If you ask a class of primary school children what risks they could encounter when using the internet, I guarantee a majority will say ‘you could get hacked’. The most concerning thing here is that there is a massive misconception about what ‘hacking’ actually means, and I include myself in that. The term has seriously bad reputation. Here are a few recent examples:
Well, today I have spent the day hacking my new Raspberry Pi to take pictures, light LEDs, start motors and create things in Minecraft. Yes, my name’s Ben and I’m a hacker.
Whilst I might have been having a bit of fun creating this, I was also ticking off huge chunks of the computing curriculum in my head. Hacking is problem solving, hacking is maths, hacking is creating things and above all hacking is being part of a community and helping others. These are all skills we’re delighted to see in our classrooms everyday, skills which will help us bridge the digital skills gap. Tomorrow’s hackers will create the next Angry Birds, the next Facebook and the next Raspberry Pi, so now is the time for us to raise a new generation of hackers.
But wait, I hear you say, what about all that bad stuff… I’ll let the urban dictionary take care of that. They’re not hackers, they’re crackers.