Lessons for Slack from an elder… Trello

Ultimately pretty minor nitpicks, but… for the record…

Stange things not explained in Slack (slack.com):
1. Why is “private group” not just called a “private channel”. It is confusing to have 2 different names for the same thing (besides the privacy).
I know…. channel sounds public. Group sounds *almost* private, but needs “Private” to be clear. So I get that. This is annoying to me. I’ll get over it.

2. Why can you convert a channel to private (a private group), but not the other way around? I suspect it is because it would be awkward to change the privacy to public AFTER people have already been discussing in private, but why not explain that in the UI? The UI makes it seem like it is a technical issue, but I am sure it is just a workflow restraint they are enforcing. Which is fine, but they could be clearer about that.

3. Why when you change a channel to private do the things shared stay public? That makes no sense.

4. Why when you archive a channel (or private group), does the membership need to vanish? That is also extremely annoying. It is important information to know who is/was in a group.

UI says:
“Archive this group… If you don’t think it will be used any more and you want to clean up, archive it. The group can be unarchived later (but everyone will have been removed).”

5. Why is the UI so slow on the website? That is kinda a game-breaker.

Lessons for Slack from Trello
1. Trello is fast
2. Trello list/board Membership maintained even when archiving
3. Can just go to trello.com, don’t have to go to [teamname].trello.com like in slack (which doesn’t know how to redirect to the subdomain where you are logged in. Annoying!)

Lessons FOR Trello from Slack
1. In Slack you can see stuff in archived channels/groups pretty easily (without un-archiving them).
In Trello, the only way to see archived “lists” is to un-archive them (“Send to Board”). This is highly annoying!

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Filed under computers, work

The Plot Against Trains.

The Plot Against Trains.

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Filed under Uncategorized

In our schools… participatory budgeting?

Well I learned a new term today: “participatory budgeting”

It was being discussed on “Innovation Hub” in a segment about civic engagement

It was mentioned that the city of Cambridge MA does some participatory budgeting for part of it’s budget.
“The City of Cambridge is launching a pilot Participatory Budgeting (PB) process in which community members will directly decide how to spend $500,000 in FY 2016 capital funds.”

Both concepts seem to be alive and well at Sudbury Schools and maybe some other style democratic free schools. But perhaps pretty much at no other schools that I am aware of.

What if you asked the parents or (gasp!) the teachers or (double gasp!) the students how they think the school should spend it’s budget? How reasonable! How obvious!

At Sudbury Valley School there is a Financial Management Committee that is made up School Meeting members (students and staff). Each spring, they prepare and present the budget and it is discussed over several meetings, and approved by School Meeting.

Voila. Participatory Budgeting. No taxation without representation and all that…

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Filed under direct democracy, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

6 degrees of separation, wikipedia style

Maybe someone has already done this, but there should be a “6-degrees of Kevin Bacon” except using various entries on wikipedia.org

For instance, it is 2 clicks from Helicopter Parent to Sudbury School


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Filed under Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

Boys looking miserable in school photos

Is it me or do schools *in their own literature* often show a classroom setting where the kids (and especially THE BOYS?) are looking either miserable, or at least, bored out of their minds? Doesn’t anyone notice and think “Hmmm, maybe we should pick a better photo to represent our school?”

I might have to start collecting some. But here is an example that came to mind so I’ll just include it here as a start.

Versus here are some typical student photos from a Sudbury School, namely Sudbury Valley School. Let me know if you see any glum, disengaged faces here:

Anyway, just an observation. Maybe I am wrong. But to me this is rather telling.

See also:
Installment 1 of the subtle (and usually not so subtle) mentions of how school is not fun, not supposed to be fun, and everyone knows it and that’s just how it is and has to be

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Filed under Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, systemic problems vs personal problems

Things you shouldn’t have to go through just because you have a daughter

First World Problem I know… but…. When visiting Disney World or going on a Disney Cruise, get ready for employees, crew members, etc to call your daughter “Princess” 10 times a day. Are they calling my sons “Prince”. Uh no. If it were my daughter, I am not sure what I would do… since I am kinda slow with words when caught of guard with such ridiculousness, I would probably have to prepare an answer for “next time”. I know I am not going to change anything, especially since it is probably Disney company policy, but just something to be aware of if you are a parent who is sick of our kids being treated this way. I am not being “PC”… this just actually feels very wrong to me. Like constant “what a pretty dress!” comments to girls and men calling women “girls”. Uh, no. Same thing.

Examples from Google

Especially ridiculous example:
“Q: We are planning a visit to WDW the first week in May. My 4yr old daughter is not a princess. I don’t want her called that all day. It will upset her. What is the best way to handle this?”

See also: benevolent sexism
That seems like a good term for this.

Luckily my boys… 1) are boys 2) go to Sudbury Valley School where this kind of baloney doesn’t go on. And 3) (if I do say so myself) have somewhat enlightened parents who call this kind of crap out at every turn when we are watching TV or out-and-about. So they are probably pretty aware of it rather than it floating around unseen or un-examined in their brains.

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Filed under contrarian, kids are complete people, sexism, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

Blended learning at Sudbury Valley School

So… there is this thing apparently… called Blended Learning. And I am sorry, but this is just another case where I can’t help but say… yes, but students at Sudbury Valley School have been doing this for 45+ years. What’s the big deal?

Wikipedia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blended_learning ) says blended learning is when “…a student learns at least in part through delivery of content and instruction via digital and online media with some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace.”

1) partially digital/online content — CHECK
2) student control over time, place, path or pace — CHECK

That’s because:
1) There is no curriculum at Sudbury Schools
2) And there is free access to the internet and all forms of media.

So yeah, blended learning, flip the classroom, mentoring, etc. Knock yourself out. Whatever works for you. That’s the important thing.


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Filed under mentoring / apprenticeship, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School