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Posted by on Jul 7, 2017

Agile EDU – Treeline Keynote

What does creating software have to do with English literature?


Here’s the secret we’ll discuss – the inspiration behind Treeline: software engineers and product managers and executives and QA engineers and UX designers spend their days talking about literature and writing.

It’s an educator’s dream. It’s almost too good to be true.

Software engineers and product managers spend their days talking about stories, epics, themes, personas. It’s how software gets built. They write and edit “user stories,” then sit around critiquing them. Daily.

In this keynote presentation, appropriate for a presentation to your faculty and/or students, we’ll talk through the basics of modern agile software development (yes, define ‘agile’!) and connect specific examples from top software like Snapchat and Instagram to some of the core texts in your curriculum.

We’ll demonstrate how creating software is about far more than coding, just like building a house is about more than hammering nails.

Time permitting, we’ll also connecting agile methodologies to a teacher’s daily life, working to improve his or her classroom and teaching. Because, at its heart, agile is about continuous improvement in the face of limited data. Sound familiar?

Outcomes (we’ll work with you to tailor to your goals):

  • High level understanding of how software like Instagram, Facebook, and Google Docs is built
  • Working understanding of key terms like user stories and epics
  • Concrete connection between a key text in your curriculum and agile software development
  • Three specific assignments you can integrate into your curriculum to begin bridging the gap between English, writing, and the world of software development
  • Examples to bring agile methodologies into your everyday teaching practice.

Speaker Bio:

Andrew McCann, 11trees’ founder, is an educator, edtech entrepreneur and software product leader.

He has led technology teams developing assessment, adaptive learning, digital publishing, student information systems, and financial aid automation solutions. Responsible for million-dollar budgets and teams of engineers in the US and offshore, Andrew has been responsible for major success and near-catastrophic failures.

For 10 years he was also a lead course designer and teacher in Drexel University’s groundbreaking E4 integrated engineering and humanities curriculum for first-year students. Before teaching, Andrew built locomotives, steam turbines, TV screens, and plate steel in a variety of manufacturing management roles where he was steeped in the lean / agile culture that has since revolutionized software development.

He holds a BSEE in Electrical Engineering and an MA in Creative Writing in English Literature.

It is this fusion of perspectives that led to 11trees and the Treeline Curriculum. He is passionate about the “interconnectedness of all things” and the importance of soft skills in the tech economy.

An accomplished speaker, he has presented at numerous education conferences and has worked closely with a number of universities and school districts on assessment and accreditation initiatives. In 2006 he founded Waypoint Outcomes, built the company into an early leader in competency-based education and assessment with clients including The Wharton School of Business, San Jose State University, Seton Hall University, Texas A&M University, and the Lower Merion School District. In 2009 Bridgepoint Education (NYSE: BPI) acquired Waypoint Outcomes to power their own online universities.

He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MA in English Literature. He blogs at EdUnbound and you can follow him @ajmcc.