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Credentials big and small…

old school vs new school credentials

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Every time I find myself on a beach, I’ll be looking for a pebble that catches my eye. I’ll pick a few contenders, and over the course of a two week holiday will end up with maybe 100 pebbles. At the end of the holiday, I’ll take maybe two or three home. I have attached meaning to them.

I hired our first Rookie at wapisasa because of his ability to solve a Rubik’s Cube in under a minute, amongst other things. To me (as someone who needs somewhat longer than a minute) I saw persistence and a pattern-oriented mind that enjoyed solving problems. The small stuff matters, but is often unnoticed or undervalued.

This illustration originally formed part of some visual bloggery with Dr Doug Belshaw.

Open Badges (P.S. there’s data inside…)

Open Badges seem so simple, don’t they?

But wait – don’t make assumptions – ask questions! They’ve got stuff inside. Data. Authenticated data.
But the big news? – you can take them with you because they’re built on an open standard. They can be connected together to form a learning pathway. The data structure inside the badge can even be extended for a particular purpose.

Curious? There’s loads more information (and pictures) here: OB101

Let’s just badge everything

Let's just badge everything

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This week, the team at the University of Southampton organised an excellent Open Badge conference, which I really enjoyed taking part in. Doug Belshaw (his slides are here) and Carla Casilli were keynoting.

“Let’s just badge everything” is probably not the best strategy in getting up and running with micro-credentials.

Here are two questions worth considering:

  1. What (behaviours, commitment, recognition…) would this badge help us encourage that we struggle to encourage currently? and
  2. Why would an earner of this badge show it to someone else?

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What’s inside an Open Badge

what's inside an Open Badge?

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It’s easy to talk about open badges without really understanding what’s inside (it’s just a digital badge, right?)  There’s actually a whole bunch of stuff inside. The badge class is like the template. All badges issued from a certain badge class will inherit those properties. The assertion relates to the recipient of the badge and all the stuff they did to earn the badge.

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Learning to Credential

Learning to credential

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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…

Choosing a badging system

Choosing a badging system.

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With any solution there are often three different approaches: bespoke, modular and off-the-shelf. Choosing the most appropriate path is more difficult than it seems. This is certainly true of selecting a Badging system. There’s also value in learning through trying multiple approaches at the same time, and assuming that as a result unseen requirements and pitfalls will become visible. Read more about Badging systems in #OB101

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Badge Platform Questions

Badge Platform Questions

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A while ago, Doug Belshaw and I were working on the #OB101 course, in order to help others think about OpenBadges and how to dip their toes in the water. Some of this thinking relates to a discussion at the Badge Alliance community call about some OpenBadge platforms not really being open.
So what should you consider when thinking about an OpenBadges platform?

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