michelle cordy

michelle cordy bw

another of a kazillion intros via Steve Hargadon‘s future of ed interviews.. [deep gratitude]

Steve describes Michelle (and explains the curious word – hacking):

Michelle teaches grade 3 and 4 with one to one iPad in London, Ontario with the Thames Valley District School Board. She has been teaching since 2001 and holds a Master of Education. Michelle describes herself as “curious and engaged in learning about making thinking visible, assessment, electronic portfolios, maker spaces, innovative learning, collaboration and creativity.” I would additionally describe Michelle as pure energy, with an openness and honesty about exploring learning in a way that can’t help but make you smile.

Now, about “hacking.” We’re going to ask Michelle what she means when she talks about hacking your classroom, and I know she will have a lot to say! From where I sit, the word “hack” has for good reason become increasingly popular and compelling in education (see Audrey Watters‘ Hack Education blog, my Hack Your Education tour, Dale Stephens‘ Hacking Your Education book, etc.). This is because hacking carries two connotations that make it a relevant part of our vocabulary about teaching and learning.

First, a hack can be a simple, no-frills, often jerry-rigged solution to a compelling problem (think MacGyver). Solving problems by cutting through bureaucracy–getting the job done–is something pretty familiar to those responsible for making a difference in the learning lives of others. It’s also reminds us of the value to an individual of learning to solve their own problems, no matter how un-glamorous the method might be at the start.

The second connotation, and perhaps the one we most often associate with the word, carries a sense of subversion: as in “computer hacking.” While I’m guessing that a computer “hack” likely originally meant the same simple or temporary solution to a compelling programming problem, computer “hacking” became increasingly associated with illegal or disruptive activities, and the “hackers” seen as counter-culture troublemakers. This meaning, too, has relevance to education: attempts by teachers to subvert a testing-driven school culture or narrative might appropriately be labeled “hacking;” and students that “hacks” past other people’s check-boxes and expectations to drive their own learning.


interview with Howard:

michelle cordy w howard


Raymond wrote that ‘too many programmers work on projects they neither need or want. Every good piece of work starts by scratching a personal itch.’ I know that we need to start hacking the obstacles that prevent today’s students from working on projects they need and want,” Cordy explained, when I asked her what first inspired her to hack her classroom.

we need to get into the source code for education and just start rewriting it..

7 min – when learners aren’t the one’s deciding the questions/curiosities/itch.. they they lose touch

9:57 – asides to yourself – to model thinking about thinking


Mind Mapping the book “Coding Freedom” by E. Gabriella Coleman – 30 sec video


find/follow Michelle:

link twitter


her site:

michelle cordy blog


more on hacking – ness