Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Project Management

What is Scrum and how can we use it?

Projects in the classroom (or robotics) are time-consuming, sometimes crazy, and hard to manage with one teacher. I have this issue with the robotics team I coach and am told this process called scrum can make projects easier on everyone.  The NKCPS framework suggests that students need to have a choice and be more in charge of the project. Sometimes, because time is short, educators assign a pre-scripted project that does not allow for student voice and choice. The robotics team is always short on time. I am excited to learn about scrum, put it into action, and apply it in the classroom.

Who is using Scrum in education?
Goochland County started SCRUM in the classroom 3 years ago. They describe it like an organized number of broken down steps. Here is an example they use called “Scrum Soup” 

Chesterfield County Public Schools is using this process at the Administrative level and in classrooms. In this article in Education Week, they describe how work is getting done faster and more efficiently.

Why should we try it?
  • Organize the project by priorities 
  • Get it finished on time with a good product 
  • Students have control 
  • Encourage a collaborative Classroom 
  • Encourage Scrum values of trust, respect, focus. 
  • Reach the higher level of the NKCPS Framework
 What do we need?
  • Manila folders 
  • Sticky notes 
  • Marker or colored tape 
  • Project Rubric

How do we do this?

Start with the end in mind: Planning meeting= determining the priorities. The Planning meeting might include the creation of a concept map. This can align with the teacher's rubric for the project. Each topic in the example map is a story point that will need more unpacking of the task.  In this example for robotics, there are 3 main products. Unpack the key points for the product in the planning meeting to set as the scrum backlog
Model organizing into groups. Groups should be self-organized. Here’s an example of some of the questions Goochland teachers encourage students to ask themselves when picking groups: Do I need a teammate who is skilled at drawing? Do I need a teammate who knows how to code? If I’m not particularly organized, could I find a teammate who would help me keep everything together How can I surround myself with the best people for the job?
Create a Scrum folder for the product divided into 3 columns: Backlog, to do, done (Pictures are below) Student groups will separate out each part of the product task. The parts should be very specific.
For Example, in robotics we have three parts we must present as products at the competition. We might have 3 Scrum folders for each product. We will start with the first column, the “backlog”, which contain the broken down steps to the goal that is identified as important. The steps are written on sticky notes. Each student in the group will decide to try one task, take the sticky note from the backlog and put their name on it and put it in the to-do column.
Groups will meet standing up for sprint meetings at the beginning of the day and ask:
What have we done last time?
Where will we do today?
What are any challenges?

If a backlog item is completely done it moves to the done column.

Projects that incorporate the SCRUM process in the classroom can be managed during rotations. Teachers, as the product owner, can have “sprint” style meetings with one group of students at a time and easily assess progress with the folders. 

Once the project is completed, Students must be given the opportunity to
present to an audience and reflect on their work.

What does it look like?

Pictures from ISTE2018  presentation by Sharon Pope & Jason Buck

Can not wait to try this next year with the team,

are you willing to try?