Tag Archives: #edtech

Get Things Done with Trello


My Trello GTD Board

I had a chance to learn more about the Get Things Done (GTD) method created by David Allen this week in my MSU course Teaching for Understanding with Technology. I’ve heard of the GTD method before and even tried exploring it on my own but I always found the process a bit overwhelming.

A view of the calendar

A view of my Trello GTD calendar

I already incorporate a number of different tools (e.g., Evernote, Google Apps, Pinterest, etc) in my workflow to increase productivity but I often find myself reverting to the Mac Stickies app to collect to-do’s and prioritize tasks. Last year, I started playing around with Trello because I liked the visual nature of it and the way it integrates a calendar, checklists, and attachments like Google docs or links. Initially, I setup my Trello using this seven step process but I found it hard to sustain. I realized that I needed to better organize the various projects I’m involved with before figuring out which things to work on each day. Here’s the new system I created:

Throughout the day, quickly add cards manually or even via email to the “Stuff” Holding Pen list.

At the beginning and end of each day, review the Collect list and organize the cards into their respective project lists or the “Do it!” list if it is a task that takes under two minutes. If it’s a non-actionable item, I’ll add it to one of my Pinterest boards or Evernote, my two main places where I store resources and ideas to revisit later.

Once tasks are distributed among the project lists, I’ll jump into tackling the actions that take less than two minutes. Then, I’ll give items in my project lists that are a top priority (due in the next 2-4 days) a red label so I’ll know to work on them. Finally, it will be time to get to work on my projects!

I do wish Trello somehow let you have recurring tasks and also cards inside of cards because some projects involve so many actions. I’m excited to see how my new system works over the next few weeks and I’ll try to post an update here to share my experience.


Allen, D. (2001). Getting things done: The art of stress-free productivity. New          York: Penguin.

A New Adventure – Getting an Ed Tech Certificate with MSU

Creating a night light for the gingerbread babies

I am excited to be starting a Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology online with Michigan State University! I started my first course, Teaching for Understanding with Technology, this week and I will be using my blog to share my course work, reflect on what I’m learning and document my experience. My first assignment was to write an expository essay after reading the first three chapters of How people learn: Brain, mind, experience and school by Bransford, Brown, and Cocking (2000). In my essay, I responded to the questions: “What is Learning?” and “What teaching methods support learning and its related concepts — understanding and conceptual change?”

You can read the entire piece here but my general takeaways are that learning involves hands-on, active engagement in new experiences that challenge students to think deeply about their understanding of a concept. Learning also involves constructing understanding by transferring knowledge from past learning to current experiences and building upon them. Bransford, Brown, and Cocking (2000) also encourage teachers to approach learning with the goal of helping students develop the ability to apply their learning in diverse contexts.

In my essay, I reference two examples from my work as a Tech Coordinator – a first grade coding project (recently posted as a Graphite Lesson Flow) and a design thinking challenge I facilitated with kindergarten. These two projects demonstrate both the importance of transference from previous learning experiences to new ones and applying knowledge in new contexts. They also show the power of empathy and problem-based learning in motivating students to engage in learning for understanding (versus memorization). Feel free to leave comments and feedback here or in the Google Doc about these ideas and my thoughts on learning.