Sep 9, 2014

Princess Kanban

My daughter has entered 1st grade this year. I can't believe how fast she is growing.  She is discovering her strengths, developing more of her personality, & stretching her autonomy muscles (sometimes in ways that does not make it easy on me). In addition, 1st grade comes with more things for her to manage, more homework (which I am not a big fan of, but, that is another post) and more social engagements. She is outgrowing her older and simpler Kanban board, and it is time for a new version. Not only a design upgrade, but, also adding tasks that consider her ability to take on more responsibility.

Inspired by her love of Princesses, I created a quick mockup of my vision for her new board.

And, here is my first quick iteration of her Princess Board:

And, she hopped right on to it, loving it! Although, she pointed out, that it does not look like my Vision mockup!  Just like a typical customer not understanding iterative development! And, a very proud moment as a father, I saw her cleaning up her room and then the living room! I knew I had a new card called Clean Up, but, we did not talk about it at all. I looked at her board, and Clean Up was in the Doing column. She even demoed her room, asking me to see how clean it was. I am still a bit teary eyed....

Never underestimate the power of clarity as the essential ingredient in developing a self-directed child.  And this is what visual boards do.Without having to tell her what to do and when to do it,  I think I am out of a job!

Apr 19, 2014

Learning Modes

Best Learning for the 21st Century

What learning do you think is best for students in the 21st Century, Self-Directed, Cooperative, Collaborative, or just the plain old traditional sit in your seat and read a book alone?

My answer, all of the above. There is a time and a place for all of these. Yet, it is defintely out of balance.

Let's take a look at the 2 major rails of Rightshifting Learning, Rightshifting from Dependent to Independent and from Individual to Collaborative.

The 1st Rail: Dependent/Independent

Self-directed learning is critical in the 21st Century classroom. It allow students to differentiate learning for themselves, provides a greater depth of knowledge, and develops core 21st Century Life and Career skills. Dr. Gerald Grow describes 4 stages in self-directed learning (1) that is an excellent model to visualize the development of self-direction.

We want to Rightshift, or shift the balance more to the right and less of the left, to adjust our learning dial to the 21st Century.

The 2cd Rail: Individual/Collaborative

The 2cd Rigthshifting rail is shifting to more Collaborative learning and less Individual learning. Indeed, the 21st Century requires cross-functional, interdisciplinary teams to innovate and solve the big challenges, from fighting cancer to designing the next amazing technology product.

Rightshift Learning Zones

When we bring these 2 rails together in a matrix, we can chart a richer picture of our learning needs through the creation of 4 Learning Zones. 

Zone 1: Traditional learning, where students are learning individually and highly dependenent on the teacher.
Zone 2: Self-Directed Learning: Thought to be the holy grail for classrooms, where students love learning and will learn on their own free will.
Zone 3: Cooperative Learning: Learning in groups but still dependent on the teacher. Think traditional project management.
Zone 4: Self-Organization: This is the goal of Rightshift Learning, to have a classroom that is Self-Organizing, not dependent on the teacher for activities, but, self-manage as equals

Of course, there are gradients of grey in between. These are not polar opposites, but, a spectrum.

Remember, all zone are valid learning zones, we want to bring our classrooms more into alignment with the needs of the 21st Century by Rightshifting from the bottom left to the top right.

1. Grow, Gerald. "Teaching Learners to Be Self-Directed." Teaching Learners to Be Self-Directed. Dr. Gerald Grow, 20 Mar. 1996. Web. 27 June 2013. Link

Apr 6, 2014

From the Mouths of Babes

In cleaning up my Google Drive, I stumbled upon Google Presentation that a 4th Grader team created to celebrate and teach other students about Scrum in the classroom back in 2012
This brings back some great memories of how engaged the students were and how Scrum become confident as self-directed learners while having a blast.

Please enjoy how they describe their Scrum experience.