Agile2014 Submission: Agile for Educators

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Agile2014 is only 6 months away!


That might seem like a long ways to go, but if you’re submitting a presentation or workshop for the conference, you know that last night was your last chance to propose a session. I know because I actually finally did it. It took some convincing and discussing with some good friends, and a generous agreement by Jimi Fosdick of Fearless Agility to co-present with me, but I did it!


The topic is one I’m really passionate about – agile in an educational setting. I had the privilege of presenting an Agile/Scrum training to a group of high school teachers in October and November of 2013, and the experience was life-changing. The teachers were all Technology teachers, meaning they taught classes like digital media, computer science, web development, networking, etc. The premise was that agile methodologies like Scrum could benefit them in two ways:

1) As a tool when planning and executing their curriculum for the year/semester

2) Providing an agile framework they could teach to their students to improve their challenges with project-based learning. I.e., the students could apply it to the projects they work on for their classes, since they worked in groups/teams

The teachers were amazing. They were engaged, interested, and willing to experiment. I can’t wait to share details of the experiment with others and continue to improve and expand upon the effort.


Jimi, on the other hand, has worked with educational technology for 5 years, and has also been working with education professionals and scholars on finding ways to apply agility (specifically Scrum) in an educational context. His work in this field is a critical part of this presentation – taking it from the what-if to the here’s-how-it-can-be-done.


Now comes the waiting game part. There are some amazing speakers, presenters, and topics that have been submitted for this year’s conference, so no matter what happens, I can’t wait to attend the conference in Orlando and continue to learn, grow, and connect with friends (old and new) along this journey of agility!

Cross your fingers for me!

Here’s our submission:

Agile for Educators

Presenter: Hala Saleh Co-Presenter: Jimi Fosdick
Track: Research Session Type: Talk Audience Level: Practicing
Room Setup: No Preference Duration: 75 minutes
Keywords: Agile, scrum, students, education, teachers, curriculum

This session is a real-world, where-do-we-go-from-here exploration of applying agile concepts and frameworks in the classroom.

This presentation will cover two main aspects of agile in Education:
1) Applying agile concepts (specifically Scrum) for the planning and execution of educational curriculums and teaching plans
2) Teaching educators about agile frameworks (specifically Scrum) and how to apply them in their classrooms for student projects

Hala has hands-on experience with delivering Scrum training to high school teachers and working with them to investigate and coach them on the uses of Scrum with their classrooms. She is excited about the application of Scrum in a non-software context and wants to spread the Agile Manifesto for Education.

Jimi worked in educational technology for 5 years and learned more about education and educators than any non-teacher should ever know. He was been working with his sister (a program director for a school for special needs children) and his uncle (a professor at San Jose State University) in finding ways to apply agility, specifically Scrum, in educational contexts. This presentation represents a theoretical overview of his discoveries and, more importantly, why agility can and should be used outside of software.

Information for Review Team:

The session will be split where 1/2 of the time will be spent covering research and work that has been done to figure out how agile concepts (specifically Scrum) can be used for the planning and execution of educational curriculums and teaching plans.
The second 1/2 of the class will cover a real-life scenario where Scrum was taught to a group of high school teachers, and they were given the assignment to use the framework with their own students. This will conclude with an exploration of the outcomes as reported by the teachers, and a review of artifacts shared by the teachers.

Prerequisite Knowledge:

A working knowledge of agile concepts and main methodologies is encouraged. The session covers Scrum, so a knowledge of Scrum is helpful.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Part I:
  • Describe the basic principles of primary, secondary and post secondary educational development projects
  • Describe the applicability of agility in an education context
  • Build a basic curriculum skeleton using an agile approach
  • Part II:
  • Experience Report of delivering Scrum training to high school teachers
  • Overview of materials presented to teachers and most effective use of time when training
  • Overview of format & outcomes of presentation
  • Review of teacher feedback and results of check-ins with teachers on student progress and project results
Presentation History:

Hala Saleh has presented at local PMI Chapters, as well as co-presented with Jimi Fosdick (Co-presenter) at Agile 2012.
Jimi has presented at most Scrum Gathering and Agile conferences in the past 5 years.

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4 Responses to Agile2014 Submission: Agile for Educators

  1. Gustavo says:

    Hi Hala,
    Very interesting your propuse, I hope see you in Orlando.
    Gustavo recently posted..¿Siempre debemos fallar para lograr algo?.. no lo creo.My Profile

  2. Pat Wright says:

    Being one of those in the Teachers session you did an excellent job and you will really rock this if you are selected. :) Hope you make it in!


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