Open Thinkering


Tag: web literacy standard

Latest version of Web Literacy standard grid (8 April 2013)

Update: For the latest information on the Web Literacy standard work, head to

Just a quick one to ensure the latest version of the Web Literacy standard competency grid is always here on my blog:

Web Literacy grid (8 April 2013)

Comments welcome! If we can agree on this then we need to get cracking with the descriptors for the strands and the competencies. 🙂

Our calls are now on Mondays at 8am PT / 11am ET / 4pm BST. All welcome! Details on the Mozilla wiki.

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

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