Making, Hacking, & Playing

Make, Hack, Play
Photo CC By- Tayleigh Kaup (myself)

Making, hacking, and playing. How do these metaphors fit in to the classroom? What I have learned about making, hacking and play in the classroom is not at all what you first assume by the definition of the words. Let me explain! Making, students learn better and richer when they are making something to demonstrate their learning. A lesson learned is something that is learned through experience. Can you remember a lesson by something you made? Let me define hacking, not the now society definition of hacking. Hacking is a way of improving something that may need it or to make it better. To begin hacking one must know what is going on and how it can be fiddled with to make better. Hacking is not always a bad thing.  Playing, which also involves learning what behind it, involves experimenting with the idea which may lead into another different discovery.


Here is how I think metaphors like making, hacking, and playing can and are involved with the watching of Ted Talks. I think that when using a Ted Talk in its best form, to give perspective, all three metaphors play into which may not be in order. When a Ted Talk is watched to give perspective students are left questions what just happened in the video which then leads to discussion. Think of the Ted Talk discussion as the playing metaphor. Students are playing with perspective, experimenting what they think is write and why. After they have “played” students then hack their ideas to improve their ideas or perspective. Then the student or students demonstrate how they learned the given perspective, how they improved it, and how they will use it for future references. That is how I think making, hacking, and playing can be involved with watching Ted Talks in the classroom. Including Ted Talks could be seen as another lecture to students but at the end of the Ted Talk video the hope is that students go play, hack, and make something out of it. Not only are Ted Talks great for students to watch and process but there are many Ted Talks out there for teacher to play with, hack, and make something out of.

To rephrase some metaphors above I believe that making, hacking, and playing are all involved with the creative art subject that can simply start out with a Ted Talk or something to rearrange the perspective of a student, teacher, or anyone in the world.

4 thoughts on “Making, Hacking, & Playing

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  1. I love that you mentioned teachers can learn from TED talks too! I feel like just finding the right one to show the class would make them excited to show their findings, but that’s sadly not always the case. Did your teachers do well about finding relevant videos? My teachers in high school would usually turn on a video then have to turn it off half way because it wasn’t relevant at all and they didn’t watch it before hand.


  2. Tayleigh,
    Great post! I agree that using TED Talks in classrooms is a good idea. It really opens doors to the different ways that students learn. Students are told they are “slow” because they don’t learn or struggle to learn in the ways that others do. By using TED Talks to help teach and aid in the classroom, we’re providing students with another way to learn, which will help them grow as learners. By doing this, we are protecting and aiding what our future is turning out to be!



    1. YES to protecting and aiding our future! I think a Ted Talk video is a great way to get student’s gears turning and it teaches them to do that before they go out into the real world where everything is not handed to them.


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