Agile in the classroom
As is usual with all good ideas, the students introduced me to Trello. A small group were using it to build a computer game. They were able to break down activities, delegate tasks, track progress and tick off completed jobs. They suggested I use it for an event we were planning to run and sure enough it made organising everything a cinch.
One of things I did when I worked in FE was to promote creative thinking as a key element of computing and asked a graphic designer (albeit a confident programmer) in to teach some of the units. It wasn’t until I saw Trello being used by students on the Graphic Design course that I realised ideas had cross-fertilised and immediately recognised the versatility and usefulness of this platform to many different courses.
Project-based learning really needs to be what we’re all doing now. It doesn’t just test ideas and application, but builds soft skills, critical thinking and resilience, especially when you have to collaborate and work with others.
It’s the doing way of learning.
Project-based learning leads to tangible outcomes that students can use to demonstrate what they’ve learned. The best projects encourage students to be innovative and original, to stand on the shoulders of giants and still produce something they are proud to call their own.
Trello might be a means to an end but it’s the simplest most effective way to project manage that I’ve come across. I’ve seen cards infused with ideas, self-reflection, encouragement, references, tangents. I’ve seen students take responsibility, recognise the importance is to the project, no matter how small.
Of course all this happens in teams that use Trello, and that’s precisely the point. Students need to treated not like students, but as practitioners and professionals in their own right.
My current team is using Trello and I’m learning to relinquish ownership in a way that might be familiar to other managers. How we use it has certainly evolved since we first built a board for our work. I’m never good at giving up control of an idea but I know it’s important and it’s a mark of the success of introducing it in the first place. It’s not my board, it’s our board. I’m not even the chairman of the board.
There are so many parallels between teaching and management, as you can tell, it doesn’t come easily and needs to be worked out. Having a space that communicates ideas, stimulates cooperative working and isn’t completely autocratic (ahem…microsoft) is a good thing, believe me.
I recommend bringing Trello into the class room, let students work in an agile way and you’ll gain insight into the way they work and more importantly, how they work together.
Our son is 13 years old and, as you might imagine, his concerns after school are texting his friends, posting selfies…2014.mrandmrsok.com
It wasn’t my childhood ambition to be a teacher. I wanted to be a professor of history or a manager of a business …www.theguardian.com
Trello is an awesome project management tool that makes collaboration easy and, dare I say, even fun. But this visual…lifehacker.com
Productivity is now in session. Sign up now and start teaching with perspective.trello.com