(n.) a sharing that recognizes a person for a thing they do or way they are; a declaration of having witnessed positive things from another person; most powerful when specific names and examples are given, and when the person(s) being named is present to hear
(n.) afternoon spawn point gathering of students and staff in which we share and reflect on the things we did during the day
(n.) 1. abstractly, the mindset and culture within the ALC network; a paradigm fusing practices from Agile Software Development, intentional communities, and learner-designed education philosophies
2. (coloq.) the Agile Learning Center in East Harlem, NYC (ALC-NYC)
(adj.) adaptable, flexible, unencumbered [by attachment to processes or elaborate bureaucracies]
(n.) name of official ALC Minecraft server, originally started and named by Jack Foss-Kelly. IP Address: s6.minespan.com:25709
(n.) 1. a young person enrolled as a student at an Agile Learning Center
2. a person who intentionally self-directs their learning, typically within an ALC community
(n.) a community run school, led by a certified ALF/Holder and operating under the principles of the ALC philosophies.
(n.) one who ALFs. see ALF
(n.) the philosophical basis from which ALCs operate, summarized into four points:
See Official Agile Roots on the ALC Community Master Board
(n.) a group of software development methods in which solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams. It promotes adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, continuous improvement, and encourages rapid and flexible response to change.
(n.) commitment, pledge, assent
(n.) see Agile Learning Center
(n.) an Agile Learning Center that existed in Everett, Washington from 2013-2014 in the form of a homeschooling group
(n.) an Agile Learning Center in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico
(n.) Agile Learning Center in East Harlem, New York. Also known as The Agile Learning Center, the first ALC started by Arthur Brock in Year Zero.
(n.) see Agile Learning Facilitator
(v.) to facilitate agile learning; to support learners in discerning and pursuing their interests, to model ALC philosophies, tools, and practices, as well as self-direction, collaboration and compassion, to hold a safe space for learners to explore and grow, to nurture a rich and supportive culture in an ALC community
(n.) all the Agile Learning Facilitators in various levels of engagement across the network
(n.) immersive month-long program for training aspiring facilitators, working on network projects, running a summer camp, building community, deepening participant understanding of ALC philosophy, holding in-person peer reviews, supporting start-up groups, and officially entitle ALFs to take on new levels of engagement
(n.) the legal governing body at ALC-NYC composed of staff, a parent representative from each enrolled family, members of the original board of trustees, and any special members elected to it. The assembly organizes into working groups around topics like finances, admissions, and parent community support, and they share updates with each other at quarterly meetings. They also approve staff changes and budgets.
(n.) the first column on the Community Mastery Board (CMB).
(n.) a problem or opportunity that a community member (ALF, student, etc) is aware of. The “awareness” is then added to the first column of the CMB on a sticky note or Trello card. It is then referred to as “an awareness” until it is re-written as an implementation and placed into the “Implementated” column on the CMB.
(v.) 1. to talk foolishly or too much
2. to make speech sounds that do not make sense to the hearer
3. to make the quiet sound of water flowing over rocks
(adj.) a speaking pattern option on the Gameshifting Board: participants speak freely in side conversations until the Game Master shifts to a new pattern.
(n.) the space on a Kanban also sometimes labelled as “ideas” or “to do”; catch-all for dumping tasks, intentions, and goals that are not lined up for today but you want to remember for the future
(n.) an online platform for publishing writing, photos, videos, and links to create a shareable, ongoing narrative describing one’s thoughts and experiences
(v.) to create new content for publication on one’s blog
(imperative) Drew reminding everyone else to share their experiences on the awesome website he manages
(n.) a limit or edge; in literal terms, the end of something; in metaphorical terms, the point past which a person becomes uncomfortable or feels overburdened
(n.) see Gratitude Circle
(n.) Friday (or last day of the weekly sprint) morning meeting for intentional culture creation; staff and students gather to discuss observations, concerns, and proposed upgrades; the Community Mastery Board is used to track action steps we are taking to establish desired cultural norms
(v.) to change [a topic, pattern, form of meeting, etc.]
