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Participatory Culture

I zoomed in to Catherine Cronin’s talk on “If open is the answer, what is the question?” at the recent OER16 conference in Edinburgh, Scotland. This thought resonated with me, as it’s something I’ve learning in my journey with Visual Thinkery: our contibutions matter. With a sideways glance at school, I think there’s a massive difference between enforced participation and a culture of participation…

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Work culture

A business starts with a culture of one. Every person that joins adds to that culture. Their values, their humour, their work ethic. Every decision, communication, action sets a precedent. Culture can take years to build, but days to damage.

A organisation is it’s people – so which part do you play?

(Inspired by “The Open Organization” by Jim Whitehurst)

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Entrepreneurship

I remember being on an entrepreneurship course, not long after co-founding my first business. It was part of an excellent scheme that joined up experts, incubation space in Government buildings, and funding from the Scottish Government. It was just what we needed.

Each week a different expert spoke. Cash is King. David vs Goliath. Why you and your partners really really really need a shareholders agreement…

I remember the words the speaker spoke in relation to this drawing. “It’s the things you don’t know you don’t know that’ll kill you every time…”

I must continually gain exposure from other’s experiences. I wish I’d figured this out earlier…

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Changing your world view

This looks all wrong, doesn’t it? The thing is, it’s not at all easy to change your current world view. In fact, we actively look for things that will confirm our existing world view. This, I now know, is called confirmation bias, which always reminds me of the Simon & Garfunkel line “a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest, hmm hmm hmm…”. I find the world a much more complicated place to live in being open to different world views, for to be open to other ideas we must also be open to our position being a bit wrong too. Feelings of doubt, uncertainty, and not being clever enough…

However inconvenient, this humility surely forms an essential ingredient of learning?

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Learning to Credential

It was my pleasure this week to give a talk at the Bett Show this week alongside Dr Doug Belshaw of Digital Literacies & Open Badges fame. One of Doug’s points was that in Education, we’d like to think that the starting point for learning is the learning itself. Not so. Due to the nature of the system, we start with the Credential and work backwards. Ah. This is further illustrated by this graphic, highlighting the massive difference between prescriptive and descriptive pathways.

This resonates with my wapisasa journey too. Having set out to chart our Rookies (young people) on a path to surefire digital greatness, we prescriptively created a bunch of badges. However, after 6 months we sat down with our first Rookies and reviewed what had been the most valuable learning – which became a very different set of descriptive badges…

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Digital Skills Sandwich

Sandwich anyone? I do love a good sandwich. If potatoes are the king of carbs, then surely bread is its queen? As an Irishman, I am of course very biased. Anyway, I digress…
The Digital Skills Sandwich is an idea that’s been rumbling around in my head for a while now. It’s seed germinates from the fact that it can often take a number of years to craft a vocational qualification. Great. Now, when it comes to Digital Skills, this poses a massive problem as the digital domain is evolving much faster than the qualification can be created. Not great. However, by shifting our focus from long journeys (like qualifications) to small steps of achievement, we can think in terms of a fluid collection of small achievements that are mapped on to a fixed generic standard framework, which could be given a wrapper of “meaning” by a third party such as an Awarding body. The Open Badge standard makes this possible. It’s new endorsement feature would also allow the small steps to be created by anyone, and included as part of a dynamic Sandwich filling. Crazy? Maybe. Hungry? You bet…

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The Four Elements of Studentship

I met John Webber from Sussex Downs College recently, and discovered a number of common interests, including Open Badges. He sent through this thinking on his understanding of studentship, which I’ve taken the liberty of attempting to bring life a little….

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What next for Open Badges?

Blockchain, the underlying technology used by Bitcoin, is cool. At least, I think it is, if I could only get my head around it. A group of thinkers (including Serge Ravet) from the Open Badges Community got together to start thinking about how the Open Badge standard could be used inside the Blockchain. What would it gain, and more importantly to me, what would that look like?

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