Design and Agile Thinking

agile - definitionAgile is the new buzz word. Agile thinking, agile management, but it comes from the IT industry and software development. It is about including the user to ensure good outcomes with design , delivery and functionality. The  key elements are here on LeadingStrategicInitiatives. It comes back to what I have been saying: the tried and true internet way of doing things: Create content, share , gain feedback and then grow your ideas. It’s a constant improvement , growth circle. Spiral , maybe ,because you are always getting better.

Agile and Design thinking are at the heart of our Professional Teaching Standards but they haven’t been articulated in that way. They have been out since 2011 and perhaps need to be refreshed so that we can see clearly these standards are very much part of the 21st Century.

1.
Know students and how they learn
Refer to the Standard
at each career stage
2.
Know the content and how to teach it
3.
Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
4.
Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments
5.
Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning
6.
Engage in professional learning
7.
Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers
and the community

If you look at the video clip you can see how well our standards fit in with the elements of design and agile thinking. Knowing others and engaging with them is fundamental to design and agile thinking. Getting that feedback so you can improve delivery and experience is fundamental too.

These principles of design and agile thinking are articulated within the standards e.g.

1.3 Design and implement
teaching strategies that are
responsive to the learning
strengths and needs of
students from diverse
linguistic, cultural, religious and
socioeconomic backgrounds.

2.2 Lead initiatives that utilise
comprehensive content knowledge to
improve the selection and sequencing
of content into coherently organised
learning and teaching programs

3.2 Work with colleagues to plan, evaluate
and modify learning and teaching
programs to create productive learning
environments that engage all students

4.1 Demonstrate and lead by example
the development of productive and
inclusive learning environments
across the school by reviewing
inclusive strategies and exploring new
approaches to engage and support
all students

Design thinking is : Understand, Explore, Prototype , Evaluate

Agile Thinking is about bearing the end user in mind, making incremental improvements and gaining feedback before you move on.

These types of current and technological thinking are at the heart of our standards . We call them growth mindset and improvement model.

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2015 is pretty amazing!

kaizen

Image: KaiZen mind and start up

daily-kaizen

Image: learningrebels.com

If this is the connected world, if this is teaching , if this is 2015, it is pretty amazing. I put my post up yesterday about doing things in little steps so you look at the improvements at each stage and can get things finished properly. The story , now , of this post is internet magic. It is the lesson of the internet – create content, share, gain feedback and improve. At the end of last year I was listening to a podcast in French by Johann from françaisauthentique where he was talking, amongst other things about “l’esprit Kaizen” and was explaining what that meant. Johann also has a firm commitment to self-development so his podcasts maintain my French and encourage me personally. I went to school and asked the Japanese teacher what Kaizen meant and he told me what was in the picture left – it was a good improvement but in small steps. As I explained yesterday I used it to get my unfinished sewing projects completed and have since applied it to things I want to be able to get done but can’t see my way clear to achieving them unless I commit to an approach whereby I look at what I want to achieve, decide where to start and then put in small amounts of time to complete something a small bit at a time but well. I am making good change. I am trying to improve how I do things so I enjoy them and get value out of them. In the KaiZen Mind and start up visualisation is explained as one of the key stepping stones. If you make good small changes then you can see clearly what the next step is. You visualise that well because your mind is not swamped with all the other thoughts of how, when , why, what if…blah blah. All the self-defeating thoughts. Shannon Tipton articulates really well on her blog Learning Rebels the value of it as a teacher. So, I was blogging about my KaiZen approach yesterday and the post was picked up and published in a German paper.li : JFTOP.ch – Kaizen / Lean by Frederic Jordan . Kaizen is a concept which has been used in manufacturing and the car industry in particular to create an attitude of continuous development. Wikipedia explains it as : Kaizen is a daily process, the purpose of which goes beyond simple productivity improvement. It is also a process that, when done correctly, humanizes the workplace, eliminates overly hard work (“muri“), and teaches people how to perform experiments on their work using the scientific method and how to learn to spot and eliminate waste in business processes.

I could go back into school today and tell the Japanese teacher that all this stuff I had been doing from his explanation and help with Kaizen had come from my French podcast, through his Japanese cultural and linguistic knowledge, through the English on my blog to a German paper.li. This is the internet. We go across languages and cultures and we arrive in the wonderful world of connected learning . This is 2015.

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