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.

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!

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!

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 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!