Scrum is a method by which software developers work together on efficient teams to rapidly collaborate on application development. Focused around the idea that the effort of many can trump the efficiency of just one person, Scrum, or the process as it is called– scrumming–helps companies that employ the technique to maximize the potential of its team members.
So why did the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) choose to feature an article highlighting the work of educators Joe Beasley (GES) and James Frago (GMS) in its quarterly publication, entrsekt? Beasley and Frago began using Scrum this past school year (first at GES in Beasley’s classroom, and later at GMS, when Frago became a long-term substitute teacher) and really noticed that the process or method for working together was helping their students.
In the picture above, Beasley’s students at GES are using the Scrum technique, using a shared file folder and sticky notes (called a Scrum board) to organize their efforts at a building project in Minecraft EDU as part of a unit on literature they’re reading in language arts.
The magazine is distributed to ISTE’s members all over the world. The publication of the article highlighting their experience using Scrum in the classroom debuted at this year’s ISTE conference in Denver. I am so proud of Joe and Jim for trying this in our schools and finding success in showing kids how to work together effectively towards common goals. Watching kids using Scrum in the classroom is exciting, because amid peaks of chaos that can result from a number of simultaneous discussions taking place among each team, we see students truly engaged with their tasks, communicating effectively, and developing their skills and knowledge in a very learner-centered modality. It is especially exciting to see our students featured in this article, and to have Goochland County Public Schools represented on the world stage with educational technology.
My thanks go out to Bea Leiderman, our secondary ITRT, who has taken a special interest in Scrum and helped make possible the opportunity at ISTE for Joe, Bea, and Jim to present the technique and the outcomes of the method with a captive audience. We are hoping a free version of the magazine becomes published soon for all of our local stakeholders to read.