Curriculum Innovation and Agile Development

(Presented at L2 Asia 2017)

Let’s face it – there is a general sense that the current education system is not up to the challenges of the future. And, it’s not clear how we get from “here” to “there.” Over fifty years ago, John F. Kennedy said: “We choose to go to the moon not because it is easy, but because it is hard.” Today, this approach inspires organizations like Google’s X Lab to focus on radical solutions to huge challenges using breakthrough technologies.

This moonshot thinking approach is what has steered the collaborative research and discussions of Elementary School educators at Saigon South International School who embarked four years ago on a process to redesign the curriculum and implement a vision for learning innovation.

These innovative approach to curriculum development, was presented on November 2017 at the L2 Conference in Shanghai. Here is the slide show and resources Melanie and I shared. Feel free to use.

Session Goals

This session aims to empower educators to create the future they want to see in schools.

Participants will learn about the planning process and the Agile Development approach that drove the curricular transformations in fourth grade at Saigon South International School. They will understand the challenges that we considered as solvable or difficult to overcome, and how we collaboratively strategized and designed an innovative curriculum. Participants will walk away with resources and ideas, inspired to transform curriculum in their own schools.

Session Outcomes

Using a design thinking approach, this session will provide an opportunity for participants to explore and redefine their units of study in ways that spark innovation, harness internal capacities, and boost community agency. Participants will also have the opportunity to explore how project management methodologies from the world of software startups may provide a good framework for launching your Moonshot in education. Participants will discuss and share their thinking and leave with fresh ideas and methodologies to take back to their schools.

Ice Breaker

  • What is your favorite new innovative education tool, program, or practice?
  • What problem does it solve and how?

Check out our Padlet wall

X-Company’s Moonshot Video

X-Company’s Moonshot Model

Our Moonshot Model

Design Thinking

Planning Document

Information Sources

Resources on Ideation

  • Wishing
  • Questioning Assumptions
  • Opportunity Redefinition
  • Worst Idea Factory

Even More…

Minimum Viable Product

We looked at what software start-ups call Minimum Viable Product: An MVP is a “version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort. (LOOK AT THIS VIDEO)

  • What are the minimum features of your product or project?
  • How little could you possibly prepare before launching?
  • Launch early and often. Iterate. Iterate. Iterate.

SuperUnit Series: G4 Talks | “Independent Me”

SuperUnit Series: G4 Documentaries | “Viable Vietnam”

SuperUnit Series: G4 Energy Saving Prototypes | “Thinking Outside the Box”

Click here to check the Presentation and Resource page for the “Coding and Making with a Purpose” session presented by Alfredo Papaseit and Melanie Sylvester at the 21st Century Learning Conference 2016.

Agile Development

If you choose to pursue this project, you might learn a great deal from outside education, particularly the world of software startups. We chose what they call an Agile Development Approach. Agile Development is a Project Management Methodology…it’s all about iterations. We favor getting to work, digging in and doing stuff as opposed to having tons of documentation, and a million meetings”…”quick meetings…short tight documentation….very streamlined and time boxed, and very collaborative”)

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