Digital Learning and Open Badges

My participation in “Digital Learning” event by Wikimedia Deutschland came as a surprise and turned out to be an interesting panel and discussion session on digital learning and digital competencies in formal and informal education. Some of the issues raised where how to bring informal and formal learning together and what competencies will be necessary to engage in digital learning or learning in digitised conditions in the future. As far as the integration of formal and informal learning is concerned, one of the most promising approaches to me are Personal Learning Environments and Personal Learning Networks, as they are both very useful in supporting learners in connecting different spheres of learning. As far as the future competencies for leaning in digitised environments, I think that “knowing yourself” and “learning how to learn” will be crucial for self-directed learning in environments abundant with data, media, resources, means of communication and means of expression. What role can Open Badges play in all this? As “knowing yourself” and “learning how to learn” also include self-reflection and self-assessment, we could think about how Open Badges may support self-reflection and self-assessment (e.g. What are my strengths? How do I learn best?) in the process of mutual awareness-building in open learning environments.

Here are my slides and here the recording of the live stream.

Thanks Axel Krommer and Simon Köhl for a good session!

Mobile Learning and Open Badges

I have been invited to give a presentation on Mobile Learning and Open Badges at the Mobile Learning Day X(tended) 2014 at Fernuni Hagen (Germany). It has been a good impulse to start thinking about how open badges can be used in mobile learning scenarios and whether there is any difference to non-mobile uses and platforms. Will there be anything like a mobile badge in the future? Or are open badges already mobile because the very OBI infrastructure enables to issue and display badges across systems, contexts and people? During the Mozilla Festival 2014 event of our new EU project on open badges – Badge Europe – we have discussed future visions and scenarios on open badges and the idea of a digital badge card, similar to the electronic ticketing such as oyster card, emerged from this discussion. The idea is that one day we could have a digital card with different digital artefacts on it, including badges, we we could sweep at terminals to convert badges to something different, be it an entrance to a workshop, a lecture, coaching or consulting. Yet again this idea considers the mobility of a badge based on its exchange across systems, contexts and people.

I wonder if the mobility of a badge could be also considered on a different level. Any thoughts on this?

Below are my slides (in German) on open badges and mobile learning, where I have given two examples of mobile communities (busuu & foodzy) which already apply badges, not open badges though.

Serendipity, diversity and creativity in learning

Last week I gave a keynote presentation on serendipity and diversity in learning at FH Dortmund (Germany) as part of the KomDiM project related to Competency Development in Diversity Management in Higher Education. I enjoyed dwelling on serendipity and serendipitous learning a lot. Since my first article on serendipitous learning, followed by the book chapter in 2012, there have been a number of publications related to serendipity citing my work (e.g.  Saadatmand & KumpulainenTimo van Treeck & Martin Ebner; Aladjem & Nachmias). This years’ presentation explored the links between serendipity, diversity and creativity in relation to education and learning. You will find the slides in SlideShare (in German).

It could be the right time to work on a serendipity follow-up article in 2015 :-)

Wearable Technology Enhanced Learning

Just recently we (Ilona Buchem, Ralf Klamma, Fridolin Wild) have set up a Special Interest Group dedicated to Wearable Technology Enhanced Learning, short: SIG WELL as part of the European Association of Technology Enhanced Learning.

Here is our introduction on Wearable Technology Enhanced Learning:

Wearable technologies – such as smart watches, smart glasses, smart objects, smart earbuds, or smart garments – are breaking the established ground and offer new opportunities. These devices are body-worn, equipped with sensors and conveniently integrate into leisure and work-related activities including physical movements of their users. According to the recent forecasts (e.g. Cisco, Gardner, Deloitte) for 2018, portable technologies, including mobile and wearable devices, will form the basis of personal communications with the global wearable device data traffic increasing by over 60%.

Wearable user interfaces are just starting to transform user experience, improving integration of technologies into everyday life, education, and work. Since wearable technologies are likely to shape the future relationship between humans and computers, it is essential to look beyond the still mostly desktop-driven, narrow perspective of how technologies may enhance learning. We think that the Wearable-technology Enhanced Learning (WELL) is beginning to emerge as one of the earmarks of the transition from the desktop age through the mobile age to the age of wearable, ubiquitous computing.

We are interested in research and development related to wearable technology enhanced learning and are just beginning to collect examples of how wearable technologies can be and are used to support learning. One of my favourite examples is STEMbite in which Google Glass is used to create engaging videos on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths).

If you have some good examples, just drop me a comment. Also I will soon blog about my recent research project in this area.

Charting Diversity in Wikipedia

In 2013 Wikimedia Deutschland cooperated with Beuth University of Applied Science on diversity in Wikipedia.

Kompass-DE-ENNow we published the report titled“Charting Diversity – Working together towards diversity in Wikipedia” or in German “Kompass der Vielfalt – Vielfalt in Wikipedia gemeinsam gestalten”. The report includes key conclusions and recommendation for fostering diversity in Wikipedia. I believe our conclusions and recommendations may be also useful to other digital communities who wish to improve diversity on any of the levels described in the report.

You can find both documents (EN & DE) on Commons following these links:

The report will be presented at this year’s Wikimania in London (Aug 6-10)- Thank you to Valentin Münscher and Sebastian Horndasch from the education & knowledge department of Wikimedia Deutschland for taking this forward!

Also there is a Charting Diversity page on meta and we welcome all comments and discussions related to diversity in Wikipedia.

As it is work in progress, everyone is invited to contribute new ideas, other or similar approaches and good examples to inspire the global Wikipedia communities.

Here is the link to the page on meta: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Charting_diversity

If you are interested in the topic you may also find useful a list of session at Wikimania in London related to gender issues in Wikipedia which Netha Hussain put together:

Open Badges for skill recognition and recruiting

The ePortfolio and Identity Conference – ePIC 2014 – offered much room for presentations and discussions on open badges, as the extension of the title of the conference this year – “ePIC 2014, the 12th international ePortfolio, Open Badges and Identity Conference” – already indicated. Have a look at the Book of Abstracts to find out about authors and project in this area. One emerging topics seems to be the integration of ePortfolios and open badges and it was very interesting to get an insight into approaches, applications and projects in this new field.  One of the most inspiring projects/applications presented et ePIC2014 is Open Badge Factory -  an Open Badge cloud-based management system – keep an eye on this one! Another great project is the DPD project, which studied the 30 Open Badges initiatives from the 2012 DML Badges Competition - a great resource for all of us working with badges!

My presentation was dedicated to Open Badges fpr skill recognition and recruiting and provided some insights from the project “Credit Points”. You can find my slides on SlideShare (and below) – if you have an queries, don’t hesitate to contact me! You can also check my project “Beuth Badges” at Beuth University in Berlin.

Beuth Badges