#OhioITSCO Leadership Symposium – Teach Like a Hacker

Why hack?

Teach like a hacker is the epitome of “work smarter, not harder”. Figure out clever solutions to tough problems.


Examples in the classroom


Students can write programs to solve the type of problems being studied in Math. For example, write a program in your favorite language (spreadsheet, Ruby, Python, etc.) that can add fractions.

English Language Arts and Social Studies

Use interactive fiction to put your students into the mindset characters in literature or in history. Inklewriter can be used as a starting point, advanced students can move to Inform. Both can be published on the web for others to play. (Inform can be hosted in Google Drive.)


For this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the three scientests used computers to model molecules and reactions.

As a news release explained it, “Chemists used to create models of molecules using plastic balls and sticks,” but “today the modeling is carried out in computers,” thanks in part to work done in the 1970s by the three new laureates.

A lot of modeling of processes can now happen in the computer, and the students can modify the model to see what happens.