Open Thinkering


Month: November 2015

Weeknote 48/2015

This week I’ve been:

If not my last blog post of 2015, this will certainly be my weeknote of the year. That’s because of my impending #BelshawBlackOps15 (Part 2) which kicks in for the month of December. I’m looking forward to spending some time with my family — and especially my Dad who comes home from Qatar on Tuesday!

Next week I’m working from home on Monday for City & Guilds, and then in London for them on Tuesday. On Wednesday I’m in Manchester to give an ESRI seminar at MMU and run a workshop at EdLab. Then on Thursday I fly off to Malta to deliver the presentation mentioned above. I’ll be back home on Saturday.

Image CC BY-SA Gareth Halfacree

3 reasons open source needs Open Badges []

A few months ago, my friend and former colleague Laura Hilliger encouraged me to write something for She’d had a few posts published about the benefits of working openly.

Today, Bryan Mathers and I have had published an article that goes into why Open Badges are such a good fit for open communities.

The web is the perfect medium for a new credentialing system. Just like the web, Open Badges are democratic, open, and distributed. The OBI is itself open source, as are many badge issuing solutions found on GitHub and other code repositories. Open Badges help move forward the open web.

Read the post in full: 3 reasons open source needs Open Badges

I’m closing comments here to encourage you to add your thoughts on the original post.

Weeknote 47/2015

This week I’ve been:

  • Away from home all week. It’s been tiring but, at least, means that I get two ‘Doug days’ next week! I stayed at the Premier Inn in Worcester, the Radisson Blu in Birmingham, Citadines St Marks, and… Bryan Mathers‘ house (thanks Bryan!)
  • Sending out Issue #194 of my newsletter, Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel. This week it featured links about digital revolutions, reclaiming privacy, and great advice from Tony Robbins. This month’s newsletters are in association with Dynamic Skillset.
  • Releasing Episode 31 (‘Teetering Email’) of the Today In Digital Education podcast, my weekly podcast with co-host Dai Barnes. In this episode we discussed the digital revolution in higher education, myths about how teens use tech, reclaiming privacy, Twitter’s ‘pyramid scheme’, and why you’re using email… incorrectly.
  • Keynoting, running a workshop, and pulling together some strands at the end of the University of Worcester‘s staff development day. I uploaded my slides on Digital Literacies, Learning Pathways, and Open Badges to Slideshare.
  • Spending four days working with City & Guilds this week as I needed to be in Eastbourne at an event on Thursday evening.
  • Giving an impromptu short talk on Open Badges at the above event (‘Digital Vocational Badges‘).
  • Annoyed at the way the Paris attacks have led to infringements on our civil liberties by politicians. I’m particularly upset at the way the mass media have demonised encryption — which is ironic given ISIS plotted the attack via unencrypted SMS.
  • Grilled (OK, not quite) by the City & Guilds investigation & compliance team about using Open Badges in high-stakes testing, etc.
  • Popping into a thinkathon run by Wapisasa at UCL Academy. I inevitably chipped in now and again despite just being there as an observer! I have to say that I was very impressed by the whole experience.
  • Herding cats. Always. Herding. Cats.
  • Meeting with:
    • Sirkku Nikamaa, a Finnish educator I first got to know while working for Mozilla. We talked about all kinds of things with a drink in The Happenstance while it poured with rain outside!
    • Eylan Ezekiel, who I first met when he was Head Honcho at BrainPOP, and who now is Head of Education for BCS. Bryan joined us and we went to Wahaca.
  • Writing:

Next week I’m doing some work for London Connected Learning Centre (that I’d been hoping to have already started) around the Go ON UK Digital Skills grid. I’ll then be down in London for a couple of days working with City & Guilds before (apart from one meeting) taking Thursday and Friday off!

Image CC BY-NC Xenja Santarelli