(n.) inaccurate colloquial term referring to Cloudhouse by approximate location (actually East Chatham)
(n.) a question asked in order to better understand a previous comment or question;
(hand signal) indicated presently by curving one’s hand into a “C” shape and raising it for the speaker/facilitator to see; used to help the facilitator manage the flow of a conversation or to give non-native speakers of the conversation language a chance to check their understanding of a term/concept
(n.) 1. a field or empty space
2. the sharing of negative thoughts or emotions—frustrations, concerns, disappointments—with the intention of releasing them, letting them go, so the individual can proceed to other things feeling heard and at peace (clear)
(v.) to make empty, to remove clutter or obstacles
(n.) an Agile Learning Center that existed as a homeschooling group in upstate New York from 2011-2014
(n.) individual who holds coherence for a task or domain.
(n.) block of time set aside on Fridays (or the last day of the weekly sprint) for staff and students to write blog posts [as of 2014-2015, this is 40 minutes of focused work time]
(n.) adapted Kanban updated during Change Up meetings and used to track community agreements, cultural patterns in our awareness, and trial solutions/upgrades; tool used for intentional and collaborative creations of cultural norms rather than rules; ALC-NYC board presently includes columns for awareness, implementation, practicing (levels one through three), and mastery
(n.) 1. a person who is grumpy and/or slurchy
2. a person who spends all day on their computer or phone, barely interacting with others
(n.) 1. a group from within a community who commit to meet and discuss ways to support the health of the community
2. a meeting of the above group, usually to resolve a conflict, address a concern, create a new structure, or upgrade a current structure
(n.) the flow of activity from the start to the end of the school day; simplified example from ALC-NYC would be arrive/set intentions/make magic/make magic/make magic/clean up/reflect on and document the day/share gratitudes/go home
(n.) INSERT PICTURE ALC-NYC tool for visualizing the scheduled happenings of the day
(verb phrase) to name failure, usually related to a previously stated intention [see intention], without the negative connotation usually associated with failing.
(v.) an onomatopoeic way to agree with the speaker without interrupting (see also: twinkles)
(n.) response to a previous comment or question during facilitated discussion; indicated presently at ALC-NYC by pointing at the speaker who one is responding to and alternating moving hands up and down; used to help the facilitator manage the flow of a conversation
(n.) the space on a Kanban also sometimes labelled as “finish line” for tasks, intentions, and projects that have been accomplished
(n.) (short for Emerging Leader Labs) a social change incubator run by Arthur Brock in upstate New York, where Agile Learning Centers were imagined and developed; heard usually in the context of “He was at ELL. Weren’t you at ELL?”
(n.) an Agile Learning Center in Asheville, North Carolina. Started by Liam Nilsen in 2010 in association with Not Back To School Camp.
(n.) 1. One who actively supports the realization of a happening [may be a meeting, game, conversation, event, personal exploration, or many other things]
2. (tech.) an Agile Learning Center community member active in a school (or schools), usually but not always focused on engaging with young people
(n.) concept from Finite and Infinite Games by James P. Carse, characterized by a definite beginning and ending, and a clearly defined set of rules. The purpose of Finite Play is to finish the game.
(v.) to move smoothly, like water
(n.) a positive psychology term indicating the state of mind where one is immersed in an activity and feeling energized by their engagement
(n.) dedicated attention to a thing, process, project, or person
(v.) to give dedicated attention to a thing, process, project, or person
(n.) a hand sign from ALC-NYC requesting that attention be turned to the speaker or meeting in progress; presently performed by pointing at one’s forehead (third eye…) while seeking to make eye-contact with the unfocused person or people
(n.) a task or tasks that require dedicated attention
(phrase) used at ALC-NYC (ex. “I’m doing focused work in the office for the next hour.”) to indicate to others that one requests minimal interruption and that distractingly loud/raucous/emotionally charged energy be kept out of their work space
(n.) person responsible for setting and manipulating a Gameshifting Board.
(v.) use of a Gameshifting Board, usually by the Game Master.
