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Arkansas State University

“Hacking” a School for Student Development

If you are enrolled in a Master of Science in Education (MSE) for Educational Theory and Practice program, you likely have an interest in alternative learning environments. Alternative learning environments can help increase academic success for a wide range of learners, including gifted students or students with learning disabilities. In recent years, “hacking” spaces have become popular additions to schools. “Hacking” spaces developed from the principles of project-based learning, in which students use collaboration and critical thinking, as well as a variety of tools, to solve problems. Project-based learning is a hands-on, flexible method of education that helps engage students and instill important skills for future success.

There are many reasons that “hacking” or project-based learning spaces are becoming popular in schools across the country. Here are some ways that “hacking” a school can support student development.

Students Remain More Engaged

Hacker spaces allow students to freely move about. They provide space for independent work and study, but they also have space for students to work collectively during project-based learning. Students might use spaces to build objects, experiment with new technologies, do yoga, hold a meeting or act out a play. When teachers do not restrict students to desk space, the students have more energy throughout the day and are able to remain engaged with learning material.

Fosters a Spirit of Collaboration

It is increasingly important for students to learn how to work collaboratively. When hiring, employers are often looking for candidates who can work well as part of a team. Project-based learning in “hacking” spaces naturally fosters this type of collaboration, allowing ample opportunity to practice the social-emotional skills necessary to thrive in a group.

Encourages Critical Thinking and Innovation

An online master’s degree in education prepares teachers for how to develop both classroom activities and a physical classroom space that support creative learning and innovation. Schools and businesses are shifting to a model that holds innovation as extremely important. If a student can easily innovative and improvise, he or she is more likely to find job opportunities in fast-paced, high-paying industries such as the field of technology.

“Hacking” spaces are quickly earning a reputation as successful, inspiring and fun places for both students and teachers. As research continues to reflect the success of such project-based learning spaces, they are becoming more popular in schools across the country.

Learn more about the Arkansas State online MSE in Educational Theory and Practice program.


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