Open Badge Network

This week we launched the Open Badge Network (OBN) portal. Open Badge Network is an Erasmus + project and strategic partnership which brings together organisations from across Europe to support the development of an Open Badge ecosystem, promoting the use of Open Badges to recognise non-formal and informal learning.

Our mission is to provide a trusted source of independent information, tools and informed practice to support people who are interested in creating, issuing and earning Open Badges across Europe. Read our Charter.

Mozilla Open Badges is an open standard that allows all skills and achievements to be recognised and shared across the web. Schools, Universities, Employers and informal learning providers are using open badges to capture life long learning which is currently unrecognised. Open Badges are radically changing the way we see credentials; from abstract measures of knowledge towards a tool to connect individuals with opportunities for employment, training and progression. Globally, over 2 million badges have been issued to date by 14,000 organisations.

Over the next 2 years, the Open Badge Network is committed to connecting and supporting the European badge community and with them, co-creating materials, tools and guidance to enable Open Badges to flourish within Europe.

These activities include:

  • A real-time inventory of Open Badge projects across Europe called “Badge the World”Badge the World seeks to document the many innovative Open Badge projects that are underway throughout the world.
  • Tools and guidance for organisations and individuals to issue, earn and display badges. Open Badge Resources include tools, project, use cases and publications.
  • A calendar of European events, webinars and an Open Badges MOOC. Please include your event in our Event Calendar for the dissemination of your event!
  • An active network of practitioners, educationalists and policy makers to connect and collaborate with. If you would like to help promote and advocate this mission please register and get in touch.

We are looking for organisations and individuals from across Europe to join us as Associate Partners to help grow the Open Badge Network.

Join us today!

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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.

Wikipedia-Diversity

Wikipedia-Diversity is a new collaboration between Wikimedia Germany and Gender & Technology Center at Beuth University, dedicated to promoting diversity in Wikipedia. We have just started in February and are starting off with an interdisciplinary research team bringing in expertise from pedagogy, psychology, sociology and culture studies. The topic is super interesting and the team truly dedicated so I am really glad to lead this project. Our first common paper describing the approach was accepted for the eSociety Conference 2013 and I enjoyed presenting and discussing with the eSociety community in March (presentation below). Our approach is based on transdisciplinary principles (as we intend to utilise approaches from various disciplines to find best possible solutions) and on the principles of open innovation (as we intend to support the sharing of ideas, skills and resources from inside-out and outside-in). We are now prioritising the common goals for the overall strategy and the milestones for the first year of the project. This summer semester I will be also working with my students in the course “Media Didactics and Learning Design” at Beuth University on designing digital learning materials addressing specific aspects related to fostering diversity. It is a very exciting phase and I just can’t stop thinking about solutions and ideas.

  • If you know of some inspiring approaches that may be relevant for our project, please let me know!
  • If you are interested to find out more, I am curating resources on ScoopIt: Wikipedia-Diversity on Scoop it
  • If you want to read in German, here is the project website (under construction): WiDi project website

iArchitecture Collaborative Project

I am very glad to have been invited to participate in the iArchitecture Collaborative Project started by Thomas Cochrane, Academic Advisor in eLearning & Learning Technologies at Unitec Auckland (New Zealand). The project aims to promote international collaboration between student groups and collaborative teaching using mobile Web 2.0 tools. Some of the first ideas are to use:

  • Twitter for communication and sharing of ideas
  • Student blogs for recording project progress and peer-feedback
  • Mobile student-generated media (e.g.  images on Flickr or videos on YouTube)
  • Student-team projects in each country/course
  • Skype remote presentations from each project leader

Participants in iArchitecture Project are Unitec New Zealand, Sheffield University, Salford University, University of Tarragona and Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin.

To communicate and share ideas and artifacts related to this project we use the hashtag #iarch2011 (Twitter, YouTube etc.)

You can find our introductory videos on YouTube.

Here is my introduction, which I recorded today using my LG mobile phone and sending it directly to YouTube via WLAN.