(n.) tool for making implicit conversation patterns explicit.
(n.) state of being appreciative for benefit(s) received
(n.) type of reflection, usually shared at Gratitude Circle
(n.) Community ritual to close the day; students and staff sit in a circle (usually with a candle in the middle and student facilitator) from which they take turns sharing gratitudes, achievements, acknowledgements, and clearings
(n) culturally agreed upon signals used during meetings to facilitate effective, flowing conversations.
(n.) one’s rational self; when one operates from a “head space” they are thinking in terms of what is practical, efficient, or logical
(phrase) used to assure a speaker who is repeating their point or rambling that they have been heard and do not need to continue restating their argument; a compassionate way to cue someone to wrap up what they’re saying, based on the understanding that we often repeat our messages in several different ways when we’re not sure that they were understood or heard the way we initially explained them (and generously misinterpreting monologuing so the group can cue the speaker to finish without embarrassing him/her).
(hand signal) indicated by a hand sign where the thumb and first finger are used to make a circle and then placed over the heart
(n.) one’s emotional self; when one operates from a “heart space” they are guided by their feelings or intuition
(v.) to ensure that a task or domain—game clean-up, the running of a website, building an arcade cabinet—is attended to, through to completion if it’s a finite task; requires commitment, delegation, the ability to break down a large project into smaller parts and time-management skills
(v.) to create the emotional, mental, or social conditions for a particular outcome or set of possibilities to emerge from a specific situation or personal dynamic.
(n.) an ALF who also holds a space or project that other ALFs facilitate in; distinguished from an ALF through a peer-review process where group trust in their ability to both facilitate and run a space is confirmed; person in the fourth level of engagement with the ALF Community
(n.) process for removing harmful or destructive elements from an organism, used as a metaphor for processes with a similar function in communities
(n.) the second column of the Community Mastery Board (CMB).
(n.) may refer to the “solution” to an “awareness” written on a sticky note on the CMB.
(n.) concept from Finite and Infinite Games by James P. Carse, characterized by actions taken to ensure the continuation of a game. The purpose of Infinite Play is to keep playing the game, with an occasional goal of bringing in new players. Rules for governing Infinite Play are flexible and can be changed as necessary to ensure the game keeps going.
(phrase) a paradigm derived from the above concept, which values adaptability and process, devalues absolute victories, and fosters a growth mindset
(n.) declaration of purpose or goal
(n.) when two or more persons work in the same space and/or time (if digital) on the same type of work. Can be collaborating on the same project or merely doing their own work in a shared space.
(phrase) used in the game “Join Us,” when two (or more) people walk through a space holding each other, attempting to get other humans to join them until everyone has formed a large human blob.
(n.) 1. extractable fluid contents of cells or tissues.
2. a motivating, inspiring, or enabling force or factor that gives one energy or brings pleasure.
3. inherent quality of a thing : essence.
(adj.) a speaking pattern option on the Gameshifting Board: participants offer their thoughts during pauses and breaks in the conversation; most informal conversations could be described as “jump in” and it is a useful pattern for flowing dialogue in which participants are listening well to each other
(n.) a tool developed at Toyota and used in Agile software development, adapted to become a tool for knowledge work and personal productivity, adapted by ALCs. Focuses on personal task management and visualizing steps/progress of long-term projects; most student and staff kanbans are whiteboards with columns labelled backlog, get set, go, and done into which intentions and tasks (written on sticky notes) are sorted
(phrase) at ALCs we make requests and declare intentions—these are examples of ways we use language that moves things; communications that are clear, direct, and specific empower us to make things move
(n.) extent to which one is involved in a community or project; within the ALC Network there are five defined levels of ALF engagement: declared, rising, recognized, holder, and network holder.
External Link: Membrane section on ALF Newbie Page
(phrase) key principle to workflow management and Kanban use: always limit your works in progress (WIP) in order to lower the odds that tasks will get lost, you will get overwhelmed and stall, and/or that many things will be started and none completed
(adj.) a speaking pattern option on the Gameshifting Board, marking group use of a passed object to make clear whose turn it is to be heard; useful for intentional sharing
(n.) an ancient tool, typically a ritual stick; the holder of the listening stick speaks thoughtfully, while others hold space for their sharing by listening
(n.) refers to the fourth column on a Community Mastery Board (CMB). These are implemented items the community has mastered.
