Tag: web literacy standard (page 2 of 4)

Weeknote 14/2013

This week I’ve been:

  • Spending time at home – a whole week without an event or a conference to go to!
  • Resting as Monday was a public holiday and I’d spent Friday and Saturday working.
  • Catching up with my colleague Laura Hilliger for the first time in a while.
  • Hosting an Open Badges in K12/schools community call featuring James Michie and Zoe Ross.
  • Feeding back on the Webmaker call about the workshop I ran at Nesta’s One Day Digital event in Edinburgh at the weekend.
  • Listening, reading and generally catching up with last week’s Web Literacy standard stuff. I wrote a modest proposal.
  • Writing a post about Open Badges and the Web Literacy standard which should hopefully appear on DMLcentral soon!
  • Turning down trips to Seville and Brussels because (unfortunately) they didn’t fit in well with my schedule.
  • Working out my expenses for March. <yawn>
  • Talking with my new colleague Mari Huertas.
  • Interviewed by Faiz Abdelhafid as part of his MA programme.
  • Conversing with organisations like the Open University and JobScout as well as people like Simon Gough and Guy Shearer about Open Badges in their particular context.
  • Writing a proposal with my colleague Emily Goligoski on Open Badges for the Libre Software Meeting.
  • Composing a blog post about how to align with the Web Literacy standard using Open Badges.
  • Planning a new ‘napkin sketch’ for the Web Literacy standard (like the Open Badges one) with my colleague Chris Appleton.
  • Hosting this week’s Web Literacy standard community call. Listen again here. Note we’re moving to Mondays from next week!
  • Collating a whole load of animated gifs kindly submitted by my MoFo colleagues for my PELeCON keynote. Have a look here!
  • Creating a NEW new grid for the Web Literacy standard based on community feedback.

What does it mean to ‘align’ with the Web Literacy standard?

Update: For the latest information on the Web Literacy standard work, head to http://mzl.la/weblitstd

TL;DR: Mozilla is looking for organizations to ‘align’ with and playtest/iterate on the draft version of our open learning standard for Web Literacy. By aligning we mean (ideally) creating Open Badges which reference specific parts of the standard.

A couple of days ago I proposed a new ‘straw man’ for Mozilla’s discussions with the community  around a new, open learning standard for Web Literacy. I’ve explained why we need a ‘standard’ at all in this meta-post.

The draft version of the Web Literacy standard will launch on April 26th. We’re looking for organizations big or small, formal or informal, progressive or conservative to align with the standard. But what does that mean, exactly? Well, we’d like organizations to issue Open Badges based upon specific skills and competencies making up the standard.

As a former teacher, I’m well aware that when something new comes along the most likely thing that happens is that it gets absorbed into the existing status quo. And that’s for a variety of reasons – some good (people being crazy busy), some bad (political interference). One of the main reason I joined Mozilla to work on Open Badges is because I recognised that changing how we credential learning changes the way we assess learning. And if we can change assessment we can change learning experiences for the better.

So while you can absolutely use the draft Web Literacy standard as yet another thing to inform your curriculum or learning activities, that’s not really the point of it. The aim isn’t to just create another silo, another worthy ‘example’ of how you might define Web Literacy, but to work with the community to co-create something that is iterative but more or less canonical.

And the reason we’d like you to use Open Badges to align? It isn’t particularly because Mozilla’s building the Open Badges Infrastructure (OBI). No, it’s because metadata-infused credentials like badges help ‘jailbreak’ the way we usually do things in education. The technologies we use are not value-neutral but come with inbuilt tendencies (or ‘affordances’). The OBI tends towards openness and freedom, putting the learner in control and reducing the number of silos we have.

In practice, this will look a bit like the Common Core standards website. They won’t be as prescriptive nor as content-heavy, but the structure will be similar: a unique URL for each part of the standard. This URL can be entered into the new Open Badges metadata field showing that the badge is aligned with a particular part of the Web Literacy standard.

But won’t that lead to a free-for-all? Won’t that mean that anyone and everyone can create learning activities and curricula based upon the Web Literacy standard? Won’t that just lead to chaos and confusion? Well, perhaps. But I’d strongly recommend you read my colleague Erin Knight’s white paper on An Open and Distributed System for Badge Validation. 🙂

Does this sound like something you might be interested in? Come to our weekly calls! Get in touch! (doug <at> mozillafoundation <dot> org)

Upcoming community calls:

You can subscribe to the calendar to remind you, or bookmark this page on the Mozilla wiki!

