Badges, Trello and Organisation


While I enjoy a geeky lifehack blog post as well as the next person I rarely take the advice. My inbox is pretty messy, I have no consistent way of organising files and I keep notes in text files in several different places (mostly dropbox), links in and that is about it. No GTD here I am afraid.

I have been watching the technical guys at work use kanban boards on the wall for a while now so was interested in Doug’s recent posts on Trello 1. Combined with a rainy day and the opportunity to just run through an open badges experience I though I’d give it a go.


Trello is certainly easy to set up. I though I’d have a we shot at organising Edutalk episodes. We had been doing this with Google Sheets, but that seemed to be getting a bit complex.

Trello is a free web-based project management application originally made by Fog Creek Software in 2011, that spun out to be its own company in 2014 2

It basically lets you organise lists of cards and move them from one board to another. For the 101 badge Doug suggested Create a new board with (at least) three lists: To do, Doing, and Done.

I changed this to Possible Guests, Shows, Broadcast.

The card have names of the guests, notes, a check list (contact, agreed, set date etc). labels etc. When the date is agreed I set a due date and drag card to the Show Column. The fact it has a due date adds it to a calendar and I subscribe to that with my mac/phone calendar app.


This got me the Kanban 101 badge, thanks Doug. That let me work through the P2PU badges process, which is pretty straightforward.

  1. You go to the Kanban 101 badge page.
  2. Click submit a project for this badge and away you go. (you do need an account for P2PU but I seem to have picked one of those up before)
  3. Claiming the badge only requires a screenshot and a few lines of text.
  4. Once you submit you get an email and then another one when your submission is approved. Visiting the page allows you to add this to your mozilla backpack (I got one of those a while back)

This process feels pretty smooth, the only problem I came across was sending the badge to my backpack. I had a problem doing that until i went and signed on to backpack before submitting as opposed to as I went along.

Another Badge?

Doug has also made an Advanced Kanban Badge so I though I’d give that a go too.

The Criteria:

  1. Add a ‘Work In Progress’ (WIP) limit to the ‘Doing’ list
  2. Define and use labels effectively
  3. Add attachments and due dates to cards
  4. Collaborate with others

My Effort:

  1. I didn’t add a WIP limit to my doing (shows list) as it does not need one.
  2. I had already added labels, for Wednesday/Tuesday the days we do shows and red one for ‘Agreed’ to indicate if guests have agreed to be on a show.
  3. Due dates are added when a card become a show to produce the calendar as describe above. I’ve tested out attachments and that might be useful going forward, it is pretty easy.
  4. I’ve invited my partner in EDUtalk to the board.

Given I’ve not exactly met the criteria I though I might try something else to see if that would get me a badge.

I’ve made a few customisations to the board, adding an icon and changing the background colour so I though I might change the background of the lists. There are no preferences for that.

I use an extension for Safari that allows you to test out CSS which got me what I wanted. I then need to use these styles when the board loads. I searched Safari extensions but didn’t find what I needed, but I did notice I had an unactivated extension stylish so activated that.3

Here is the styles I am using:

.list:nth-child(1) {
    background: #ccffcc;
.list:nth-child(2) {
    background: #ffcccc;
.list:nth-child(3) {
    background: #ff00ff;
.list:nth-child(4) {
    background: #ffffcc;

The final style just zooms the page out a wee bit letting me see the whole board on my macbook. It looks like there a pile of styles available for Trello at these might be better than mine;-)

This gives me the screenshot at the start of this post. The final advice on the Advance kanban badge is:

Evidence may be provided via a screencast, a series of screenshots, and/or a blog post.

Hopefully this will do it.

I wonder if this will make any difference to my organisation, I am hoping it may given kanban/trello seems to be an extremely simple system and the trello site is quite usable without recourse to any help.

Glow Blogs 558 days in

This is a pretty random time to look back, but I was browsing through some old posts here looking for a link and came across this from 22nd December 2013, before I was started my secondment to the Glow Team. I’ve changed the unordered list to an ordered one so that I can score myself.

I hope that glow will both continue to supply WordPress blogs and to make them much more powerful. I’ve no idea if I will be in a position to influence this, but this is what I would like:

  1. The MetawebLogAPI to be activated, this allows posting to blogs from mobile applications.
  2. More plugins, especially FeedWordPress that would allow a teacher to ‘collect’ their pupils blogs or anyone to create a space were others could easily contribute from their own blog.
  3. Access to editing the code, either through the web interface of via ftp (I guess this might be the hardest one to pull off).
  4. More themes (there are only about 6 in glow) would not do any harm.

