Weeknote 36/2013

Weeknote 36/2013

This week I’ve been:

  • Celebrating my 10 years of marriage to my wonderful wife. :-)
  • Setting up PGP signing/encryption of my work email (surprisingly easy using GPGTools on OS X)
  • Mapping existing online activities to the Web Literacy Standard.
  • Purchasing a ticket to #CASinclude in November as well as Bruce Schneier’s ebook Liars and Outliers.
  • Responding to more feedback on the Web Literacy Standard.
  • Changing the way I deal with email on a daily basis.
  • Submitting a cheeky last-second session proposal for MozFest.
  • Talking with people (like KQED) about aligning with the Web Literacy Standard.
  • Setting up a not-so-covert cross-team Mozilla working group that has LOLCAT as an acronym.
  • Attending my usual weekly calls. I now have four calls in a row between 3pm and 7pm on a Wednesday, which is an absolute killer.
  • Taking Friday off work to look after my daughter (we’ve got some childcare issues at the moment).

Those childcare issues I’ve alluded to in the last bullet point have contributed to us having to abandon plans to celebrate our wedding anniversary in Amsterdam. So I’ve got a bonus three days at work next week! I’ll be using some of that time to prepare for OKCon in Geneva where I’ll be moderating a panel session.

100m

My next 100 days at Mozilla

Last May when I was just about to start working at Mozilla, Nick Dennis gave me some great advice. He said that I should thrash out with my line manager what I should focus on during my first 100 days, defining what ‘success’ looked like at the end of that period.

Boom!

For whatever reason, I didn’t take Nick’s advice and, indeed, felt a bit lost at sea by Christmas. That’s not anyone’s fault, particularly, it’s just that I was used to working in an institutional environment (schools/universities) and Mozilla’s, well… different.

sea

So I thought I’d take the opportunity when changing teams within Mozilla to belatedly take Nick’s advice and discuss with my new line manager Chris Lawrence what I should be doing from now until Christmas. Admittedly, that’s a little over 100 days, but it’s close enough. Here’s what we came up with – and what that includes, in no particular order:

1. Release the Web Literacy Standard v1.0 at MozFest

  • Work with Michelle Thorne to encourage session leaders to tag their sessions with skills and competencies from the Standard.
  • Work with Laura Hilliger on relevant session proposals relating to the Standard
  • Propose a facilitated version of the community work from calls.

2. Transfer the Web Literacy Standard to webmaker.org

  • Work with the Webmaker team to integrate the Standard across webmaker.org.
  • Liaise with Chris Appleton on the design work around the Standard.

3. Prepare for a Web Literacy Standard alignment contest

  • Aim for January 2014 and announce at MozFest.
  • Work with organisations who are interested in aligning before then.
  • Find people to judge competition.
  • Work with MozLegal and other people who will be able to help (like Chloe Varelidi)

4. Dive into Mentor Team-related stuff

  • Focus on breaking silos and making links with other teams.
  • Be a thought leaders post-Mozilla Summit for ‘One Mozilla’.
  • Work with the Mentor Team to bring Open Badges into their projects.

5. Set up a cross-Mozilla Foundation community working group

  • Focus on sharing good practices.
  • Systematise internal and external-facing processes.
  • Potentially take over running of the weekly Webmaker call.

Obviously, there’s other things that are assumed (like building up a collection of animated GIFs and deploying them appropriately) and other things that will emerge but, for now, I think that’s a great starting point!

Main image CC BY quapan

Weeknote 33/2013

Weeknote 33/2013

This week I’ve been:

Next week I’m up in Dundee for eAssessment Scotland on Friday running a session with MyKnowledgeMap on Open Badges. The rest of the week I’ll be meeting with my new Mentor team colleagues and thinking through more things related to the Web Literacy Standard.

Mozilla lanyards

Transitioning into a new role at Mozilla

TL;DR version: My ‘home’ at Mozilla is moving from the Open Badges team to the Mentor team. In reality it’s a kind of floating role that spans several different teams and focuses on using the Web Literacy Standard as ‘glue’.


I joined the Mozilla Foundation as Badges & Skills Lead 14 months ago. I’ve never really had a job description as such but, from the start, the plan was for me to work within (what was then) the Learning Team as an Open Badges evangelist/advocate in Europe. And, while I wasn’t doing that, I was working on a Web Literacies framework to underpin Mozilla’s Webmaker programme. I ended up writing this white paper.

With the help of a burgeoning community, we pivoted the Web Literacies framework I came up with into a Web Literacy Standard. Excitingly, it’s gaining some traction – and should gain even more when we launch v1.0 at the Mozilla Festival in October.