(n.) a thin, usually permeable partition or boundary; used in reference to the distinctions between kinds and levels of individual engagement with the ALF network
(n.) a democratic free school, founded in 2008 by Pat Werner and a group of families in NYC; during the 2012-2013 school year, Arthur Brock began the transition process to an ALC by implementing kanban boards, gameshifting, and shorter meetings.
(n.) sandbox indie game, originally designed by Markus Persson and developed by Mojang, that is based on placing and breaking blocks; very popular amongst Agile Learners and some ALFs.
(n.) morning spawn point gathering of students and staff in which we declare/share our intentions for the day; official start of the school day (9:30 am at ALC-NYC as of 2014-2015 year)
(n.) an ALF who can support multiple ALCs and Holder ALFs, can also support non-ALC communities in understanding and adapting ALC tools and practices; person in the fifth level of engagement with the ALF Community
(n.) inclusive reference to all existing ALCs and ALFs
(n.) an ALF whose focus is on nurturing and growing the network; an ALF who runs trainings, supports Multiple Holder and Holder ALFs, and acts as an ambassador for the model; person in the sixth level of engagement with the ALF Community
(n). a form, usually found in digital format on ALC websites, that is submitted by students in order to receive attendance credit on days they participate in off-site learning opportunities; supports the 1st Agile Root.
(adj.) extremely powerful or awesome; sometimes to the point of unfairness.
See also: antonym UP [pron: yuːpiː])
(n.) 1. a check-in with a group of peers to evaluate progress, articulate strengths, and identify areas for growth
2. the process through which a Rising ALF can become recognized as an ALF or an ALF become recognized as a competent Holder, Multiple Holder, and/or Network holder; a process for making group trust explicit
(n.) area on a Kanban board that holds tasks/intentions paused because support is required from another person.
(v.) to move a sticky note- or abstractly, an idea- to the Pen area on a Kanban board
(n.) a reminder of the structure or intention of a meeting. For example, if the conversation during an intention-setting meeting turns into a debate about character design in video games, a participant may make a delta sign with their hands (“throw up a delta” in ALC-NYC speak) to pause that conversation, offer a point of process, and get the meeting back on track
(v.) 1. to gently jab someone with a finger or other implement of annoyance
2. to remind someone about a task they seem to have forgotten about
(adj.) a speaking pattern option on the Gameshifting Board: similar to jump in, except that each person only gets to speak once (popcorn kernels only pop once); useful when the facilitator wants to give everyone a chance to speak but is also sensitive to time or wanting to encourage succinctness
(n.) one of Tomis Parker’s favorite foods
(n.) the third column on the Community Mastery Board (CMB). Refers to implemented items on the CMB that a community is practicing..
(n.) 1. the process of looking back on something; may involve considering satisfaction levels, outcomes, causes and effects; may lead to self-expression or sharing through writing, vlogging, or declaring personal intentions for the future informed by lessons gleaned from an experience
2. the image shown to its source by a shiny surface, documentation, or facilitator
(n.) a clear ask which includes specific people, action steps, a date and time; followed up by an opportunity for the person/people the request is made of to accept, deny, or propose a counteroffer; part of Language That Moves Things
(v.) to formally ask for something (work, objects, time, etc.) using the elements listed above to increase the catalyzing force of the communication
(n.) an individual engaged at an ALC, practicing facilitating and learning from more experienced ALFs; distinguished from Declared ALF by their having been invited to get involved at an ALC; person in the second level of engagement with the ALF Community
(n.) demi-God of ALC-NYC, known for his epic beard.
(n.) the platonic ideal of facial hair, capable of mesmerizing small children and eliciting comments of awe from other male-bodied beings.
