This week I’ve been:
- Hosting the Web Literacy Standard community call. Audio and etherpad here.
- Communicating with the people behind Grimwire and +PeerServer about potentially contributing towards Firecloud.
- Interviewed for a potential upcoming piece in PandoDaily about the Web Literacy Standard.
- Talking to Sara Mörtsell about Open Badges for her upcoming MOOC.
- Presenting at the Learning & Skills Group conference in London. Slides here.
- Moderating a session – and feeding back from it to the EC Digital Agenda Assembly in Dublin.
- Messing about with, and getting used to, my new Geeksphone Keon running Firefox OS. It’s a developer preview but I’ve got it on the expectation that I’ll be ‘dogfooding’ – i.e. using it as my ‘daily driver’.
- Trying (and failing) to set up my new 24″ Dell monitor. The different digital display technologies are confusing (e.g. Thunderbolt and Mini-DisplayPort same physical size but are incompatible?)
- Answering questions from the community about Open Badges and the Web Literacy Standard.
- Talking to Erin Knight about a potential new role for me at Mozilla.
- Tidied up and added questions to the Web Literacy Standard FAQ wiki page.
- Meeting for coffee with someone who is thinking of joining Mozilla and wanted to know what it’s like working inside the belly of the beast.
- Putting together a short slidedeck on Firecloud with Vinay Gupta.
- Enquiring about the possibility of running another Maker Party (as I did last year) at the Centre for Life.
- Meeting up with a teacher at my wife’s school to talk through how they can use Webmaker tools to deliver part of the new Primary Computing curriculum.
- Checking out some books that MIT sent me in their Essential Knowledge series. They’ve asked me to put together a proposal for one on digital/web literacy.
Next week I’ve got a bit of a three-day tour of the UK. I’m in Sheffield to run an Open Badges workshop for the White Rose Learning Technologists’ Forum on Monday. On Tuesday I’m in Glasgow to speak at an SQA event entitled Innovations in Assessment for Schools before an epic train journey to Bath to speak at IWMW13 on Open Badges and the Web Literacy Standard. I’ve another three events the week after next as well…
This week I’ve been:
- Taking a day off. It was Bank Holiday on Monday – a national holiday in the UK. I still however spent 4pm-5pm… <drumroll>
- Hosting the weekly Web Literacy standard call. We motored through our first pass of defining the skills under the competencies in the ‘Connecting’ strand.
- Writing a post for Week 1 of the Mozilla #teachtheweb MOOC: How transferable are coding skills to other domains? Why is learning a little code important?
- Responding to enquiries by people and organisations about integrating with the OBI.
- Travelling to and from London to meet with Lord Jim Knight and STiR education about using Open Badges for teacher education in India.
- Enjoying a conversation over lunch London with the ever-enthusiastic Eugenie Teasley from Spark + Mettle.
- Collating questions about Open Badges and then answering them in this blog post.
- Suffering from a migraine on Thursday. I couldn’t see much due to the aura so I called it a day about 10:30am. I lay down and listened to podcasts. The Moral Maze episode on The Ring of Gyges was fascinating.
- Travelling to BBC North in Salford to deliver a session on Open Badges. It went pretty well, but I felt like I wasn’t getting my words out properly or explaining things as well as I usually do. It’s often an issue post-migraine. Slides here.
Next week, after five straight weeks of travelling and hotels, I’m home for the entire week. Woohoo! The week after I’m in Toronto for the Mozilla All-Hands meeting, so plenty to psych myself up for…
This is a post for the Mozilla Webmaker MOOC called #teachtheweb. You can get involved here!
There’s a tendency that we all at various times either demonstrate or resist. In ascertaining the value of other people’s thoughts, innovations or opinions we ask for evidence of impact. But when it comes to our own thoughts, innovations or opinions, we believe evidence to be unnecessary because it’s self-evident.
So it is with learning new skills. Those without the skills ask questions about the value of obtaining them (“where’s the evidence?”), while to those with the skills it just seems obvious. And then there’s the perennial question about ‘transferability’. Just what counts as something being a ‘transferable skill’ anyway?*
To me, innovation comes at the overlap of two or more circles of a Venn diagram. It stands to reason, therefore, that the more circles there are on your Venn diagram, the more chances there are for overlap.
As a Pragmatist, I like the description William James gives of the world as a “bloomin’ buzzin’ confusion”. There is no way that we can have an objective or neutral view of the world, so the more lenses we can use to view it, the better.**
Why do we need to see the world differently? Well, because the problems that we face as a society are increasingly complex. We need people who speak many languages – including those of machines – to be able to solve them. We don’t need a society of pure programmers any more than we need a society of pure linguists or musicians. What we do need are people who know a bit of each.
That’s why I think learning a little code is important.
* I kind of discussed this in this blog post.
** I love the HTML Hunting in the World Around You challenge in P2PU’s School of Webcraft as an example of this.
*** I’m currently re-learning French through Duolingo.