Agile learning: How 'making do' can evolve into 'making good'

David Jennings, ALT Online Newsletter, May 31, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Agile is a software development methodology based on iterative and incremental development using self-organizing, cross-functional teams. It evolved in response to the rapidly changing environments and uncertain end-user requirements characteristic of the internet. Agile learning is the migration of that concept into education. How well does it travel? "Some might say that we are close to that tipping point now, or have already passed it... It is clearly going to be a rough, uneven and sometimes ill-tempered period of transition. The recent hoo-ha over the term Edupunk ... is just a small portent of things to come." As with all discussions of this sort, David Jennings brings up the examples of Sugata Mitra and the Khan Academy. But it's a long way to go from Pong and Duke Nukem to, well, Duke Nukem Forever or the internet. "At the moment the main focus of activity on the site is in what you might call ‘hobby learning': how to play a musical instrument, or speak a foreign language. That locates it firmly in the supplement quadrant of the grid. But imagine a tipping point at which the way you build the learning credentials for your life." More items from the new ALT Newsletter.
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