(n.) 1. a practice from Agile software development that has been adapted to an ALC context, often resulting in more of an “open space technology” approach to scheduling;a [somewhat free-form and chaotic] block of time in which individuals come together to schedule individual appointments and projects with each other for the day
(v.) to schedule appointments and projects for the day with other involved parties
(n.) a whiteboard at ALC-NYC where anyone proposing an appointment or project to an individual who hasn’t arrived in the space yet or to as-of-yet unidentified interested parties writes their proposal and name so their partner(s) knows to come scrum with them before morning meeting
(n.) Monday (or first day of the weekly sprint) morning meeting in which the community schedules group activities for the week; offerings, trips, projects are scheduled and written up on the weekly schedule board; volunteers may come in and propose offerings of classes/trips/workshops for the week
(v.) to create the schedule for the week
(n.) 1. looseness in a rope or line
2. a second chance, softened consequence, or generous misinterpretation
3. a group-chat-like communication tool, used for communicating to teams in a form more accessible than email
(v.) 1. to not to something one committed to
2. to use the tool Slack
(n.) 1. an unclear request; often pointed out by Tomis Parker. [see Request]
2. a request lacking a specific scope of time, clarity of details, or left unresponded to
(n.) feeling of lethargy; a relaxed, tired, lazy state in which one may lack motivation
(adj.) slurchy displaying symptoms of slurch (see above)
(n.) 1. in gaming, the point where a player resets when they enter a game or are killed and start over
2. at ALC-NYC, the small groups in which students and staff gather for morning intention-setting and afternoon reflection
(n.) a period of active working time, a cycle of work on a project [see Weekly Sprint]
(v.) to stop an off-topic conversation, sometimes with the intention of putting it aside until later
(n.) 1. contract signed by students at ALC-NYC in order to join the community; entails agreeing to participate productively in meetings, respecting yourself and others, cleaning up after yourself, using shared resources mindfully, honoring agreements, sharing your learning on your blog
2. a super helpful tool for establishing, communicating, and maintaining community norms and boundaries
(n.) an agreement that the word “Stop” will be respected and immediately responded to with the cessation of a behaviour or game, long enough at least for a check-in with the person who feels upset or uncomfortable enough to say “stop” or “stop rule.” Built into the student agreement at most ALCs, in order to establish a safe and consent-based culture
(phrase) umbrella term for the ever growing and changing arsenal of workflow management tools, communication channels, documentation mechanisms, rituals, meetings, and structures we implement to support students and each other in practicing self-direction within community
(n.) “Traveling ALF” - an Agile Learning Facilitator that travels to ALCs to facilitates for an impermanent amount of time. See ALF.
(n.) online project or workflow management tool, used at ALC-NYC for digitizing kanbans and documenting learners’ activities
(n.) a glimmer or sparkle
(v.) 1. to sparkle or shine with an unsteady light
2. to use a hand sign signifying enthusiasm or agreement where one wiggles the fingers on both hands (similar to “spirit fingers”)
3. to agree with, enough that one might use the above hand signal if they were unable to talk
(adj.) very weak or inefficient; sometimes to the point of unfairness.
See also: antonym OP (over-powered) [pron: ǝʊ-piː]
(n.) 1. an area or surface that goes upward; an upward slope
2. an occurrence in which one thing is replaced by something better, newer, more valuable, etc.
(v.) to replace a thing with something better, newer, more valuable, etc.
(phrase) commonly shouted (especially by Ryan Shollenberger) after another person uses the word in a more traditional sense; originally shouted in the context of an Android phone upgrade by Timothy Shollenberger, Ryan’s dad.
(n.) [language taken from Agile Software Development, where a sprint is a cycle of work on a project] the flow of activity from the start to the end of the week, beginning with a Set-the-Week scheduling meeting and ending with Community Blogging Time for reflection and creating sharable value
(n.) works in progress; started projects; from Agile Software Development. See: Limit Your WIP
[insert all the archetypes]
[insert principles related terms]
clarifying question, Heard You From a Heart Space, twinkles, point-of-process
Aaron “The Lorax” Mahnaz