Weeknote 35/2013

Weeknote 35/2013

This week I’ve been:

Monday is Labor Day in the US which will means I’ll have a quiet start to the week. I’m not travelling anywhere so I’m looking forward to getting stuff done before heading to Amsterdam with my wife to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary!

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Weeknote 34/2013

Weeknote 34/2013

This week I’ve been:

  • Taking Monday off. I’ve found taking a few long weekends over the summer (giving me 3-day working weeks) has meant I’ve kept on top of stuff. It also means I keep more PTO/holiday days for later in the year when I really need them.
  • Meeting with UNESCO again, this time to talk specifically about the Web Literacy Standard.
  • Registering for the Scottish Learning Festival. I believe this will be my fifth year in a row (in four different jobs!)
  • Putting together my slides for the eAssessment Scotland conference.
  • Attending my first new calls/meetings since moving teams within Mozilla.
  • Meeting with various people interested in getting involved with Open Badges and/or the Web Literacy Standard.
  • Contributing to the Open Badges Community and Badge System Design community calls.
  • Clarifying (in my mind) the difference between Open Badges as credentials, rather than ‘qualifications’.
  • Meeting with Chris Lawrence to thrash out the first 100 days in my new role.
  • Travelling up to Dundee to present at eAssessment Scotland as part of MyKnowledgeMap‘s Open Badges session. My slides and an interview with Karen Strickland and me can be found in my write-up of the conference.

Next week I’ll be observing the Summer Bank Holiday – except for 4-5pm when I’ll be hosting the Web Literacy Standard community call. Other than that, it’s a pretty quiet week just getting ready for normality when everyone goes back to school in September!

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 32/2013

Weeknote 32/2013

This week I’ve been:
  • Taking holiday on Monday and Friday. We spent the weekend at a family party and at Legoland (which was awesome), driving back on Monday. I took Friday off as I had a migraine on Wednesday and a day full of calls on Thursday.
  • Talking with UNESCO about a range of ways they can work with Mozilla, including Firefox OS, Webmaker, Open Badges and the Web Literacy Standard. Exciting times!
  • Hosting the weekly Open Badges community call. While I had a migraine. I could hardly see the screen because of the aura I get!
  • Persuading Decoded to align their learning activities with the Web Literacy Standard – and be judges for part of an upcoming contest we’re planning to align with the standard.
  • Planning an eAssessment Scotland session with Steve Sidaway on Open Badges.
  • Sorting out my move to the Mozilla Mentor team with Erin Knight and Chris Lawrence I’ll explain what’s happening in a separate post soon.
  • Sending my Mozilla-provided Nexus 7 to Jade Forester as I use my iPad Mini all the time now.
  • Getting new colleagues Meg Cole-Karagoy and An-Me Chung up-to-date with the state of Open Badges in the UK/Europe.
  • Talking to Telefonica about how they can use Open Badges and the Web Literacy Standard.
  • Planning an updated version of the School of Webcraft with P2PU.
  • Liaising with OCR and Computing At School about next week’s meeting on Open Badges for professional development. I’m looking forward to catching some of MozPub afterwards, too.
Next week I’m planning to work from the Ignite100 co-working space in Newcastle on Monday, spend Wednesday in London for the OCR/CAS meeting, and then it’s Maker Party Newcastle next Saturday!
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!

Weeknote 30/2013

Weeknote 30/2013

This week I’ve been:

I’ve also been planning, talking, drinking, dancing, playing, and sharing. I’m just getting over my jetlag as the only route that worked was NCL-AMS-DTW-PWM! Next week I’m putting the next phases of my work in Mozilla into motion before heading off for a long weekend to visit relatives and Legoland.