I’m delighted that Open Badges has become wildly successful; it seems not a day goes by without another big announcement with a big name backing it or an organisation aligning with it. I think that’s for all of the reasons that drew me to the project back in 2011 before I joined Mozilla.

The world doesn’t really need me out there all the time telling it how awesome badges are. There’s plenty of people doing that on Mozilla’s behalf. I’m not giving up my Open Badges evangelism completely* but I’ll be focusing more on the Web Literacy Standard. Given that we’re looking for people to align with the standard using Open Badges, there’s no escape in any case. 😉

We’ve got broadly three teams within the Mozilla Foundation:

  • Mentor team – work with educators to focus on teaching and learning the Web
  • Open Badges team – build, maintain and work with organisations integrating with the Open Badges Infrastructure
  • Webmaker team – build products like Thimble and Popcorn Maker

I’ll be floating across all three using the Web Literacy Standard as the glue to bind together the teams. I’d like to thank Carla Casilli who’s worked with me over the last few months on the Web Literacy Standard. I’ll be reporting to Chris Lawrence now instead of Erin Knight.

So to a great extent, it’s as you were. However, if I look at bit confused at any point when you meet me you’ll now know why: I’m getting to grips with a slightly different role that will shift my landscape and day-to-day interactions a bit. 🙂


* We’ve got a couple of new members of the Open Badges team, including Meg Cole-Karagoy (marketing), An-Me Chung (partnerships) and Jade Forester (global liaison).

Weeknote 31/2013

Weeknote 31/2013

This week I’ve been:

  • Talking with Robert and Liz from Manchester Creative Studio School about using Open Badges for their nascent curriculum.
  • Ordering Maker Party swag for Maker Party Newcastle.
  • Hosting the (now bi-weekly) Web Literacy Standard community call. You can catch up with that here.
  • Adding translation branches to the Web Literacy Standard on Github at the request of several community members.
  • Presenting to the weekly Mozilla All-Hands about the Web Literacy Standard on Air Mozilla. I also took up a good chunk of the weekly Webmaker call.
  • Tweeting as @WebLitStd in addition to @dajbelshaw.
  • Replying to those awesome people who have given feedback on the standard via this form.
  • Contacting Mozilla Legal to start the ball rolling for a potential contest to align with the Web Literacy Standard (in the style of the Mozilla Game On competition or MDN Dev Derby).
  • Checking out a co-working space in Newcastle courtesy of the good people at Ignite100.
  • Planning (with Michelle Thorne) for the v1.0 launch of the Web Literacy Standard at the Mozilla Festival. I wrote an overview blog post about what’s happening next here.
  • Advising the Open Badges team on my process for recording community calls and post them for others to catch-up.
  • Taking Friday off as holiday to travel down with my family to London(ish) for a 50th birthday party. That’ll be great, but what I’m really looking forward to is going to Legoland afterwards!

Next week I’ll be taking Monday off then I’ll be planning Web Literacy Standard-related stuff and talking to UNESCO and P2PU about various things. If you know of an organization that might be interested in aligning with the standard and being a judge for the contest I mentioned, get in touch!

Web Literacy Standard RFC release

Web Literacy Standard RFC

As project lead, I’m delighted to announce that Mozilla launched the latest iteration of our Web Literacy Standard work. It’s a process that has been heavily community-focused and one that I’ve greatly enjoyed. This is now a formal Request For Comments (RFC) following the publication of this announcement on the Mozilla Webmaker blog.

Once you’ve checked out this landing page and explored the resources then please give feedback via this form.

We now have descriptors for each competency and both descriptors and examples for the skills underpinning the competencies. See below for the competency level grid.

Web Literacy Standard RFC release

You may also want to:

MozFest 2013 registration

It’s time to register for MozFest 2013!

I can remember when I went to my first Mozilla Festival (MozFest) back in in 2011. I wasn’t working for Mozilla at the time so I was just blown away by how awesome it was. They’re the most positive events I’ve ever been to; there’s so much energy in the building! On top of that, the event was (and still is) about working in the open and about putting the Mozilla Manifesto into action. 🙂

Registration for MozFest 2013 is now open. It’s at Ravensbourne College in Greenwich, London (opposite the O2 arena) between Friday 25th and Sunday 27th October 2013. Early bird tickets for adults are only £40 and for youths it’s a mere £3.

You should come. You should encourage other people to come along with you. You should shout it from the rooftops. But more than that: you should propose a session. I’m certainly planning to – but you don’t need to work for Mozilla to do so. Oh no. As long as participatory, purposeful and productive, anyone can run a session at MozFest!

I look forward to seeing you there. Grab your ticket now!