Image CC BY-NC stephen schiller

Web Literacy Standard: a modest proposal (#weblitstd)

Update: For the latest information on the Web Literacy standard work, head to http://mzl.la/weblitstd

Over the last couple of months we at Mozilla have been hosting community calls in an attempt to come to a consensus around a new, open learning standard for Web Literacy. This is a contested area, for many of the reasons I point out in my yet-to-be-published paper on different types of ambiguity.

The reasons for us wanting to create a ‘standard’ for Web Literacy are outlined in this meta-post back in February. Since then we’ve had wide-ranging discussions, both on our weekly calls and on the Mozilla Webmaker list about what to include and, more recently, how to present the whole thing.

What I find fascinating is the importance of context when it comes to this work. This Web Literacy standard needs to to be flexible enough to apply to learners of all ages and stages and in contexts other than those with which we are most familiar. In short, it needs to be productively ambiguous. What do I mean by that? I mean it needs to be flexible enough to work in almost any context, yet be coherent enough to actually be worthwhile.

With that in mind, I want to present a ‘straw man’ which might serve us better than the previous grid:

Web Literacy Standard 'straw man'

Of course, the real fun comes when we get down to nailing down the competencies in each of the boxes. That’s this week’s call. 🙂

Do join us if you can for the weekly calls. The more eyes on this the better before we launch the draft version on April 26th!


Weeknote 13/2013

It’s been a funny old week. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • Speaking to some people (including Charles Miglietti from the excellent tldr.io) about potentially aligning with the Web Literacy standard.
  • Working on my slides for OER13.
  • Submitting an abstract for the PLE13 conference.
  • Attending (Tuesday) and keynoting (Wednesday) the OER13 conference. My presentation was entitled Ambiguity, OER and Open Badges.
  • Suffering from two migraines, leading to me reading Migraine by Oliver Sacks to try and make sense of them. I took Thursday off to recover.
  • Planning a workshop on Mozilla’s Webmaker tools as part of Nesta’s One Day Digital event.
  • Driving up to Edinburgh on Friday afternoon with my family for the Nesta event.
  • Running a workshop with thirteen 12-15 year-olds (7 boys, 6 girls) on Saturday. I still miss teaching, dammit.

Next week it’s Easter Monday so I’ve got a four-day working week. I was going to be running an Open Badges workshop for the BBC in Salford on Friday, but that’s been pushed back to be outside of the Easter holidays (so more people can attend). I’ll be planning my keynote at the PELeCON conference the week after next – which I’m entitling A History of Open Badges through the medium of animated GIFs. 😉

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.

Weeknote 11/2013

This week I’ve been:

  • Tidying up my article on ambiguity. I find myself referencing a 2011 article I wrote with my Ed.D. thesis supervisor Steve Higgins fairly regularly. It’s now available at http://dougbelshaw.com/ambiguity. Comments welcome!
  • Talking to companies about Open Badges. This week included a large media organisation, the people behind one of my favourite video games of all times, MOOC providers, and people who make stuff for railways. Badges for everything!
  • Confused about meeting times. It’s that time of the year when the US enters Daylight Savings. Everything will be up in the air again when we do likewise in the UK at the end of March!
  • Updating the Web Literacy standard blog. If you haven’t already subscribed, it’s here: http://weblitstd.tumblr.com.
  • Submitting titles and abstracts. The organisers of both OER13 and the PELeCON conferences both wanted more details on my upcoming keynotes. One of them will have a Wild West theme and the other one will feature more animated GIFs than you can stick a shake at. 😉
  • Travelling to Chicago. It was a fairly uneventful trip – oh, apart from the four and a half hours I spent in the immigration queue. Tired Doug is/was tired.
  • Attending DML2013. I’ve been in Chicago since Wednesday night for the Digital Media and Learning Conference (where we launched v1.0 of Open Badges). It’s as much a chance to catch up with my colleagues as attend the (excellent) sessions. I’ve written about it on my conference blog.

Next week I’m back home on Monday and in London on Thursday (just for the day) to talk to the games studio alluded to above.

Thinking through the Web Literacy standard arc.

Update: For the latest information on the Web Literacy standard work, head to http://mzl.la/weblitstd

TL;DR version: Mozilla is working on a new, open learning standard for Web Literacy. We’ve got weekly community calls and a blog to help us come to a consensus on what we need and what such a standard will look like. Our first target is the Mozilla Festival in October where we hope to have organisations that have aligned with the standard, as well as some Mozilla-devised learning activities, assessments, widgets, pathways and badges available.

