Karass Website

After creating The Karass Inn’s logo I set to work creating a website for them. They used checkfront.com to handle the booking side of things so I was left to simply create the presentation side.

http://thekarassinn.com/

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I used the Make Theme with only slight modifications to the CSS. Mainly to create the pop-ut Book Now button. The site looks great on mobile too:

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The address, phone, and email at the top work incredibly well on mobile. By using proper Uniform Resource Identifier schemes with the links available applications will launch when they are clicked. You’re probably already familiar with mailto: which almost all email links use, it looks like this:

<a href=”mailto:TheKarassInn@gmail.com”>TheKarassInn@gmail.com</a>

While the phone uses tel: like so:

<a href=”tel:8028755878″>(802)-875-5878</a>

So when you’re on a phone and click the link it automagically launches the phone application and makes the call.

I love being able to add these little details!

If you’re ever in Chester Vermont you should stay with The Karass Inn

In the Flow, My Week in Reflection

Shout out to 40 house and Emmas house!
Shout out to 40 house and Emmas house!

What an amazing week! I’ve been in Asheville NC visiting the Endor ALC crew. I was housed by two amazing collective homes full of wonderful and amazing people who kept me well fed and in good company. I spent most of my time co-working with @liam and @rochellehudson which fueled one of my most productive weeks I’ve had in a long time. So, what did I do?

Refreshed ALC.org

I’ve updated the network website to a point where it clearly outlines what ALC is. Gratitudes to my fellow ALFs, especially @tomis, @nancy, @abbyo@artbrock for their contributions in content and design.

new ALC header
new ALC header

We’ve switched to the network theme which is a lot cleaner and clearer now. The front page covers much more about what ALC is and how to get involved.

I did a bit of work on designing visual elements for the page and getting it to a point of being pretty okay.

Some new icons I put together.
Some new icons I put together.

I’m very proud of the ALC directory which I created using Google Fusion Tables. This takes a spreadsheet and outputs it as a map. I did some custom design using a Google Map Style Wizard, it’s pretty fun, try it. Then I implemented some custom code to get it to display real nice on the welcome page:

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Each of those icons is generated automagically as new schools are added to the directory. Each icon is clickable and displays information from the directory.

I’m super excited to expand on this work. To tighten and expand on the design and layout. I now feel like I can send people to our website without worrying that they might not “get” what’s going on.

Foldy Release Party!

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endor-foldy-kanban-crop
What we could do | what we are going to do | what we are doing | what we have done

@liam and I printed out about 50 of my School, Yay! foldys for a Wednesday event at Fire Storm Books & Coffee. There was a great turn out and even with no planning we were able to pull of a successful info sharing session about ALC and Endor. I used a Kanban to manage the flow of the event.

There was some great questions from our audience and super awesome input from @liam, @rochellehudson, and Keli (a new ALF from Asheville).

The foldy was also a great success!

foldy-grid2

Organizing and Orienting ALFs

I spent a lot of time working on some internal pages for alf.agilelearningcenters.org and our supporting systems to better organize our communication and collaboration within the network.

The Newbie page

I created a page for newbie ALFs (and forgetful ALFs like me). A quick aside: newbie is a term for someone who is new and thus inexperienced, it’s a term of endearment, unlike n00b which describes a person who acts dumb. The newbie page covers all of our internal tools and links to our support documents and other such things.

Im really proud of the icons I made for this!
Im really proud of the icons I made for this!

The Baked ALF checklist

Along with the help of @nancy and other “bakers” I started to develop what I hope to be one of many internal checklists for doing network jobs. This one focuses on what to do once a person has had their peer review, submitted their documents, and been “baked” (a title we are using to indicate a particular status of an ALF).

My page goes through each step and even has pictures to make some tasks more clear.
My page goes through each step and even has pictures to make some tasks more clear.

Added Helpful documentation

I spent a lot of time writing up helpful documentation about how to use some of our internal organizing tools. One that I’m really proud of is the ALF Community Mastery Trello Board that we use to create ALF cultural norms. This board covers how we handles meetings, what meetings there are, what software we use, and the protocol we follow for doing everything from sending emails to adding new people to the network. It’s an interactive tool that makes our community agreements and structure not only visible to all members but changeable (through our monthly change-up meetings) for all members! It’s something that deserves it’s own blog post. You can read about a real ALC example on the Everett page.

