The Future of Assessment, Accreditation & The Internet: Deconstructing Mozilla’s Open Badges Project
By Heather Chaplin
By the time I first heard about Mozilla’s Open Badges project, the whole thing had reached the point of near mania. I went online to learn more and found myself drowning in blog posts and tweets. When you’re drowning, it’s hard to think clearly. Every day I dived in, and every day I felt I understood less.
Soon an idea began to form in my mind: Within the Open Badges project lies all the possibility and all the pitfalls of the internet itself. Read more about The Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition at dmlcompetition.net. The competition just announced its stage one winners.
But let’s start at the beginning.
For a good long time now, people in education, literacy and digital media circles have been talking about how learning happens in all kinds of places beyond the classroom—especially as the digital age expands the options to learn anywhere, any time. Digital media and online communities inspire kids—and make it so much easier—to pick up real skills around their own areas of interest beyond the classroom doors.
Indeed, the very skills that kids are picking up as they explore and learn online, from learning to be responsible digital citizens to expressing their opinion in a video—are an important part of what it means to be literate in the 21st century. Yet there are no meaningful official structures in place to recognize their development. Self-guided or informal learning rarely is recognized, particularly when the powers-that-be don’t understand that which is being learned.
The Open Badges project is an attempt to change this.
- Learners earn Open Badges from Mozilla (i-programmer.info)