Personal project management software: Asana and Wrike comparison

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Now that I am nearing the end of my coursework, I’m turning to plotting out the schedule for exams and the dissertation writing process.

I have been using two types of project management software for personal use, both with a free account, during the month of August. Below are my thoughts about each of the two platforms.



  • visual interface is clean-looking
  • ability to sync tasks and due dates with Google Calendar is spiffy
  • workspaces idea is neat – thanks, Lifehack! hmm….how might I make best use of workspaces for different areas of my life?


  • finding files in Google Drive integration is tough. My GD folder structure was collapsed, so all folders were listed. I was not able to dig into the nested sub-folders.
  • couldn’t figure out how to add a “New Section” to a project on the mobile app. While watching this video, I learned that I might be able to create a new section by including a colon after the word. Will keep this in mind to try the next time I need to do this.
  • desktop: not sure how to see subtasks. There is a small gray arrow which is tough to see as the color is so light. Would imagine this would be hard to see to folks with low-vision.
  • doesn’t seem to offer a gantt chart view. I find this helpful to see where tasks/subtasks pile up, and if I’m trying to pile too much into a week
  • not able to start the week on Monday



  • can set the calendar to start on Mondays
  • gantt chart view


  • mobile app: tough to figure out working with tasks and subtasks
  • entries didn’t save -sometimes I needed to use the enter button. Seems that the UI is consistent
  • midway through the month, I was no longer able to create subtasks with a free account

Open Research: reading notes

I recently finished reading one of the OER Hub‘s publications: the Open Research textbook.

The book is based on content and activity from a P2PU course called Open Research that ran in 2014 and 2015. It’s organized into five chapters that consist of content, a few activities to get you thinking about how to apply the concepts and ideas, and commentary. The commentary sections summarized thoughts from the course participants, and was a beautiful way to honor their voices and participation.

Below are my notes – mostly for my own reference when I embark on future open research projects of my own and hopefully with collaborators.

Open Research

  • variety of ways to define open
  • openness in many contexts
  • School of Open: P2P University offers more classes in this area
    • difference between authorship and ownership

Ethics in the open

  • overview of ethical considerations when working with (human) research participants
  • considerations for researchers not affiliated with an institution that has an IRB/ethical review board
    • apply basic principles of avoiding harm, ensuring consent is informed, and respecting privacy and people
  • develop your own moral compass: particularly crucial for researchers working in the open [education, etc] space

Open dissemination

Reflecting in the open

  • reflection is a huge part of research! can take the form of blog posts or a research journal
    • for the purpose of this book, emphasis is on the former
  • audio, text, and video reflections from researchers who blog in the open about their work
  • I have many articles saved from the researchers featured in this chapter 🙂

Final thoughts

  • #openresearch
  • join GO-GN!

OER Hub Researcher Pack: reading notes




I recently finished reading the OER Hub Researcher Pack, written by the @OER_Hub team, and wanted to capture some notes and citations for future work.



  • focus on tools that researchers can use
  • adapt tools for our needs and share them back with the community
  • love that this book can be downloaded as a zip file!


Data (quant)

  • conduct your analysis and publish your work prior to releasing data with CC license
  • data is a publication!
  • how do you plan to anonymize it? use metadata in such a way that data set is useful to others and can be built upon for additional research?

Survey questions

  • OER hub released a set of 54 core survey questions that align with 11 hypotheses of research project
  • question bank is reusable and remixable
  • follow good practices for survey and research design

Interview questions

Evaluation framework

  • serves as a means to check on project while it’s in progress and to see if it accomplished what researcher intended it to do
  • build evaluation in from the onset
  • see example from OER Hub


Further reading

Making the translation to open coursework

One of the reasons why I wanted to create a blog was to open my thinking; open my coursework beyond closed learning environments.

Working openly means being public about your process, from start to finish, including all the messy bits in between.

~ Gina Likins

Inspired by November’s DigiWriMo, and the wealth of assignments this semester, I’m planning to revise some of my submitted work: make changes from a formal paper to a web format, add images and other media, and include details to help them stand alone. While it won’t quite be a multimedia story, I’d like to incorporate a few elements to try and move the finished piece in that direction.

One of the great things about classes in grad school is that you can explore many topics, or, if you are narrowing in on a group of topics (say digital literacy, student agency, and open pedagogy) you can use your coursework to build towards your future research agenda.