One way to do this, would be for glow to supply web hosting, these spaces, like cheap web-hosting all over the internet, could allow one click installs of WordPress (and lots of other software). I explored this in a recent post here: Glow should be at the trailing edge? but have not really got an idea if this is possible from either a cost or execution point of view? I hope to find out soon if this is a possibility or a pipe dream.

from: EDUtalk, learning to love WordPress

We do continue to provide WordPress blogs and in my opinion a better service. The upgraded version of WordPress and much easier setup of a blog as the two major benefits.

As for the List:

  1. I failed at the first, right from the get go the developers, security advisers and technical experts told me the MetaWebLogAPI was not an option for Glow Blogs. It would not work with the RM login and other options did not seem to fit the bill. Since I’d being going on about this for years. It is a big disappointment to me. It is mitigated somewhat by the improving mobile interface of WordPress which will only get better as long as Glow keeps up with WordPress in a timely fashion (as planned).
  2. More plugins, especially FeedWordPress, we didn’t get FWP but we have a syndication plugin that does much of the same thing. I am not sure I’ve convinced many folk to use it or explained it properly, but the potential is there. There are not a host of other plugins that have been added, but there are a few. Jetpack in particular, even in the cutdown version running on Glow, is very useful.
  3. Access to editing the code, a pipe dream on a multi-site that values security and performance. We do have access to editing CSS via the Jetpack plugin. This is useful and probably usable by more folk.
  4. More themes, we gained TwentyTwelve, TwentyThirteen, TwentyFourteen when we upgraded to WP 4. Later we got TwentyFifteen, Yoko and P2. We will be losing Spectrum News and Suffusion in the future. There are a few more to be added when we have the resource to do so.

If I was being generous I’d give myself 5 out of 10 for this list, a could do better C.

I’ve probably got a bit of a better idea in the amount of work involved in doing something as simple as adding a theme or a plugin. I’d like it if there was a way for Glow users to submit requests and these to be evaluated in a reasonable time frame.

We have managed to upgrade WordPress itself and were a bit unlucky that 2 security upgraded had to be applied in a very short space of time recently. The notion of keeping reasonably up to date is firmly in place. We should get a lot of good things just by doing that.

The final post, provision of space for hosting your own blog, seems a bit starry eyed, but as I notice earlier today the idea is getting some traction. I don’t expect we would see this any time soon, but I still think it is worth thinking about.

I’ve another 141 days until the end of my secondment, in light of progress so far this is what I’d like to see before then:

  1. The improved e-portfolio system out of the door
  2. A few new themes and the odd plugin added.
  3. Upgrade WordPress if appropriate
  4. Make cast iron the expectations for continual improvement

I’ll mark myself on these in December.

More important I hope I see an increase in the use of blogs by pupils that actively impacts their learning.

The photo at the top is one that is averaged from several I took, I guess a C is average.

Domains for pupils an idea for now?

Pano from  Beinn Bhreac

Here are a great series of articles that I came across this morning. I’d recommend everyone interested in the Internet and education to read them.

For someone who reads a lot online I do not dip into TES often. So I was excited to find:
Jim Knight: ‘Let’s give all students their own domain name – and watch the digital learning that follows’ today.

Ironically I got it via Jim Groom’s post:
Domains and the Cost of Innovation. I do read Jim’s blog religiously.

Jim Knight’s article is based on another wonderful post by Audrey Watters> Audrey writes about the work of Jim Groom and others at the University of Mary Washington: The Web We Need to Give Students.

I’ve been muttering and mumbling about this idea for a good while now, based on reading about the UMW project and taking part in DS106. I really hope that the TES article gives the idea some legs and it can get some traction in the UK and more importantly, to me, in Scotland.

Before I started working on the Glow team, I included it in a post, Glow should be at the trailing edge?. I don’t think the idea has ever been given serious consideration at the right level. It certainly goes is a slightly different direction than Glow is going but it is still worth considering.

What I’ll be reading tomorrow

Just picked up an a great looking set of links from twitter. To late to fully check out tonight.


In Reply To Futzopublicus is my Dackolupatoni on CogDogBlog by Alan Levine

So do be a favor, see how we can change the distribution of sand grains, use “Futzopublicus” online now.

from: Futzopublicus is my Dackolupatoni

Nice lesson from Alan Levine, about the web and how it works, of  a URL being a living thing.

