What is SELFSCRUM?

SELFSCRUM helps alternative schools and self-learners to expand their competencies and learn self-directed learning.

What does it mean? We need a united effort from all stakeholders to elevate child and adolescent learning to a new level that is relevant to today’s world and future challenges. We firmly believe that schools and learning need to be completely rethought.

The good news is that there are already many good approaches. They come from many different directions. Be it from classical schools, where many motivated people with good ideas are trying to keep an ossified system alive, be it from the free economy, where knowledge and learning are nowadays essential qualities for survival. And last but not least, the social forces of the current sustainability movements, which have learned to organize themselves in a modern way to give voice to their concerns.

Like any complex system, such a structure does not emerge overnight and not in the quiet closet of a tinkerer, but in places of learning where courageous and innovative people dare to think and act differently.

How it all began

Despite its young age, SELFSCRUM already has an eventful history behind it. Multiple strands of action have overlapped here in a short period of time and created a momentum that on the one hand is still rather searching-random, but on the other hand represents the accumulation of our conceptual work of the last years. It’s all simultaneously open and still very much in motion - I suspect it will stay that way.

Hackathon

It all started with thoughts about the EUvsVirus Hackathon. After founding our school, we were looking for a long time for something that would support our free school in its learning processes - and not only from the school’s point of view, but also for the students:inside themselves. In the current Corona situation, the new dimension of “remote learning” was added. We came up with the idea of making a software solution just as free as the school and, shortly before the hackathon, sketched out digital whiteboard apps with integrated programmed extensions to enhance them in such a way that the free form of editing is preserved while still supporting the necessary learning activities.

The hackathon weekend was a good start to discuss the considerations and play through a few use cases. With the international team, we had two and a half intense days that ended in a finished video, project presentation, and the newly created selfscrum.org website after working through the night on Monday.

Unfortunately, since we didn’t have any software developers in the team, we couldn’t build a prototype as we had planned. After we still made it to the finalist round of the competition, we unfortunately couldn’t take a winning spot.

Further feedback

At the barcamp of the German EUDEC meeting one week later and at an online meetup of the association Raum für natürliches Lernen e.V. I could present the idea again and collect further requirements from the feedback. After that it became a bit quieter around SELFSCRUM as software.

Finding the “right” vision

This led directly to the next question: Which processes are at all relevant in the school as a learning space and which are not? In free and open schools, this is always a back and forth between the desire for an individual, fear-free design of the learning processes for the individual child and the necessary verification processes that schools in Germany have due to the legal framework and which also still shape our “free” thinking much more than we would like.

So what is -quite pragmatically from the school business- the “right view” on learning processes and their administration?

At the EU Hackathon and also at the German EUDEC meeting a weekend later, we noticed that the efficiency of the “processes” is often far too much in the foreground and the actual origin -learning and social interaction- is lost in the process.

We would like to change that in a system(at)ic way. We offer a methodical framework and a learning offer which can be accepted by the pupils and which, despite all freedom and flexibility, manages not only to provide evidence, but above all to strengthen the learning process and the joy of learning in such a way that we can let the pupils themselves be responsible for developing the contents which they want to have.

This is the story of SELFSCRUM in a nutshell. We are looking forward to your feedback!

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