Nov 21, 2012

A Startup Guide

I am currently developing a short guide to share with educators on implementing Agile Based Learning Environment in the classroom. The guide will be "teacher-friendly, providing a step-by-step approach on how to beging "Sprinting" right away.  I have a group of amazing Agilists and educators who have signed up to review and contribute to the guide. My goal is to release this, free for all, by December.


The Self-Organizing Classroom: A Startup Guide for the Agile Based Learning Environment

Agile Based Learning Environment Vision Statement:

"ABLE is an innovative learning framework that creates a vibrant self-organizing classroom. Unlike other systems, ABLE gives the classroom a practical applied structure that integrates 21st Century Skills, collaboration, and self-directness throughout all learning."
As I have not written anything substantial since college, besides memos, project plans, and reports,  this has been a re-education for me in the basics of writing and is taking me a bit longer than I thought.

Feel free to email or leave comments on what you think will be important to include in the Startup Guide or just plain simple advice, I definitely need it!

Thank You,
John Miller, PMP, CSP

Nov 10, 2012

Designing History

Designing History

I wanted to share the work of one of the leaders of Agile in Education, Chris Scott. I have been partnering with Chris for several months, and he is quite remarkable. "I want my students to be significant" is a quote for one of his reasons using Scrum in his History class, which, is perhaps one of the most powerful statements I have heard from a teacher and sums up what Agile in Education is really about.

He is documenting his Scrum journey on his blog, which you can visit at:

From Chris Scott's Classroom

Designing The Future

Agile in education provides a framework for allowing students to become self-directed, explore their love of learning, and become better decision makers. The beauty of Scrum that separates it from other learning frameworks, is it provides guardrails for this new autonomy so it does not spiral into chaos. It provides a scaffolding for 21st Century Skills  and character to emerge, without it having to be explicitly taught. This should be great news for teachers, as most learning systems chop up these skills, silo them out, and ask teachers to "teach" them on top of all the standards. Scrum provides the environment so that they all naturally grow. Teachers maintain the right environment and culture, coach the students, and the rest takes care of itself.

Chris Scott is not the only educator to try this new way of learning, I started it in motion at Cortes Sierra Elementary  in partnership with a great teacher and a great principal, and now they are Scrumming school wide, from Teacher Teams using it their weekly planning and accelerating their Professional Learning Communities, to Classroom Learning, to even a Scrum club for students afters school. This is starting to spread here in the United States. These students are "plugged" in more than ever, with anecdotal reports being students are missing less school as they feel they have more control over their own learning.  I am also helping a forward thinking charter school system in Arizona bring Scrum to their high schools.

Jeff Sutherland, the cofounder of Scrum, has recently blogged about his visit to the Netherlands, of a group of educators using Scrum. I urge you to read it, it is a wonderful explanation of the great work the EduScrum folks are doing in the Netherlands. Please visit his blog post here

I think there is a tide change in education, there is a need to turn theory of schools should be into practice, and Scrum can do that. Not only does it make students 21st Century Ready, but, it makes their present much more engaging.

To accelerate the movement, I am developing a Agile in the Classroom guide, with the help of Chris Scott,  other educators, and a few pioneering Agilists. Indeed, we can help Design the Future and develop a better present with Agile.  If you are interested in helping or contributing, please shoot me an email at