Seminar “Open badges in adult education”

24th November 2017
European information centre, Gedimino pr. 16, Vilnius, Lithuania  

Registration (Deadline 15th November)

If you are working in lifelong learning and are willing to explore how open digital badges can help your organisation to recognise competences of adult educators, then this is the right event for you. An international team of experts from Finland, Sweden and Lithuania has conducted a survey identifying core competences of a good adult educator. The result (over 200 replies) has fed into the creation of Open Badges on 3 core competences for adult educators. At this event we will present, test and collect feedback about the system together with you. The day consists of two parts. One part presents the methodology, the system, and the learning concepts we build upon. The second is a hands-on workshop for you to start developing your own badge system. Please indicate in the registration form if you are planning to take part in the first or second or both workshops. Of course everyone is also invited for the common networking lunch from 13:00 to 14:30.

This seminar is a multiplying event for the international project “Open badges in folkbildning”, supported by Nordplus programme. It is free of charge.

Po(n)dering the future of badges

badge_pod

Open Badges are here to stay, or so it seems. Everywhere we go there is interest, and questions, and development suggestions. It is not to say that Badges are immediately implemented and will (or should) replace other forms of validation.

Shifting the way we see and understand things is a slow process. That is good. We should consider the implications carefully, and not plunge headfirst into everything new for the sake of it. So as we prod along there are times when the process can seem unnervingly slow, or indeed even halted. To combat that feeling of despair and to lift our eyes from the ground a bit we sat down after a nice evening together, in a small cosy hotel room in Stockholm, and started to share our experiences, thoughts, visions and more, on Badges today and tomorrow.

The result is a rather endearing podcast, which I hereby invite you to listen to, and reflect upon.

Listen here

Here comes Badge Wiki

pablo (1)

We Are Open Co-op has announced a new partnership with Participate to create a knowledge base around Open Badges. This will be a sustainable community project, so they will be looking for volunteers in the near future.

This is good news for everyone interested in Open Badges. It remains to be seen how active and useful the service will become, much of which depends on the willingness of the Open Badge community to add content.

As an idea it is, of course, excellent. We could all benefit from a shared repository of information as the world of open badges keep expanding.

Read more

Research on Open Badges

pablo-19

This just landed in my inbox, and I thought to share it with you.

We are four Finnish University students, and we are doing a project about Open Badges together with the Ministry of Education in Finland. The purpose of this survey is to gather information about what people know about Open Badges and what could be done to increase and develop the use of Open Badges.
We hope that you can take a few minutes to answer our questions and feel free to share this survey with anyone that you think could have an input on the subject. You can also answer the questions in Finnish or Swedish even though the questions are only in English.
Here’s the link to our Open Badge survey: https://fi.surveymonkey.com/r/P6J5HLH 

The businesses that opened badges

pablo-13

So i decided to enroll in this MOOC on Open Badges. I mean, i do have some experience with the thing, and we issue badges on an increasingly regular basis, but i thought, why not, it can be useful.

We are still in the beginning of the MOOC (scheduled to run for 6 months). Already I can see benefits.

First off the approach was to include my personal interest and life story. To begin we were all asked to badge our life experiences. Suddenly, and with such a simple device, the concept broadened and became more interesting.

Next up was a webinar with representatives from various companies using badges. Working as I do in non-formal adult education it was interesting to hear other views on learning and competence-building. As a follow-up we were then asked to identify three companies using badges, and analyse them. Having canvassed the net for a while, and then asked in a Badge-related Facebook group i found them

  1. Kesko is a large national food supply chain. They have their own academy for their many employees, called K-akatemia. Within this educational provision they are currently offering a total of 5 different badges, dealing with cyber security, good sellmanship, and being a K-chain employee. More: http://www.kesko.fi/koulutus/ohjeita-opiskelijalle/open-badges/
  2. IlonaIT is an IT-company specializing in providing solutions and platforms for education. Adobe Connect is their flagship product in Finland, but they are also offering a lot of other things. IlonaIT uses badges to reward participation, but also within their training offers, for example in OBF (Open Badge Factory), Adobe Connect, Mobiilitotaali, Gafe.

More: https://ilonait.fi/osaamismerkit/

  1. Rastor is a private education provider, targeting primarily companies with competence development schemes and consultancy. However, in spite of my best efforts i did not manage to each anyone at Rastor that could help me or tell me how they were working with badges. It was also not possible to find anything useful on their web pages.

 

In general it seems to me the companies using badges are not very forthcoming in terms of using this in marketing or even to provide easy to find information. It could be because their usage is low, or it could be that they have simply not thought about it. Apart from Kesko the two other examples i found were IT-related, so it might be their interest comes from working in the field. Personally i think the most benefit would come from having SMEs in sectors other than IT discover and put badges to good use.

