Social Media Helps Spread “Unschool” Movement


Social media makes “unschooling” easier than ever, but what does it all mean, and where will it lead?

Unschooling, also known as natural or independent learning, is an alternative to traditional education that’s been gaining momentum online recently.

Teenager Logan LaPlante makes a very good case for it in this TED talk. He calls it hackschooling:

But while he seems to be doing just fine without conventional schooling, Jaden Smith’s recent Twitter outburst really isn’t convincing us that he’s better off without a traditional education. Or Maybe We Just Dislike His Initial Caps On Everything:

But then he didn’t exactly have a traditional education in the first place. Both Jaden and his sister Willow used to attend the private New Village Leadership Academy before it was shut down. The school was founded by their parents, and taught with Study Tech, a method used in scientology.  

It’s not like Jaden will ever need to get a “real job”, so maybe he’s got a point — he won’t need qualifications to get where he wants in life. But that’s probably not true of his 4.5 million followers.

There’s more to unschooling than just not going to school, and we’re not sure if Jaden has grasped that yet.  

This family seems to have a better idea, and whether you agree with their way of life or not, they’re happy with living on a schoolbus and unschooling their children. Those kids have life experience and some would argue that’s more valuable than memorizing facts they’ll soon forget.  

Social media is making it easy for unschoolers to connect, share tips, and join communities, and although it might be a viable alternative to regular schools for some people, it’s not for everyone.  

What do you think — is unschooling a luxury, a fad, or the future?

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