Working in a distributed way at Mozilla is an interesting experience. We, of course, have strategies and roadmaps and an element of top down decision-making, but by and large there’s a great deal of consensus-making that goes on. Over the next few months we’re going to be learning on that experience to engage the community in coming up with a new, open learning standard for Web Literacy. If you’re unsure why we need such a standard, you might like to check out some of my previous posts on the topic.

If you’re at all familiar with how formal, technical standards are constructed then you’ll be aware that it’s often a multi-year process with much to-ing and fro-ing. While that’s absolutely necessary for a technical of standard, we’re hoping to foreshorten the process significantly in our attempt to define a learning standard for Web Literacy. Essentially, what we need is something that works well enough for those who would like to align with it. We can (and indeed, should) iterate as the Web evolves.

While I’m unwilling to put hard and fast dates on the following, these are the four steps we believe the community needs to work through in the medium-term to get to an alpha version of the standard:

  • Outcomes: What are our desired outcomes (and audiences)?
  • Categories: Are our current 4 categories enough?
  • Assessing & Sharing: How do we scale this standard?
  • Building: Here’s the framework—what should we add or remove?

What I can say is that to have time for testing, for organisations to have time to think about how they will align, and for Mozilla to build the learning activities, assessments, widgets, pathways and badges we’re planning to build, then we need to get a consensus around this pretty quickly. Happily, the work that we’ve done previously seems to be a good base for this discussion. And so it should be – that framework was itself created after interviewing with a number of smart people and some research into the literature.

I’m very much looking forward to what Mozilla can create with the community over the next few months. If you’re interested in this work, may I suggest that you follow the new Web Literacy standard blog and, if possible, join our weekly calls? You’d be very welcome and you need no qualifications (other than an interest in the area) to get involved!

Image CC BY-NC sandcastlematt

Weeknote 10/2013

This week I’ve been:

  • Attending SXSWedu all week in Austin, Texas. I’ve blogged about that here.
  • Presenting at SXSWedu. Slides for the session Kathleen Stokes and I ran on ‘Supporting a Generation of Digital Makers’ can be found on Slideshare.
  • Co-ordinating the work around Mozilla’s work with the community around a new, open learning standard for Web Literacy. You can find the recording from this week’s call here.

Next week I’m working from home on Monday and Tuesday and then heading to Chicago on Wednesday for the DML Conference. Excitingly, we’ll be launching v1.0 of the Open Badges Infrastructure! Also, as I’m not speaking there I’m looking forward to the  snow subsiding and the green river for St. Patrick’s Day!

Weeknote 09/2013

This week I’ve been:

  • Preparing for the session I’m running with Kate Stokes (Nesta) at SXSWedu.
  • Calculating my expenses.
  • Explaining to quite a few people that Mozilla doesn’t usually ‘partner’ with other organisations on bids (but that I’m happy to be listed as an advisor).
  • Playing lots of games as part of the nomination committee for Mozilla’s Game On competition.
  • Writing a book chapter overview for Dave White about the philosophical implications of simultaneously inhabiting physical and virtual worlds.
  • Adding descriptions to the articles, blog posts and books in the Web Literacy standard ‘library’.
  • Collaborating with my colleagues Carla Casilli and Erin Knight on a vision document for the Web Literacy standard work.
  • Discovering Firefox tab groups, courtesy of Laura Hilliger.
  • Meeting with builders to discuss my shoffice.
  • Responding to conference organisers asking for titles for presentation, preferences for food, accommodation, etc.
  • Updating my Lanyrd profile and adding conferences I’m attending over the next few months.
  • Sorting out my corporation tax for the now-defunct Synechism Ltd.
  • Leading a webinar on Open Badges for the Centre for Recording Achievement. Slides here.
  • Hosting the inaugural Mozilla Web Literacy standard community call.
  • Speaking to people thinking of using Open Badges for various projects.

Next week I’ll be in Austin, Texas for SXSW 2013. I’m flying out on Sunday and arrive back on Friday. So next week’s update is likely to be a bit shorter…

First Mozilla Web Literacy standard community call recording now available

Update: For the latest information on the Web Literacy standard work, head to http://mzl.la/weblitstd

Today we had our inaugural Web Literacy standard community call. I’ll not be posting the recordings of these here, but rather on a new blog we’ve created specifically for the purpose:


Do join us next week if you can! You’ll always be able to find the latest details of the Web Literacy standard work on the Mozilla wiki. 🙂