Just joining in to see how this ripples, but it would be an interesting lesson with a class:

  1. Who can find a word that is not searchable?
  2. How fast can we make it searchable?



Update 10 minutes after posting:

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 22.46.40

RSS is an Answer

Last evening I noticed on twitter:

And jumped in without thinking too much.

Rich (@richardtape) was providing drop in support on a Google Hangout. Rich works at University of British Columbia which is, of course, organizing the Teaching with WordPress course I am trying to follow.

I had, for a short while, the floor to myself. Unfortunately I made poor use of the time, my teacup was too full. Rich was extremely patient and told me the answer to my problem several times, I just didn’t notice. Hopefully I’ve learned a lesson for the next time I have a similar opportunity (hoping against experience here).

The problem is the one described in the previous post. To display a question/assignment/challenge post along with responses to that post. Christina solved it with the loop shortcode plugin. We do not have that plugin on GlowBlogs.

Five Thirty am Enlightenment

After mulling over the problem in bed this morning I suddenly listened to Rich again. He had repeatedly told me the best way to do this would be RSS but I had focused on plugins and facilities we do not have (yet?) in GlowBlogs.

So the way I would solve this in Glow blogs would be to use RSS widgets, to pull in responses. These responses would be on the same blog as the questions (but could be pulled in with the syndication plugin, or on another blog that does the aggregation). The widget would only be displayed on the post with the question as it would have a unique category. The responses would have a unique category or tag.

Here is a quick example: Challenge 2 Red.

On that post you can see the challenge (show something red). In the sidebar there is a widget showing a list of posts tagged red. This only shows up on the challenge page. I’ve added some information to the post to give more details.

There are a couple of drawbacks to this method.

  1. It is a bit fiddly for the person setting up the challenge. They need to create a widget per challenge and a category per challenge.
  2. The RSS update is not immediate. A WordPress query would be better.

I would be interested in using it for something like the bootcamp and see how it goes.

Call and Response

In Reply To I made discussions on WordPress on

I made discussions on WordPress! Christina describe how she organised some flipped learning and the student responses with the help of a plugin that list/shows posts with a shortcode.
I love this sort of approach.
I’ve been thinking through how to do this on a multisite such as GlowBlogs where you cannot easily install plugins.

I was hoping that sticky posts might do it but without plugins sticky posts don’t stick to the top of a category. The best way I can think of so far would be to have the question post link to a category and the answers go in that category (these could be syndicated in) the category description could give a summary of the ‘question’. I’d be interested in any ideas around this.

I guess if there was just 1 stimulus a week then that post could be sticky until the next week. Responses would be below. This would not give a nice archive.
Of course you have the responses as comments perhaps on a p2 themed blog but I guess we want to give the pupils/participants more ownership of their content and give them the chance to have more control of their response content.

I was going to post this as a comment on Christina’s post but thought I might see how trackbacks work out.

Full Fat Feeds A trivial point


I am trying to get back into Teaching with WordPress after a weeks holiday with little Internet. Given I am using my long train commute to do this there are many points on my journey where I have no internet connection. This should not be a problem as I have a plan.

I have subscribed to the aggregated course RSS feed. I sync FeeddlerPro over breakfast. Then on the train I can read posts and compose comments in Drafts. I can post these when I’ve a connection or when I get home.

The problem comes when someone has their blog set to show summaries of their posts in their feed. Just when my interest is caught my connection dies!

I know that some folk want eyeballs on their site rather than my RSS reader. Other folk many not have thought about it. If you are in the latter camp you might want to change your settings.

Settings – Reading – For each article in a feed show: full text.

5Rs at #TeachMeetGLA

I went along to TeachMeetGLA on Tuesday evening a couple of weeks ago.

Arriving before the crowd I noticed the very pleasant surroundings in CitizenM and very fast WiFi. Folk and the pizza started arriving around 5 before the 5:30 kick off. It was a great TM harking back to the early days. Ian kept the event moving smoothly along. I enjoyed all the presentations and broadcast them on Radio Edutalk. Hopefully I’ll get the archive up there shortly (I went on holiday I still hope).

This post will just cover what I tried to talk about in my 7 minute slot in a more coherent manner. Hopefully it also fits in with the #TeachWP course I am taking part in.

Given the event was sponsored by Microsoft (good sponsor, no advertising bar a wee window badge on the TeachMeet GLA logo) and featured a few talks by Microsoft educators I though I might talk about openness.