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Created “easy links”

Using a redirection plugin I’ve created a number of links to important documents and services that we use. So rather than sending around long links like:

https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_/calendar/dW5oYW5nb3OMFGsOlooongtYWlsLmNvbQ.q74bd9dlknc8qvuib1efk0

I can redirect an easy link:

agilelearningcenters.org/group-chat

to point to the long link. Which is also very helpful if the link has to change! If we find that the hangout link stops working all i’ve got to do is edit the redirect and no one will have to be told about the change, it will just work!

Playing with Slack

We’ve started using this cool service called Slack, which is a group chat room on steroids. It’s really cool! What’s more cool is that is has a bunch of service integrations that can do all sorts of things like listen to a website’s RSS feed or display changes to a Trello card. I spend some time setting up a number of these tools along with @tomis.

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The Great List Migration

Part of the work I did over ALF summer was to migrate from the NYC Google Apps for Education account to the ALC Network Apps for Education account. One of the big items of that migration was to switch over the email list serves that we use to communicate. I wrote up an email about what was going on and what people could expect

Upgraded ALC Everett

I’ve spent a lot of time writing about what happened at ALC Everett but I left the website in a kind of limbo. Anyone who was visiting the site wouldn’t exactly know that the school had become inactive or that I had written a comprehensive debrief on the whole thing, including a bunch of documentation around tools and practices. So I spend some time making the site look nice, adding a bunch of links to the debrief and the tool box as well as explanations of what the current status was and a way to contact folks at ALC incase they were from the area and wanted to learn more.

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ALC Domain Mapping

This didn’t exactly happen this week, but I wanted to share. @artbrock and I managed to finally get some backend features working that allow schools (or anyone with an ALC site) to map the site to their personal domain name. This means that our school sites can use their own domain while still being part of the network!

So now sites like alcoahu.agilelearningcenters.org will show up as alcoahu.org! So cool.


This has been such an energizing week or productivity! I really feel like I’ve been in a great flow and hope to continue it into the rest of the month.

 

Look at these awesome ALC websites!

I just wanted to show off some of the awesome websites in our network. At the bottom I’ll talk a little bit about the tools that these web sites use.

ALC Mosaic

(alcmosaic.org) The Mosaic School’s site is clean and bold content. There are a lot of pages but it doesn’t feel overwhelming. I did a bit of initial work on this site, getting images and inputting content. @tomis and @nancy did the lion share of the work on the site.

Pictures and Columns, nice! Forms! Wonderful color Great Mobile site

ALC NYC

(nycagile.org) The NYC site was developed at the same time as the Mosaic site, so there are many similarities.

 

Great use of quotes and columns! Look at this rich media Nice color

ALC Oahu

(alcoahu.org) I absolutely love what @ninablanco did with the Oahu site. I put a few minutes into getting it started and she carried it to a wonderful place. The color scheme is very nice and unique. It’s hard to believe that this is the same theme as the two sites above!

Look at these colors! Great use of banners Clear content More well formatted content

Endor

While endor is still under construction, I thought I’d share the bold site that @liam and @rochellehudson are building!

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@liam made some really cool icons for the site base on the Endor logo!

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Each of these websites is using the ALC WordPress Theme Make Child.

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You can see the code over on github.com

You can find the theme in Dashboard > Appearance > Themes

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 3.24.41 PMWhen the theme is activated you’ll find lots of fun options for customizing it. Just click the Customize link under Appearance (or on the theme picture, or from the top admin bar menu)

The customize menu allows you to play with color and font sizes among other things and preview them live in the browser. Once you’ve finished you can save or discard your changes!

You can learn much more by checking out the Make Theme by Theme Foundry which is the “parent theme” these themes are based off of.

Read more about how to use the theme by reading up on the Make Theme documentation.

Rocky Mountain Bridges Website

I’ve been pushing out a bunch of great websites recently! Here’s another I just finished up for Park Works in Canada.

rockymountainbridges.ca

It’s a simple display site for Play Work’s line of drop in place bridges. They needed a presence online to show off their work, describe some of the features, and display how easy installation is.

They had a good body of photographs so it was a breeze to put together the site. I decided to go with WordPress so that Park Works could do as much editing in house as possible.

I chose Theme Foundry’s Make to act as the theme for the site. There wasn’t enough custom work needed to warrant a child theme, though I normally would install the child theme just in case.

I used Simple Custom CSS and Simple Lightbox Plugins to add just a bit of custom style and, duh, a light box to the site.

On the showcase page I used the built in Gallery function to create a grid of pictures that would pop up into the lightbox.

rmb_showcase

The Make theme has wonderful mobile support and the site works quite well on any device (not that I was able to test on that many, something I need to work into my process!).

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