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 — worldwide — is a relic of the Industrial Age where people (children) are still taught:
- DO NOT think critically
- DO NOT question authority
- DO NOT learn the love of learning
- DO 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 part of 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 am not asking 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 current and future generations.
This is volunteer work.
Setting Context – September, 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 (Henrico, Virginia)
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 1800 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 (CAPM).
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 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.
Their client are also learning new interaction models with the students.
Real time. Real life.
Also, almost every project (from Freshman Orientation to parties to other internal events within the specialty center) is executed using Scrum as the framework for delivery.
By. The. Students.
This past school year (2017), most of the the Senior year students used Scrum to complete their Capstone projects. It’s awesome to see.
Over time, we have now implemented a private slack.com workspace 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 a CSM (Certified Scrum Master) with the Scrum Alliance. I will continue to do this.
The students attend my public CSM 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 during the summer; their knowledge of Scrum and other Agile techniques has been another skill they bring to the table for local employers during their internships.
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 and can share their stories too!].
I’ve spun this off to another high school locally (for their Junior and Senior year classes) and have been volunteering there for two years.
I am in conversations with bringing this to our Math and Science Specialty center in Henrico County public school.
Oh. And I am a member of an Advisory Board for Henrico County and Deep Run High School in bringing changes to some [outdated] computer sciences courses for the Junior and Senior classes. Two new classes have been approved and will be kicked off at the beginning of the 2018 school year.
First Lego League (Richmond, Virginia)
I worked with a local middle school FLL (First Lego League) team in Implementing Scrum with a team of 8-13 year old people. During our third — and final year — for that team, the students advanced to the State level competition (and had a blast!).
Hope High School & Blueprint Education (Chandler, Arizona)
For the past four years I have worked with Hope High School (in Chandler, Arizona USA) to transform the way they run their entire school.
We have run two Certified ScrumMaster workshops that have included students, faculty, staff and administrators from Blueprint Education (a charter school in Arizona).
It’s spreading to more schools within their system [and online].
t’s an AWESOME project.
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!!].
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:
Iowa Big (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
I was invited to volunteer with John Miller [again!] during the Summer of 2017 to help facilitate another Agile Classrooms workshop.
This was for teachers and administrators at this
concept school called Iowa Big and other people interested in bringing this to their schools from the midwest areas.
I was totally blown away of what the team of people in Cedar Rapids (and surrounding areas), Iowa are DOING.
Take “project-based learning” and combine it with the framework of Scrum and BOOM. No kidding.
The possibilities here are enormous and I want others to understand what what is not only possible but is HAPPENING today.
I continue to be amazed at what is REALLY happening in the world today.
Check it out!
VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University)
I am now the ScrumMaster in Residence at VCU (this is a very part-time paid honorarium staff position).
My job there is to help disrupt the current system.
Have you read or seen the Marvel comics / movies?
My boss there is just like Professor X.
He provides the political fire cover (with support from his boss… the President of the University) for our little team of
disruptors innovators to bring real change to a few of the colleges at this public university in Richmond, Virginia.
You can learn more about this at the Davinci Center website. Wow.
This is a
short pretty long version of what I am doing to help change the way education is delivered in the 21st century.
NOT “going to be delivered.”
Happening. Today. Right now.
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.
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.