Unfortunately for the audience I had about half an hour of content to get through, fortunately for them I stopped shortly after the 7 minute mark. Here is a remix of my slides with some of what I would have like to say in note format:

Sharing is Confusing

Hopefully an amusing picture of the confusion around sharing.

I remember starting teaching, finding in schools shared topic boxes, filled with resources, banda worksheets and the like. What strikes me about these is 1. they point to the willingness of teachers to share and 2. Compared to digital sharing these resources were finite, bandas only printed a certain number of times, other resources (maps, pages out of magazines ect) wore out and were not duplicatable (no photo copier).

A photocopier and a computer freed me from the banda’s smell and freed pupils from my handwriting and spelling. It suddenly became a lot easier to create resources.

I had a short period of time where I made and sold educational shareware and learned a bit about forbidding license agreements.
It also pointed out the difficulty of making money from resources I created. Before the Internet had reached classrooms, mailing every school in Scotland a folded A4 and delivering software on floppy disk, made me 100s of pounds but took 1000s of hours.

During that time I was learning about online sharing through the AOL HyperCard forums and HyperCard mailing list. I’ve still not seen more generous place, a mix of professionals, amateurs and newcomers.

I then got more interested in my pupils sharing their learning via blogs and podcasts, seeing the wonderfilled results. This lead me to sharing on my own blog and living, to some extent, on the Internet.

We share all of the time online, status, photos, ideas, documents ect.
The cost is low, no stamps, paper, printing costs.

I am just rambling around sharing sharing, some ideas and reading I’ve been doing around sharing. I don’t have any conclusion other than there are a lot of things to think about to share as well as we can.

We are at a TeachMeet

Rules for breaking

  • No powerpoint (allowed… unless… you’re doing 20 slides for 20 seconds each)
  • actually been done in your classroom, I’ve not got a classroom…
  • If you’re using the web, make sure you save a copy of your tabs in Firefox!
  • No selling (I am selling sharing)

My presentation was not a powerpoint, but looked pretty much like one. I have no idea why the firefox tip is added as a rule, I can only thing it was due to TM starting in 2006 and FF was then the thinking teachers browser of choice.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons helps you share your knowledge and creativity with the world.

Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation

As a beginning blogger I soon became aware of creative commons in relation to my blogs content, flickr photos ect. At that time I choose a Attribution CC BY NC License. I don’t think there are any rules about sharing, but a TeachMeet audience is predisposed to share, thinking around the licensing can help.

Why Creative Commons

The idea of universal access to research, education, and culture is made possible by the Internet, but our legal and social systems don’t always allow that idea to be realized. Copyright was created long before the emergence of the Internet, and can make it hard to legally perform actions we take for granted on the network: copy, paste, edit source, and post to the Web. The default setting of copyright law requires all of these actions to have explicit permission, granted in advance, whether you’re an artist, teacher, scientist, librarian, policymaker, or just a regular user. To achieve the vision of universal access, someone needed to provide a free, public, and standardized infrastructure that creates a balance between the reality of the Internet and the reality of copyright laws. That someone is Creative Commons.

from About – Creative Commons

  • Like a good little blogger I’ve been trying to apply these licenses to my blog, flickr photos etc and respect them.
  • Like lots of teachers I have sometimes, just googled an image and copy-pasted text with abandon.
  • Like lots of Internet citizens I sometime choose to ignore copyright of large companies to make an amusing gif.

For Example

Free Cultural Works

Lord there is more!

Free cultural works are the ones that can be most readily used, shared, and remixed by others, and go furthest toward creating a commons of freely reusable materials.

Free Culture Works

Are free to use (for any purpose), remix & share. I am very attracted to the idea of building a culture like this in education. Free Culture Works seems to be where the CC movement is trying to get to, but the creative commons licenses allow you to move towards this in your own time and comfort zone.

For example a Non commercial, CC license is not a Free Cultural Works one. Free Cultural Work can be used for any purpose. I’d argue that it is quite unlikely that many teachers will gain much from trying to make money from resources, but will get a nice warm glow from sharing freely.

Walking a Tightrope

Image from Tit-Bits – giffed by myself after finding the image via Creativity, serendipity and open content | Open World

How far do you go, a google search for license material for example, filtered by license, is this enough? You will not respect the Attribution part of the license unless you follow the search to the source. When do you choose to go against or not look too hard for a license? How do you justify that.

Everyone needs to find a comfort zone, for leading pupils by example we need to respect copyright.

