Waraku Education

Ideas, experiments and observations as they occur [and I have time] relating to teaching and learning in a secondary school - special focus on ICT.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The importance of hacker thinking

The word 'hacker' has evolved from a desirable trait to a word that implies evil and bad yet hacker thinking is so vital to creativity and innovation.

Watch the following set of videos that make up a documentary about the History of Hacking.

Part 1 of 5

Part 2 of 5

Part 3 of 5

Part 4 of 5

Part 5 of 5

Then lets add some FUD

Image source

Is it any wonder that we have an ICT skills crisis?

Learning involves making mistakes, improvising, trying things out, experimenting. A good education is going to be messy. (some insight to that here).

Is a mono culture of proprietary software conducive to creating such an environment?

Are school networks and computers which are locked down so that kids can't 'break' them helping?

What about using programming languages that are not as accessible because of the cost?

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  • At 3:48 am, Blogger Bill Kerr said…

    hi wara,

    I like to tell my students that Kevin Mitnick story about how he was put in chains in solitary because the judge thought he could start a nuclear war if he had access to a phone. How amazing is that!!

    Also I thought of your post when I came across an article by Paul Graham on hacking, the intro is really good:

    "To the popular press, "hacker" means someone who breaks into computers. Among programmers it means a good programmer. But the two meanings are connected. To programmers, "hacker" connotes mastery in the most literal sense: someone who can make a computer do what he wants—whether the computer wants to or not.

    To add to the confusion, the noun "hack" also has two senses. It can be either a compliment or an insult. It's called a hack when you do something in an ugly way. But when you do something so clever that you somehow beat the system, that's also called a hack. The word is used more often in the former than the latter sense, probably because ugly solutions are more common than brilliant ones.

    Believe it or not, the two senses of "hack" are also connected. Ugly and imaginative solutions have something in common: they both break the rules. And there is a gradual continuum between rule breaking that's merely ugly (using duct tape to attach something to your bike) and rule breaking that is brilliantly imaginative (discarding Euclidean space)."
    the word "hacker"

  • At 4:46 pm, Blogger Wara said…

    Thanks for that comment Bill. You have added much value to this post. To me hacker thinking is all about creativity, lateral thinking, imagination, inventiveness, ... and you have captured that in a way that I find difficult to do. Thankyou.


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