About Audrey Watters
“It’s a long story,” I often say. You can catch snippets of it, if you pay attention. I’ve got a CV if you’re the type that cares about that sort of thing. There's a bunch of buttons to your right that you can click on for other social signals.
I’m a lit geek and a beer snob. I love tattoos and technology. I loathe mushy foods and romantic comedies. I’m not ashamed to admit I like ABBA and dislike Tolkien. I am somewhat ashamed to admit I’ve not finished Ulysses. I prefer cake to pie, unless we're talking pastry projectiles I pick fights on the Internet. I’m a high school dropout and a PhD dropout. I have a Master's degree in Folklore and was once considered the academic expert on political pie-throwing. I was (I am?) a widow. I'm a mom. I have a cold hard stare that I like to imagine is much like Paddington Bear’s and a smirk much like the Cheshire Cat’s.
I currently travel as much as I possibly can. “Home,” at least according to my driver’s license, is Hermosa Beach, California.
Way back in junior high, I took an aptitude test that gave me a single career option: freelance writer. I remember feeling rather panicky at the time, wondering how the hell I’d manage to pull it off. But now I do.
My stories have appeared on NPR/KQED's education technology blog MindShift, in the data section of O’Reilly Radar, on Inside Higher Ed, in The School Library Journal, in The Atlantic, on ReadWriteWeb, and in the Edutopia's blog (among other places).
And of course, I write on my blog Hack Education. I'm in the middle of writing my first book, Teaching Machines, due out whenever I get my shit together (prediction: late 2014). And I'm the editor/lead writer for a new site -- one that talks about progressive education and progressive tech -- Educating Modern Learners.
In my spare time, I read, rabble-rouse, drink beer, and prepare for the zombie apocalypse. Because you never know…
About Hack Education
I created Hack Education in June 2010 shortly after I became a technology journalist. I was frustrated by the lack of coverage of education technology -- by both technology and education publications. I did my day job (the freelance writing I get paid for) but devoted as much attention as possible to Hack Education, trying to create the sort of blog that I'd want to read: one that's smart and snarky, one that's free of advertising and investor influence (See: Disclosures), one that's tracking new technologies but not just because of some hyperbolic "revolution." Hack Education isn't just about how ed-tech changes "the system." It is about the future of learning. (Yes, there's a distinction there.)
To “hack” can mean a lot of things: To break in and break down. To cut to the core. To chop roughly. To be playful and clever. To be mediocre. To solve a problem, but to do so rather inelegantly. To pull systems apart. To "MacGyver" things back together. To re-code. To rebuild. To “Hack Education,” in turn, has multiple interpretations: a technological solution, a technology intrusion, a technological possibility, a technological disaster.
To "Hack Education" isn't something that just technologists should do or care about. Nor is this just a concern for teachers, administrators, parents, or students. We all should weigh the implications of technology on how we teach and learn.