Blended LearningExpert Article

Hardware Hacking: Let the learners take risk with technology!

  • 24 February 2022

Children love to break open and reconstruct their toys. They are the engineers of their own world. This is a key skill in a child and should be nurtured at right time. It is said that one learns more when one participates. It is an ‘Era of technology‘ so it becomes very essential to introduce technology to the children at the right age.

During the pandemic, our learners relied on gadgets for learning activities, which made them familiar with their usage, so it’s an amazing opportunity to channel their energies towards the effective and fruitful use of technology.

But the question is how to introduce technology in their lives?

Initially, maybe try giving a remote control car or a doll to a group of students and ask them to modify it and make it more interesting. This will provoke the group to think more creatively and encourage them to modify and redesign it. I am sure most of them will come up with stories, you might have never heard. One very new and effective way to develop this curiosity is through Hardware hacking or reverse engineering, which encourages young learners to deconstruct, repurpose, improve, and re-create. 

I found this curiosity amongst my Grade-5 learners when they were preparing for them for the PYP Exhibition. I mentored the group which focused on Ed tech systems where my learners inquired deeply into the various technological advancements in education systems. This inquiry helped my young learners to build confidence in their own capabilities. Grade-5 learners of our school had a chance to have a hands on experience of creating workings robots using the LEGO blocks during a robotics workshop to enhance their understanding on related topic. 

Let’s understand how learning hardware hacking helps the learners?

  • Participating in such events get students comfortable with failure and helping them learn how to debug.
  • This gives them a chance to fully understand the working mechanisms of science and technology behind any product.
  • Equipping students with a maker mindset has a positive impact on learning experiences in STEM-related subjects.

Schools all across should host such events, which provide students with the opportunity to engage in creative STEAM challenges. Schools should focus on developing and encouraging curiosity among the young learners as they are the future nation builders.

Divya Vaid Sharma

PYP Educator

Oakridge International School, Mohali

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