Open Thinkering


Tag: web literacy standard

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 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:
  • 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

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!