point. Believe me, I was born in Truckee, CA and would have liked nothing more than to ski, enjoy the outdoors, and use the “hackschooling” method… However, this perspective is narrow. What about the millions of children who grow up in the city? What about those who are raised in poverty? What opportunities do they really get for “Time in Nature” outside of what public school field trips show them? Logan Laplante is not a transcendentalist, but transcendentalism as a philosophy is paramount. As society spins faster and faster Logan’s comments are needed and true. Although, it is hard to speak for the inner city population of students. I would say that the most powerful point made through this video is “Much of education is oriented towards making a living, rather than making a life…” This fact can be related to by students across the United States of America. If we take a step towards changing our education for students and THEIR DREAMS, we will disintegrate public school standards and introduce students into a world of creativity, fulfillment, and skiing… or whatever passion your heart follows.

    School teaches students structure and discipline. Homeschooling does not necessarily prepare students for the real world, in fact, it keeps them sheltered at home. AND if you have the money to do so, you can recreate all you want through your PARENT’S discretion, not that of a TEACHER (who is unbiased in regards to giving birth to the child and being afraid to make him work hard). Last night President Obama stated “Nothing in life that’s worth anything is easy.” Aside promoting students to follow their true passions, the video is almost a lame excuse to have fun.

  41. Carina Gomez

    I agree with everything Logan says. Being in a public school or being homeschool does not affect the way a student thinks. Every child is creative in their own way. Being happy in a school setting is very important because it helps and motivates children to do better in school, while I don’t believe school teaches students how to be happy. I went to a public school my whole life and still felt like I was very creative. I also know people that have been home schooled for most of their life and they are just as creative and happy as I am. It is truly up to the student and parent to choose a public school or home school. Some of the most important factors of education however is to always be willing and motivated to learn and to be happy with the person you are becoming.

  42. Alan Matthews

    This whole idea of “hackschooling” and Logan’s outlook on school is one of the greatest things I have ever seen, but is it realistic? I believe it is very realistic because this whole idea is up to interpretation and how you can apply it to your own life. Logan is very fortunate to live in a location that can support this idea very well and everything he loves to do. I feel that this idea can be applied to any school in any part of the world, but we need teachers willing to go that extra mile for their students. Kids who live in the city and are not close to the mountains are probably not going to want to be professional skiers, but maybe pro skateboards, soccer players, basketball players, fashion designers, etc.

    I think “hackschooling” can be interpreted as bringing the students interests and their desires into their school work to make it interesting and meaningful for them. Students need to experience what they are learning, apply it to their own life to make it meaningful. A simple example would be someone who has never seen snow or felt snow. Until you get experience snow first hand you never really get the full experience. There is something about packing and throwing your first snow ball that cant be taught, described or explained until you do it. If teachers can apply this same concept to math, students will begin to have a whole new outlook on the subject and in the long run make them happy.

  43. Karly Welling

    I absolutely love everything about Logan and his views on the general educational system. Logan’s unique education focuses on teaching kids to be healthy and happy. They also participate in activities that they enjoy as opposed to what the are forced to do. These fundamental ideas are neglected in our education system today and I think they are extremely important to develop kids at an earlier stage. Logan does not lack any of the social skills that students in the general education system have which could be argued.He is obviously a very intelligent, and confident, young man. Being a teenager, especially in the earliest teenage years, is a very important time to find themselves and figure out what they like and don’t like. I think with Logan’s educational system, this is the best way to do that. By HackSchooling, as Logan calls it, they do the activities that they enjoy while learning about everything basic as well. If you stick a bunch of kids together that do the exact same activity and sit in a room for six hours a day (like the system is today) we are not channeling their creativity. Like Logan states, creativity is important for kids and teenagers and the educational system today does not do very well to channel that creativity. If I have kids, I will definitely enroll them in HackSchool.

  44. Alexis Bennett

    I really enjoyed watching this video about Logan’s thoughts and ideas on ” Hackschooling”. It was amazing how intelligent and spirited Logan was for his age. I agree with him that the education system isn’t right for everyone and its interesting to hear about the options that are out there nowadays for kids that don’t want to go to a regular school. Through ” Hackschooling” I think it does give the kids a lot more freedom to use their creativity and express themselves rather than tradition schooling. Overall I think that Logan a very inspirational person and the whole idea of ” Hackschooling” sounds appealing to me.

  45. Jayne Patterson

    Logan shared some ideas in this Ted talk, and this is now one of my favorites. Its amazing to me that a thirteen year old can speak in such a powerful way, this goes to show how credible his education is. I love his idea of “hack schooling” I can see how education in a typical school can be very academically focused and sometimes lack real world connections that keep education interesting, fun, and relevant. Logan does a wonderful job of explaining what he does each day to further his education. I hope to incorporate some of these thoughts into my own classroom someday. While this approach may not work for everyone, it seems to be a great option for some.