At this stage I seem to be falling in the latter camp, and have a great professor this term that is helping us make this progression clear. Our first project involved a group-authored paper and presentation. Four of us came together under the broad umbrella of digital literacy in education, and from there brought in our various interests from our K-12 and higher education vantage points. The intent was less about creating a comprehensive literature review, and more about starting to get a sense of what the literature was in our respective areas of interest.

Following is my contribution to our paper, combined with images from the presentation – revised for the web.

What was old is new again: developing undergraduate students’ digital literacies


This brief overview will explore the historical literature of digital literacy in (mostly U.S.) higher education from the 1970s to the present, identify the need for a plurality of digital literacies, and provide two examples of ongoing higher education initiatives which bridge theory to practice.

The field of digital literacy spans numerous decades, and the concept has gone through several evolutions. In the early 1970s, John Debes developed the term visual literacy to refer to a group of vision-competencies that humans develop by simultaneously seeing and integrating other sensory experiences. The meaning making from these experiences enables individuals to manipulate visual actions, symbols, and objects to communicate (Belshaw, 2012). This definition seems similar to traditional literacy, however, what sets it apart is the emphasis on visual elements as a separate literacy.


In direct response to the advent of the personal computer – Apple II in 1977 and the IBM PC in 1981, Andrew Molnar coined the term computer literacy. This model represented a skills-based approach, in that understanding how computer applications worked and why they should be used served as the primary impetus for training and educational activities (Bawden, 2008). The launch of personal computing was also motivated by an awareness that computers and related technologies were beginning to become pervasive and would fundamentally shape the generation that was coming of age during this time.

Widesweeping changes in computing during the early 1990s – with the debut of the web browser – ushered the information literacy model. Academic libraries and governmental agencies were strong champions. Information literacy built on the skills-based computer literacy model, and branched out to include evaluating the source and content of information that was retrieved on the burgeoning information superhighway (Fieldhouse & Nicholas, 2008). The conversation shifted from specific skill sets to personal capabilities and attributes with Paul Gilster’s Digital Literacies text (1997). Gilster was not the first to use the phrase “digital literacy;” however, his definition of digital literacy was unique in that it was not restricted to particular technology or form or information, and he painted broad brushstrokes with his ideas to capture principles, which were intended to outlast specific systems and technologies.

Gilster’s work was used to build the next digital literacy model, entitled New Literacy Studies. This body of work framed literacy as a construct, and shifted the focus from individual minds to social interactions. This model framed digital literacy as an umbrella term and argued that the plurality of literacies is necessary as texts can be read in different ways (Jones & Lea, 2008). The work undertaken by scholars in the New Literacy Studies model laid the groundwork for the growing trend of emphasizing the plurality of digital literacy; recognizing the advantages of understanding digital literacy as digital literacies (Belshaw, 2012).


To illustrate the plurality of literacies construct, two current initiatives in higher education that represent theory to practice will be highlighted. Domain’s of One’s Own started at the University of Mary Washington and provides all members of the university community with personal webspace in order to “explore the creation and development of their digital identities.” Their initiative grew, and inspired other colleges to adopt similar projects. An early adopter was Davidson College, a private liberal arts college. Davidson Domains also granted personal webspace to students and faculty, the impetus behind Davidson Domains is strongly grounded in student agency, and they are starting to explore research around this.


Future plans also include building out a Davidson Domains Learning Community for faculty and staff to co-create meaning with digital tools and applications.


Wrap-up and reflection on converting a paper for a web format: I found that I substantially rewrote most of the text, including insertion of different transitions. Since this was a originally part of a group-authored paper, our conclusion was different that the one I ended up using above.

The transition from APA-style citations to hyperlinks is interesting, and sticks out in my mind for some reason. I’m not sure what significance that might have, but it brings to mind Laura Gogia’s work that she presented at OpenEd15. On the reading list to see how it might help me to make sense of it…


Bawden, D. (2008). Origins and Concepts of Digital Literacy. In C. Lankshear & M. Knobel (Eds.), Digital literacies: Concepts, policies and practices (17-32). Retrieved from

Belshaw, D.A.J. (2012). What is digital literacy? A pragmatic investigation. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from

Fieldhouse, M. &  Nicholas, D. (2008). Digital literacy as information savvy: The road to information literacy. In C. Lankshear & M. Knobel (Eds.), Digital literacies: Concepts, policies and practices (43-72). Retrieved from

Gilster, P. (1997). Digital literacy. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Jones, S. & Lea, M.R. (2008). Digital literacies in the lives of undergraduate students: Exploring personal and curricular spheres of practice. The Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 6(3), pp. 207 – 216. Retrieved from