Collaboration through effective teamwork is key to creating a student-centered learning environment. Working together is not an innate skill. Students were not born knowing the necessary strategies or skills of successful collaboration. With the high pressured days of making curriculum “fit in” an already packed day, teachers rarely take the time to formally teach students the necessary skills to be high-functioning members of a team.
According to the University of Washington, research has demonstrated that engaging students in the learning process increases their attention and focus, motivates them to practice higher-level critical thinking skills and promotes meaningful learning experiences. Instructors who adopt a student-centered approach to instruction increase opportunities for student engagement, which then helps everyone more successfully achieve the course’s learning objectives. (http://www.washington.edu/teaching/teaching-resources/engaging-students-in-learning/)
Scrum is a framework for scaffolding and managing complex projects. In student-centered classrooms focused on project-based learning or collaborative experiences, Scrum can empower students to communicate, collaborate, and manage the multiple facets of project methodology.
On March 15 at the MACUL 2017 Conference, SIGPL is offering an opportunity for educators to learn how to integrate Scrum in their project instructional practices in a meaningful way. Bea Leiderman, an instructional technology coach with Goochland County Public Schools in Goochland, VA, will facilitate a professional learning day on how Scrum can make a difference in creating a student-centered culture. She has worked with middle and high school teachers and students across all disciplines to use digital tools and resources to create student-centered classroom environments. With her team, Bea helped design and implement a district-wide 1:1 iPad program focused on Deeper Learning through project-based activities, allowing students to follow their interests and develop personal talents.
Bea’s latest work has focused on the use of the Scrum methodology to amplify student engagement and learning. Through use of a modified version of this software-development framework, Bea and her colleagues have developed activities and curricula that guide students through the process of team building, conflict resolution, time management, reflection, and self-evaluation in order to plan and execute learning projects. These efforts led to their work being featured in ISTE’s conference issue of Entersekt magazine.
Bea is the author of six interactive educational books on entomology and macro photography available free on Apple’s iBooks Store. Bea is a Google Certified Teacher and an Apple Distinguished Educator.
Learn about Scrum from an expert, a fellow educator and a practitioner on March 15. Register for the SIGPL Pre-conference session while there is still space.
This article was originally posted on the MACUL Community.