Scrum in School
If you are passionate about learning how to bring Scrum — and other Agile techniques — into schools anywhere around the world… I’d like to share my story with you for a few moments and invite you to join me on this journey.
Welcome. I am glad you are here.
You can follow me on twitter (@mvizdos) for “me” in real life and sharing this among the context of other things I do!
Let me tell you a bit about Why, How, and What I do with Scrum in School today.
This is a pretty long read so you may want to bookmark it and come back later to digest it.
I am convinced our current educational system — around the world — is a relic of the industrial age where people (some call them children) are taught to not think critically, to not question authority, to not learn the love of learning and to not create or explore new ideas.
In April (2016) I co-facilitated a group of educators — from around the world — in creating their version of an “Agile Manifesto” (and they did not call it another manifesto).
This is the output of our three days together in Orlando, Florida:
The Agile In Education Compass
Together, we are discoverers of the world and ourselves.
The world is no longer predictable and learning needs to be more adaptive, connected, and interdependent. Education can respond to this constantly changing landscape with agility. Through our journey, new paths unfold to reveal learning authentic to us.
I am one person. I am not a full-time educator (teacher) or administrator.
I have not asked for permission to “do” this and have found others who — like myself — understand the urgency in WHY we need to bring agility into education for our future generations.
This is purely volunteer work.
Setting Context – May, 2017
This — where I am so far today — did not happen overnight and it is still a work-in-process as we all learn more together.
It’s a journey.
Deep Run High School – CIT Specialty Center
A specific example from me is volunteering with a local public high school (in Henrico County (Richmond), Virginia USA).
Four years ago, I learned that a local public high school “specialty center” that has CAPM / PMI type courses was looking for someone to teach Scrum and Agile techniques to the students in their center.
The Center for Information Technology Specialty Center is one of many within the public high school system here that basically brings in a cohort of ~50 students who enroll in 9th grade (the only way in is this year and via an application process) and then stay together for their entire four years of high school.
The speciality center I am working with is part of a public high school with over 1600 students total enrollment.
I usually come in at the beginning of the second semester of the Sophomore year (10th Grade USA) after the students have learned about “traditional” project management.
I spend three days with two classes teaching the basics of Agile, Scrum and what is possible over what they have learned so far with the “traditional” project management studies (this is something the center currently teaches as their main project management philosophy [little steps… it’s not changing overnight!]).
During the Sophomore year, the students pair up with Juniors (11th Grade USA) to deliver a project for non-profit groups within the local community.
Over the past four years, we have seen that the majority of teams now use Scrum as the “preferred” project management framework to deliver to their customers.
Also, every project (from Freshman Orientation to parties to other internal events within the specialty center) are almost all executed using Scrum as the framework for delivery.
This year (2017), most of the the Senior year students are using Scrum to complete their Capstone projects. It’s awesome to see.
Over time, we have now implemented a private slack.com team for remote volunteer support of the Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Development Team Members of the Scrum Teams at the school.
I’ve just completed the fourth year of doing this with the school and have provided scholarships to a few students to become Certified Scrum Masters with the Scrum Alliance (and will continue to do this). They attend my public workshops [iWantScrumTraining.com] with people from the local community and participate in all simulations, discussions and learning together. It’s awesome to witness.
Prior to their Senior (12th Grade USA) year, all of the speciality center students must work at a summer internship; their knowledge of Scrum and other Agile techniques has been another skill they can bring to the table for local employers during their internships.
The first cohort of students I worked have headed off to universities around the world (starting in the Fall of 2016) [I’ll report back what I hear from them!].
I’ve spun this off to another high school locally (for their Junior and Senior year classes) and have been there for two years.
I am in conversations with bringing this to our Math and Science Specialty center in Henrico County.
First Lego League (Richmond, Virginia)
I have been working with a local First Lego League team (this was year three and our team went to the State competition and had a blast) in Implementing Scrum with a team of 8-13 year old people!
Hope High School & Blueprint Education (Chandler, Arizona)
For the past four years I have worked — and continue to do so — with Hope High School (in Chandler, Arizona USA) in transforming the way they run their entire school. It’s spreading and it’s an AWESOME project — learn more!
We have run two Certified ScrumMaster workshops that have included students, faculty, staff and administrators from Blueprint Education (a charter school in Arizona).
Here is a current story:
Grandview Preparatory School (Boca Raton, Florida)
Toward the end of 2016, I worked together with John Miller (AgileClassrooms.com) at this school to begin “flipping the classroom” with a three day workshop [awesome again!!] and we continue to work with them as they transition to a new way of working together as students, teachers and administrators.
Here is a current story:
VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University)
More on this coming soon. It’s awesome what they are doing there today and I look forward to sharing what’s happening. Soon.
This is a
short longer version of what I am doing to help change the way education is delivered in the 21st century.
It’s a very specific case of one person (me) working with people who care (my sponsors) and continuing to grow and learn together.
You read “How” I do this.
Remember: I am an entrepreneur who runs a company.
I am not a full time educator or teacher.
I volunteer with students in the classroom, work within administrative levels and regularly speak at middle schools through higher education on the topic of Scrum and other Agile techniques.
What you do next is your choice.
YOUR NEXT STEP
If you are interested in having a conversation about Why, How, and What we can do together please contact me and let’s talk.
Really. I’ll share whatever I have with you.
Schedule a conversation with me; today, the best way for that to happen is via calendar.mvizdos.com (this is a pretty good way for you to select the best time for us to talk). Let’s start there. No sales pressure [remember… I am not selling anything around this topic — I am a volunteer for all of this too].
Just a conversation. Really.
We can figure out how to go from there.
I will help where and how I can — even if it is “just” remote support and conversations. I actually have no idea if anyone else cares about this topic and this is one way for me to find out; if there is a bigger interest we can work on the next steps together if you are interested.
If you have read this far, please realize Why, How, and What we can do together fits into the larger picture of Agile In Education.
Please follow me on social media channels at michaelvizdos.com/social-media.
And. There are more of “us” in the world.
I am a member of an Alliance of other people — and organizations — interested in changing the future of Education using Scrum (and other Agile techniques) within the classroom, with staff (educators and teachers) and administration.
This includes home schooling and other “non-traditional” venues for twenty-first century learning.
You are welcome to join us on this journey together.
For more information about others who share our common goals, please review our “Agile in Education Compass” at www.AgileInEducation.org.
Join me — and others — there today.