OER OEP and other opennesses

Like anyone interested in education and reading a wee bit on the Internet I was aware of the OER movement, it often seemed a bit dry and technical, discussing repositories and metadata in a technical way.

Last year I (along with Ian) got an invite to an Open Scotland forum meeting. This proved enlightening, after the first few minutes I realised that I was an ‘open educator’ to some degree;-)

Although the OpenScotland and OEPScotland are mainly aimed at higher education they are both, IMO, relevant to us too.

The Lescester project is a wonderful example to Local Authorities . I didn’t get time to think or talk about this at all at teachmeetGLA but , if you’ve read this far, please check it out.


  • Save Money (digital sharing is cheaper)
  • Be honest
  • Better resources continuously improved
  • Remix to suit local and particular
  • Sharing is fundamental to Education
  • Fun (it is good to share)

David Wiley 4Rs in 2007 added the 5th in 2014

David A. Wiley Blog iterating toward openness

  • Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
  • Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  • Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  • Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  • Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

These are some of the important things that you need to think about when sharing and choosing a license.

the ALMS Framework

  • Access to Editing Tools
  • Level of Expertise Required
  • Meaningfully Editable
  • Self-Sourced

Using the ALMS Framework as a guide, open content publishers can make technical choices that enable the greatest number of people possible to engage in the 5R activities. This is not an argument for “dumbing down” all open content to plain text. Rather it is an invitation to open content publishers to be thoughtful in the technical choices they make – whether they are publishing text, images, audio, video, simulations, or other media.

The ALMS framework helps you think about what kind of files you are sharing. Are you sharing files that are editable? Are the tools to edit free? easy to use? It is well worth thinking hard about what you are sharing along with this framework.

Both the 5Rs and ALMS are really useful ways to see if your sharing is as effective as it can be.
I planned to finish with a few examples of less than good sharing.

Sharing is Messy (2006)


Flickr: The Help Forum: BNET (a subdivision of CNET) stealing images

My first interesting experience with Creative Commons. CBS News used my image without attribution and possible in breach of my then NC license. I wrote a mail, and they attributed not sure if you can consider their use Non Commercial?

Later I’ve had more pleasant interactions, people asked if they could use images in websites & a book (I got a free copy!)

Finally I changed the license on my Flickr photos to the simpler CC BY-SA.

Sharing is Messy 2007: Meaningfully Editable?

Garageband Plans is a blog post where I share a worksheet for making music with GarageBand. A pdf, givne the number of changes in GarageBand over the next free years not a great example of sharing.

YouTube for Sharing

you agree not to access Content or any reason other than your personal, non-commercial use solely as intended through and permitted by the normal functionality of the Service, and solely for Streaming. “Streaming” means a contemporaneous digital transmission of the material by YouTube via the Internet to a user operated Internet enabled device in such a manner that the data is intended for real-time viewing and **not intended to be downloaded** (either permanently or temporarily), **copied, stored, or redistributed by the user**.


Another less than optimal piece of sharing, I made this flash game for our school website. rommy2.1. I didn’t offer the .fla source file…

Getting there

Recently I’ve been working on the Glow Blogs Help one of the more recent piece I’ve posted meets a lot of the ALMS framework: Menus | Glow Blog Help is available in several formats including OpenOffice, word, html & pdf. Given most schools in Scotland have access to word the OpenOffice file is just providing an opertunity for discussion and thought. I am ticking the following boxes:

  • Access to Editing Tools ✔
  • Level of Expertise Required ✔
  • Meaningfully Editable ✔
  • Self-Sourced ✔
  • Licence ❌

I’ve not added license on it yet. The default for the Government is the thinking about open government license, this is compatible with the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0. I worry a bit that the OGL is not as well understood as CC. I wonder if spelling this out would be a good way to spread the understanding of CC and sharing licenses.

On the night I rather rushed though these last few slides. The main point was to try and share some information about licensing and sharing and show some of the options. I am certainly not an expert but at least the links shared here are a valuable source of information. Many teachers are constrained by their employers from sharing and I know it is not easy. I do believe that most colleagues see the value in sharing and that it is always worth thinking about.

Blogging Bootcamp Video Review

I’ve had a half finished draft post about Blogging Bootcamp in the works since the bootcamp finished. I still hope to finish it but thought I used the excuse of the Teaching with WordPress course to post this shortish screencast.
I’ve also got a huge post about the 5Rs presentation I bungled at teachmeetGLA this week which will fit in nicely with #TWP15 too. Perhaps I’ll chop that up and post wee bit as it is getting out of control.