The companies I did locate used badges either to encourage learning of their staff (Kesko) or to encourage general participation (IlonaIT). An additional aspect we were asked to investigate was quality aspects in relation to Open Badges within these companies. I could not find anything written on this, so this is my speculation: The badges Kesko awards are just a few, and they are for quite specific things. Keeping the number of badges low and their use very targeted is one way of ensuring that the badges do represent a real value. At the same time they are not utilizing the full potential of creating learning pathways and increasing potential learner/employee interest to improve themselves. My conclusion is that they really should make a badge ecosystem, and widen their scope to reach within their whole organisation.

IlonaIT offers badges as a way to easily encourage participation on trainings or online events. This creates a positive buzz around the company, and might make them stand out in a crowd. However, for that to happen i think they must make their badge commitment much clearer and stated.

And that concludes my analysis of badge usage in some companies in Finland.

Please feel free to share this, contact me and/or correct any errors in this text!

The pay-off is in the process

ska%cc%88rmavbild-2016-12-01-kl-12-49-22When we talk about badges, we usually focus on the end product, the ready-made badge, and its value for the earner. We stress the demand for quality and recognition. For an organisation that is new in the Badges world this may seem too big a challenge.

I would like to highlight a “pay-off” that comes much earlier in the process, in fact as soon as we start creating a badge. The beneficiaries are the badge developers themselves and their institution and the value is independent from whether or not the badge will become a success with potential earners.
Here comes a brief report from a new-born badge project at Folkuniversitetet in Sweden.

It is amazing how a handful of small images can trigger pedagogical creativity in a group of experienced teacher trainers and ICT resource persons.

The agenda for a 2-days meeting said something like ”Staff training for Moodle: aims, target groups, levels, contents, materials”; severeal pages of course descriptions were attached. In other words: A real energy-killer. And a bit unfair on colleagues who have travelled hundreds of kilometres for the meeting.
What to do?

I made copies of the DigitalMe Badge design canvas, gave a very brief description of what Open Badges are and asked the group to discuss badges for the Moodle/ICT-pedagogical competences we think our colleagues need. After a short while conversations zoomed in on the badge pictures. We found examples (googled Open Badges images) and sketched our own. Doodled and played with design variables – shape, colour, frame, icon, text, logotype, name.

From there, without any effort at all and without a single yawn, we found ourselves discussing and making decisions on all the serious items on the agenda. Here are a few conversation snippets:
“We could have different colours for different levels and staff groups” – “What goes into one level, how many should there be?”

“There could be different icons in the center for different specialisations” – “Like gamification or formative assessment or creative use of the lesson-activity!” – “Once you have collected 5 special badges you get a gold badge for a creative Moodle pedagogue!“

“How do you get a badge anyway? Does one have to take a course or could they show their competence in other ways?” “Yeah, validation, definitely – how would we go about it?”

“We should even give credits for a positive attitude and self-dependance.” “If you go for a higher badge, say a “two-star”, or a “silver”, you have to show that you are willing to solve technincal problems yourself or help others”.

Now, a couple of weeks after the meeting, work is proceeding and the level of interest still high. Discussions about criteria and evidence of competence continue online. More aspects have come up, e.g. expanding the ecosystem to comprise even other staff development or the use of badges with students.
Even if we never got round to implementing the actual badges, I would consider the badge creation process a success that has added depth and width to planning our staff development. And made it much more fun.

So – just give it a try and we would be happy to read about it in the Facebook group Open Badges for adult aducators.

Help us – get a badge!

survey_helper

We are now collecting your comments and thoughts on what skills and competences are needed to function as an adult educator. To this end we have made a survey. Please help us by filling it in. As a reward we are offering you an open badge to show your commitment and willingness to share your experience and thoughts on the matter.

The survey (and the badge) is open for a limited time, please act now!

To the survey

Off-roads certification for the digital society

Strenghthen your CV with Open badges or find people with the right skills.

Open Badges are emerging as a way of validating and showcasing competence. They can be designed to acknowledge skills, attitudes, experience and achievements that do not fit in formal grading systems. Open Badges are digital by default and ready to be displayed in online contexts. They are being used in schools, volunteering and companies’ staff training.

How can we – educators, employers, tech experts, 21st century citizens – deploy Open Badges to bridge the competence recognition gap between sectors, for example between the volunteering sector and the labour market?

Join us in a “silent webinar” on Open Badges and meet badge developer Laimonias Ragauskas from the Lithuanian organisation LiNA. Laimonas has worked with Mozilla and Badgecraft and is currently helping youth organisations to promote new ways of showcasing skills and competences for a transformed society. He will present badge systems and digital badges portfolios that have been developed for European validation.

Laimonas will also address challenges and needs for further innovation in Open Badges that connect skills, development work and employers.

Grab a lunch, plug your earphones in and connect to

ska%cc%88rmavbild-2016-11-17-kl-12-02-32

Bildningsalliansen.adobeconnect.com/openbadges

Log in as “guest” and write your name.

You can follow the webinar live on Monday, 21 November and Tuesday 22 November at CET 12.55-13.20. If you intend to take part via your mobile phone you will need to install the Adobe Connect app.
Welcome to talk to us at Internetdagarna in the Digidel-stand or in Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/openbadges/ or on Twitter using #folkbadge.