I am trying to find links and resources about applying Agile development methodologies to education and learning. Three years ago (almost to the day) I wrote agile learning – an alternative learning model, and am now really keen to get back into this line of thought in my spare time. If you have any links or resources, please let me know! Or if you’re interested in why it’s an exciting area… read on.
Many – if not most – of the concepts of Agile/Lean software development transfer incredibly well to education and learning. The most obvious example being valuing “individuals and interactions over processes and tools” (nothing new – most people would agree), but also less obvious principles. For my work as a software engineer we’ve been using a Kanban board for the last year or so (a tool for visualising your work and identifying things that block throughput). Kanban principles actually originate at Toyota but have been applied to software engineering over the past few years (as well as other areas), and seem to have excellent application to personal learning and education too – such as helping to manage the amount of context-switching a school or uni student is asked to do.
But I’m finding it quite hard to find out what’s already out there on the topic of Lean/Agile learning and education – most searches result in companies that teach lean principles for software development, not applying those principles to education and learning generally. I was excited to find Susan’s Agile Education presentation recently, but after contacting Susan it seems she has had the same difficulty in finding resources.
So if you know of any blogs, articles or other resources (or are just keen to discuss and interact on the topic), don’t hesitate to let me know! I’m going to start planning a practical series on agile learning (as it will help me focus ideas for tools enabling agile learning in mainstream settings).
Edit: Nice, I just found Jim Benson’s personal Kanban series which has lots of info about applying Kanban to personal life.
Edit 2010-10-01: A google alert just led me to David Jenning’s Agile learning definition. It’s general ‘agile’ principles for learning and education but not deriving from agile methodology in software engineering as far as I can see.
Edit 2011-01-18: Thanks Hannu for the pointer to the University of Geneva’s EduTechWiki’s Agile Learning page.