What does it mean to be Agile? What is all of this talk about Agile in education?
Those questions went through my head, too, when I first heard about this framework. I remember being concerned about having to learn yet another trend in education. I did not want to be bogged down with another learning tool. And then, with much encouragement from my friend @Jessica Cavallaro and receiving training from @L-EAF.org through @Jeff Burstein, I understood how off-target I was. Becoming Agile would make my work as an educator easier, not harder. I would be able to cover more material in a school year, not less. And best of all, my students would lead the way. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it’s not. I’ll tell you why.
What Is Agile? Here’s A Quick Explanation.
Being Agile is about adopting a mindset. It means that your students will work on accomplishing the objectives of any project through self-directed teams. These teams collaborate on the achievement of goals through small iterations and continuous reflections and improvements, if necessary, of the work they produce.
That’s quite a mouthful, right? Are you still confused? Let’s work through an example:
- Start With An Essential Question/Problem
How do we design a plan to ensure that materials we use every day are recycled properly and minimize environmental impacts?
- Identify the Objective
The essential question should be tied to your learning objectives for the students. For example, students must be able to “Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems”. I have taken this directly from Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). However, you can paraphrase a standard into wording that you and your students easily comprehend. Doing this will help to make sure that they understand the objective of the overall project as well.
- Identify What Tasks Must Be Completed To Reach The Goals
As the guide for the project, first, you will identify the main activities the students will do to learn a set of skills and content knowledge. Then, you give them the power to determine how they will apply and demonstrate what they are learning to answer the Essential Question. Again, students will decide what tasks are required to reach the goals they have established. But this is a good place for you to provide some overall guidance…