Open Thinkering


Tag: DML Conference

Profit: the purpose of education? []

I had the good fortune to bump into Lucy Gray at the DML Conference in Chicago back in March. She asked if I’d write something for, “the community for education leaders”. Slightly belatedly I’ve duly obliged and the post below is now published on the site.

I believe education to be public good, as something that profits the children’s mind, body and soul – not as something that should lead to financial profit for large corporates. I want teachers to do things in the classroom with an eye on my children’s learning and development, not on making sure they can pass a performance review in order to meet their mortgage payments.

Schools can, and probably should, be run in line with some business principles. But allowing schools to ‘go to the wall’ (as has been suggested in some quarters) because of the vagaries of the market sounds horrendous. Schools are places where human interactions should take place, not financial transactions.

Read the post in full here: Profit: the purpose of education?

Many thanks to Lucy for the invitation to contribute! 🙂

Weeknote 12/2013

This week I’ve been:

  • Delayed coming back from the DML Conference in Chicago (my write-up of the conference is here). My flight was cancelled due to the First Officer being ‘sick’ on St. Patrick’s Day. 😉 My subsequent flight was delayed meaning I didn’t get home until Tuesday lunchtime!
  • Taking a day off to spend with my family.
  • Working with Matt Thompson on a diagram to explain what Mozilla’s Web Literacy standard is for. It still needs some work before sharing more widely!
  • Summarising the previous week’s Web Literacy standard work.
  • Booking travel to OER13 and the PELeCON conference, both of which I’m keynoting. Also booked flights to the Mozilla All-Hands meeting in Toronto in May.
  • Planning out my OER13 keynote in Evernote. I’ll be talking about ambiguity, Open Badges and Web Literacy.
  • Talking to people who may want to align with the draft version of the Web Literacy standard being launched on April 26th.
  • Continuing to talk to people/organisations about Open Badges.
  • Writing an abstract for the PLE conference (with Tim Riches) and sending Brian Kelly a title and abstract for IWMW13.
  • Helping interview a potential new hire to our team.
  • Getting things sorted for Nesta’s One Day Digital event in Edinburgh next Saturday. I’m running a workshop on Mozilla’s Popcorn Maker and taking my family up for Friday/Saturday.

Next week I’ll be returning to the place of my birth (Nottingham) for the OER13 conference (Tuesday/Wednesday), continuing to work on the Web Literacy standard stuff and travelling up to Edinburgh on Good Friday with my family for the Nesta event mentioned above.

Open Badges reaches v1.0!

TL;DR version: Mozilla’s launching v1.0 of the Open Badges Infrastructure at the DML Conference 2013 today. There’s a newly designed website and badge backpack.

I’m at the DML Conference 2013 this week where, I’m delighted to say, Mozilla is launching version 1.0 of the Open Badges Infrastructure (OBI). Given how long I’ve been banging on about badges this may seem surprising, but it just goes to show the extent to which Mozilla works in the open with the community!

You should check out the newly-redesigned website and badge backpack (note new URL for latter now it’s out of beta!)

I don’t usually do this, but I believe the text below put together by our new Communications Director Erica Sackin  puts things way better than I could:

Open Badges is a new online standard to recognize and verify learning. A digital badge is an online representation of a skill you’ve earned. Open Badges take that concept one step further, and allow you to verify your skills, interests and achievements through a credible organization. And because the system is based on an open standard, you can combine multiple badges from different issuers to tell the complete story of your achievements — both online and off. Display your badges wherever you want them on the web, and share them for employment, education or lifelong learning.

Ten things to know about Open Badges:

  1. Mozilla Open Badges is not proprietary — it’s free software and an open technical standard. That means any organization can create, issue and verify digital badges, and any user can earn, manage and display these badges all across the web.
  2. Open Badges knits your skills together. Whether they’re issued by one organization or many, badges can build upon each other, joining together to tell the full story of your skills and achievement.
  3. With Open Badges, every badge is full of information. Each one has important data built in that links back to the issuer, the criteria it was issued under and evidence verifying the credential — a feature unique to Open Badges.
  4. Open Badges lets you take your badges everywhere. Users have an easy and comprehensive way to collect their badges in a backpack, and display their skills and achievements on social networking profiles, job sites, their websites and more.
  5. Individuals can earn badges from multiple sources, both online and offline, and manage and share them using the Open Badges backpack. Today, we’re launching with the Mozilla backpack — other organizations will be able to use Open Badges to make their own backpacks later this year.
  6. Open Badges make it easy to get recognition for the things you learn, both online and off. Open Badges includes a shared standard for recognizing your skills and achievements — and lets you count them towards an education, a job or lifelong learning.
  7. Open Badges make it easy to give recognition for the things you teach. Anyone who meets the standards can award badges for skills or learning.
  8. Open Badges make it easy to display your verified badges across the web. Earn badges from anywhere, then share them wherever you want—on social networking profiles, job sites or on your website.
  9. Open Badges make it easy to verify skills. Employers, organizations and schools can explore the data behind every badge issued using Mozilla Open Badges to verify individuals’ skills and competencies.
  10. Open Badges is free, open to anyone to use and part of Mozilla’s non-profit mission. Open Badges is designed, built and backed by a broad community of contributors, such as NASA, Smithsonian, Intel, the Girl Scouts, and more. The open source model means that improvements made by one partner can benefit everyone, from bug fixes to new features.

Do feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below!