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.

Habitica

habiticaI  lost 3 mana points just by being there this morning. The red bar is health, the yellow experience and the mana is blue. It was a new bar which came up when I went up a level and I was just doing my usual of checking things off and getting things set up for the day and boom! 3   mana points gone. I shall try and work it out myself , if not, the Habitica help guild is very prompt in getting a reply back if you need help. I have been on Habitica just over a week and there is plenty to do and learn. In my last post I said I would trial it for a month. I have learned a lot in a week and can only expect to be so much more in control by the end of a month. That’s the thing. You have to give new apps and sites an opportunity to allow you to learn before you make any real judgements. I have found I have distinguished between what I want to form as habits as opposed to those things I want as a daily routine. I have then been able to add the things I want to do each day and this site is stopping me from doing things and not acknowledging them. I put everything on there and so I notice what I am actually doing. I don’t do things and then wonder where all my energy has gone. I took a look at the guilds and they are really impressive in their breadth of interest so that like minded people can encourage each other. I was really pleased to see one for Duolingo because it’s an app I have recommended, one I use and one we used to use in class. The guilds really do cover some interesting topics. I worked out how to grow 3 pets and feed them and how to create my avatar picture. I keep looking at those little pixilated pictures and thinking they would make cute little cross stitches. So the plan is to find out about mana and how it works. I have put it on my to do list. I have always been organised but Habitica is enabling a clearer version of my organisational skills. I’d like another list where I could put a wish list of things I want to complete but am waiting for the right time or equipment or whatever. You can put checklists under the main headings and so on. With  a wish list you’d have time to work out what you needed to do in order to achieve that wish. It would be like forward planning. As it stands I do that in my paper journal . The gaming aspect of Habitica isn’t something which appeals to me at the moment or something which will encourage me to do better. It certainly has some real pulling power with others, though,  and you can see that on the site. They do involve themselves in the gaming aspect of the site and love it. It does help them to do better and improve.

Coder blogs

I really like this video by Chris Hawkes. He is a competent , successful coder who has taken time out of his busy schedule to take us on a walk and discuss his ideas about what he thinks the fundamental issues are with regard to contemporary coding . We can walk with him and listen to him unfold his thinking. Coding requires a very disciplined mind and thinking but it also requires a capacity to keep up to date. Chris Hawkes puts forward a very strong case for coders to be able to be efficient and capable researchers who share and discuss their knowledge. We no longer have the answers, the way, the method, the procedure. We live in 2016. We can’t just use Google a quick solution to something. We can’t spend our time reinventing the wheel . We need to have people who know how to get quality information which will move  a project and thinking forward. People need skillsets and knowledge but they need to be able to quickly update their capacity to function now, today. Coders have communities to build their skills and knowledge. They learn to connect , share and problem solve. Nobody can know everything any more and one thing will suddenly become obsolete. Programmers need to be able to learn on their own and they need to now how to do quality research and find things out. They need to be interested, self directed and lifelong learners. Communities develop best practices and share their updated knowledge and tackle trouble shooting and problem solving . It takes teamwork to solve complex problems. Coders are sharing their knowledge in lots of ways. Huffington Post published 25 best coder blogs. Makeuseof has recommended 7 coder blogs for student programmers. One of my favourite coder blogs is codercoach because Kristi Pollard (Stanton), RHIT, CCS, CPC, CIRCC gives such a personal insight into coding , the life of a coder and issues with coding.

Be more creative

Dr. Isaiah Hankel is

“a Doctor of Anatomy and Cell Biology and has worked extensively as a Fortune 500 consultant in the biotechnology industry and with some of the world’s leading corporations, including Amgen, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Roche and Genentech. He has also presented at many of the world’s premier academic institutions, including Harvard University, Stanford University, Oxford University, Cambridge University, The Pasteur Institute and The Curie Institute.”

Dr. Isaiah Hankel 

He grew up in rural Idaho and was diagnosed with ADHD and has worked through the challenges of this to become who he is today. He understands what it means  to:

3.2  Exhibit exemplary practice and lead colleagues to plan, implement and review the effectiveness of their learning and teaching programs to develop students’ knowledge, understanding and skills.

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

He challenges the internal editor we all have where we are talking ourselves down, criticising ourselves, blocking ourselves. He looks at how to get past that and onto creating so we have something to show and have. He looks at how we need to let go and just do whatever we want to do without fear of criticism or failure. Just doing. He then looks at how you change and shape that into something successful by using constructive criticism, rational thought and reason to ensure you have the best you can do. Drafting is part of his process. He gets rid of the roadblocks to learning, focuses on productivity and then insists you stand back a take a long, hard look at what you have done to ensure it is your best. He achieves because he shares his ideas world wide. He uses social media to share his ideas  and to get feedback and ideas for growth but at no stage is he thinking near enough is good enough. The first part of the process where you create freely and uninterruptedly is an unfettered growth phase. The second phase uses your skills and ideas. The third phase is critical thinking and learning how to be even better than you thought you could be. Valuing improvement.

Ugandan Take on Technology Start Ups

I love this Ugandan take on a Silicon Valley start up in Bulambuli Valley. It’s clever, positive, creative and demonstrates a growth mindset. I’ll let the video speak for itself.

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