Using Trello to Visualize and Manage School Projects

Overview

Trello is an amazingly simple and visual tool for tracking tasks and managing people and projects. Used by companies such as Google, Microsoft, Adobe and The New York Times, the free Web and Mobile App digitizes the concept of cards and lists, making for a very familiar and delightfully uncomplicated experience.

TrelloName: Trello  – trello.com
Pricing: Free
Compatibility: Desktop/iOS/Android/Windows
Access: Email/Google signup
Privacy: Customizable (privacy policy)

 

A Quick Look

With apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone, Trello is fast becoming more and more popular outside of project management circles and gaining huge popularity with educators. Whether you want a tool to manage a large scale district-wide project or just a visual space to help organize household chores, Trello can be adapted for nearly any level of use.

Trello. Organize anything, together.

 

In Practice

1. The ultimate to-do list

At its most basic, Trello makes for an exceptionally useful to-do list that is available to you any time via desktop, tablet or mobile device. Adding a new board in Trello creates three default  lists: To Do, Doing, and Done, allowing you to transition tasks (cards) between different states. The real power of Trello comes together when you start adding new members to your boards, allowing you to assign tasks and collaborate with others.

Trello to-do list

2. School team management

One of the biggest benefits to using Trello is the transparency and openness it creates between team members. With a board that is visible to all, it becomes apparent very quickly when a team member is not pulling their weight. Try creating a Trello board for a small school project and you will see that people are much more likely to complete their tasks when their face is stuck to the card for all to see.

3. Sharing and assessing PD resources

One very neat idea from educator Sam Oakland is to use Trello for sharing professional development tools and resources. By creating a board that all his staff were able to access, he began adding cards for different digital tools. Members of his team would take on a particular tool to assess and post their feedback and comments. This can work particularly well with embedding media and using the voting features also.

4. Voting and ranking

This is a very useful application of Trello that you can use with students, staff or your school community. Create cards on  a board for different ideas, candidates or anything you want to get popular opinion on. Using the voting feature your collaborators can cast their votes, pass comment and contribute to any kind of decision, outcome or result in the school.

5. Student time and task management

Being a high level project a management tool, Trello can be an extremely useful resource for students to improve their time and task management skills. This is particularly useful for older students who are entering periods of study that may be stressful or demand high workloads. By using a visual aid like Trello students can see exactly what they have left to do, set due dates and focus on the work that needs to be completed.

 

Links and Next Steps

 

Feature image adapted from image courtesy of Flickr, Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta.

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