  46. Stephanie Gansberg

    I think that Logan at a very young age is developed, intuitive and ready to tackle the world. I think that this is very important for children today. Logan is already extremely creative and open minded to new ideas and experiences, which is how every child should be in our advanced society. We have so many resources at our disposal for children, whether in the public school system or in another system, but we do not use them to our advantage. Students should always be wanting to learn more and experience new things. Logan’s idea of hackschooling is creative and I think would do a lot of good for children of all ages. We as teachers should be teaching children to be creative, open-minded, unique, and to always be happy no matter what they’re doing. For Logan, as young as he is, to be able to stand in front of a large crowd and speak about something he is so passionate about, is amazing. I think that the type of learning he is experiencing is very interactive and fun, which is exactly the type of learning kids need to be doing to retain any kind of information. I hope this young boy goes far in life. He is already an amazing young man.

  47. Jhope

    I see Logan as a good kid. That being said, I cannot fathom every kid having this sort of opportunity. Now i know that a family such as Logan’s, aren’t there for every child. Take my family dynamic for instance. I was in sports almost all the time while my dad worked. He would pick me up from after school programs and take me to practice, then continue working. I didn’t have much of a choice and I didn’t need one. At 13 years old i had no idea what i wanted to do or be when I would get to college. Logan’s family helps him chase what he wants to do now, but is that really the best option for him later on in life? What happens if he doesn’t know the particular skills to get away from the ski life? I know that my experiences in school helped form who I am today, but I also have a diverse background for different jobs and hobbies. Seeing Logan is a good thing, but i do not believe that the majority of kids today who are his age even know what they want for dinner when they wake up in the morning, let alone know what they want to do for the rest of their life. 13 year old me wanted to play football professionally, then run a moto shop, then be a movie star. Although this is great for Logan to hack his own schooling, to improve on the educational system now would mean to add more teachers or to start weeding out kids who have lower test scores when they are young so that only the best and brightest follow through with fancy jobs.

  48. I think what Logan has to offer is valid. I feel that he is very mature in his presentation. This aspect of his personality is a great factor in his success in “hackshooling”. The idea is, like I said earlier, valid however extremely unfeasible to apply to even small fractions of students across the nation. “Hackschooling” is something that I would like to see survive however it can be easily dismissed and fall to pieces on a large scale. It seems to be more of a fad in the educational world. Even if this fad was to gain support, the educational system nationwide is much too faulty and in need of reform (that is far from arrival) to support it. I give my props to this kid who is a diamond in the rough. We need to understand with “hackschooling” that not everyone is a diamond. Zales and Jared don’t put common ore on their “hackschooling” rings.

  49. sara busby

    Overall watching this video makes me agree and disagree with how they are letting education change today. Logan is one of the many that have a good start on life and direction that they want to follow. Being that I personally went to public school I saw nothing wrong with the system or teaching style so I cannot relate to that part. Knowing that he was given the opportunity to have change and experience a whole new method that works for him is great. I agree with the fact that we do base our lives off of wanting to be happy and healthy but do not usually achieve the goal. I wonder the consequences of what will happen if the students follow this program and then choose to go to college, will they be able to make the adjustment? I can see the option of allowing children to have a say in their education but as he said not everyone follows the same path so some may do well in public or private school and some may do well in homeschooling or as he puts it hackschooling. It would be something to invest in for the chance that not everyone is meant to be on the same path. I congratulate him on his successes and hope that he can continue on what he has started.

  50. I think it is both amazing and sad that it takes someone who is basically a child to remind us of what we all have known at one point, or felt. While I have never regretted my public school education, I did always feel that there were too many guidelines, too many rules, and too many restrictions. It prevented me from taking classes that I would have liked to take and subjects I would have liked to experience or try. I think that it is imperative that we take into consideration the individuality of children in our traditional education system, and outside of it, and do not under any circumstances try to just pass students through or make our schools or regions look good through test scores and grades. We could learn a lot from this young boy for our future and for our present.

  51. Emily Buko

    What Logan had to say was truly inspiring but what really amazes me is how informed he is for his age. When I was 13 I didn’t know anything about how my brain worked and yet he was able to tell an audience that is much older than him the reason teenagers are so creative. I think that his ideas on how to improve the education system are great but it will be implementation that will be the struggle to complete. Teachers and schools should be able to see what students are interested in and let their curriculum grow from there.

  52. Nicole

    Great vblog.

  53. Nicole

    I think that his idea of “school” is very different than we are used to, and it scares us. I think that people are definitely afraid of change and people tend to not agree with an idea if it is drastic or not theirs. He makes very good points, about the kinds of questions we ask kids and the background behind what we are asking. However, I think that due to the school system and how education works with many different students not all on the same level, his ideas would be hard to duplicate.

    Now, I do think that his ideas can be implemented into our current curriculum and I think we should try. Teaching kids how to do real life tasks instead of mindless worksheets and boring chapters would be a much better use of both the teachers and the students time and prepare these children with the basic knowledge that they need to succeed in the world. I am a college student and up until I was 19 years old, I had no idea how to write a check. I just moved into my first apartment in August and that was my first time knowing anything of how to sign a lease or file paperwork of any kind. These are the kind of things we need to teach our students. While I do think there is value in learning how to find the cos if a certain angle….it is not as important as actually learning real life skills.

  54. Pingback: Hackschooling Part II w/ Logan LaPlante | Tara Madden-Dent

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