Planet Webmaker

February 28, 2015

Open Badges blog

Badger Beats: The Week In Review [78]

Welcome to the Badger Beats! Here’s a quick rundown of what the open badges community did this week:

Thank you to everyone who joined us for calls and discussions this week - we look forward to another badgeriffic week with you starting on Monday.

Have a great weekend!


February 28, 2015 09:44 AM

February 27, 2015

Open Badges blog

BadgeLAB Leeds is testing whether Open Badges can deepen or...

BadgeLAB Leeds is testing whether Open Badges can deepen or diversify young people’s engagement with the arts.

BadgeLAB Leeds is a new initiative led by ArtForms Leeds, Sheffield Hallam University and DigitalMe with the support of the Digital R&D Fund - Nesta, Arts and Humanities Research Council and public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Young people’s learning via arts activities is often informal, taking place through one-off classroom sessions or specially organized local events. Some arts learning provision is designed to function as a complement to traditional classroom teaching, taking place outside formal education entirely.

BadgeLAB Leeds is exploring how Open Badges can act as an incentive to take part in arts based learning experiences, which are not normally recognized with traditional qualifications. To this end, [they] have helped develop badged activities at events such as Light Night Leeds, the March of the Robots Parade and Party as well as MozFest 2014.

One-off classroom sessions have also been supported with Open Badges for activities such as robot making, den building, contributing to a giant, flashing Robo-quilt and making clay pots in the style of the ancient Greeks and Romans.

All of the badges claimed as well as the personal experiences of practitioners are being carefully documented and studied by staff at Sheffield Hallam University as well. [They] hope the research results will reveal how effective an incentive Open Badges can be for young people participating in arts-based activities.

See more at:

February 27, 2015 03:00 PM

Open Badges Community Call, Feb. 25, 2015



This week we were joined by Andrew Downes, who has been working on a prototype for an integration of Tin Can API (xAPI) and the Open Badges Infrastructure (OBI) alongside Ryan Smith from HT2, and the Open Badges xAPI Community of Practice

Tin Can was developed at similar time to Open Badges addressing similar areas (recording learner experiences and achievements). While there was some initial concerns about conflict or overlap, it turned out there were actually quite a few differences which made them quite complementary. Open Badges tended to be used more in academics to recognize bigger steps in the learning process, whereas Tin Can statements have been used in workforce to describe more granular steps before and after a badge is earned.

Andrew and the Open Badges xAPI Community of Practice have been working on ways these two technologies can work together, including:

Most of their work thus far has focused on using badges and Tin Can with professional bodies, but they are now moving on to organizations and accreditation bodies (see the diagram below). We look forward to hearing more from them in a few months - if you’d like to get involved in github, join xAPI Community of Practice around Open Badges:

Other updates

We were also joined on the community call this week by Dan Hickey, who is using BadgeList to issue badges in his Learning and Cognition Course, as well as working with Indiana University to install Badgesafe. His team is also collaborating with edX as part of his new project, Open Badges in edX and Beyond. 

In Louisiana, Carey Hamburg is putting together a focus group study on the use of badges in recruiting and hiring in the local oil + gas industries as part of his doctoral study. At Concentric Sky & the Oregon Center for Digital Learning, Nate Otto and the team are working on software for one user to be able to manage their own earned badges, define and issue badges to others, and understand badges that people show to them, and are making progress toward an initial release.

The Standards Working Group is continuing to make progress with the W3C credentials community group: members are putting together open badges use cases, and drafting a vocabulary that is generalizable across various high and low stakes credentials. This vocabulary will be shared with the general community soon for feedback and comment.

Opportunities to get involved

The Standards Working Group is putting together development resources to update the Mozilla validator to 1.1 and they’re looking for contributors. The group is willing to work with interns or new JS programmers as a mentorship opportunity, so if you’re interested in a little bit of Node.js contribution, get in touch with Nate Otto

Dan Hickey and his team are looking for additional collaborators on the Open Badges in Higher Ed project. Read more here and get in touch if your organization or institution is working with badges in interesting ways.

Thank you to everyone who joined us this week. Join us next Wednesday for more community project updates and announcements.

February 27, 2015 08:31 AM

February 25, 2015

Open Badges blog

How valuable is the Credit Hour?

A recent report from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching concluded that the credit hour, though flawed in many ways as a measurement of learning, is the best option we have in education.

Two years ago, in response to increasing concern over the adequacy of the credit hour, the Carnegie Foundation brought together a committee of 27 experts to look at the history of the credit hour and evaluate whether a competency-based model of learning measurement could replace it. The overarching theme in the report is that it would be risky - and difficult - to try and replace the current system:

"Achieving this goal would require the development of rigorous standards, assessments, and accountability systems—difficult work, especially in the field of higher education, where educational aims are highly varied and faculty autonomy is deeply engrained." (Source)

Inside Higher Ed provided a commentary when the report was released, citing several experts who have both praise and criticism for the report:

"Several experts praised the study for its broad look at the credit hour’s role and history. But some said they wished the foundation had pushed harder to find a way to move beyond the standard. After all, the foundation created the unit, and at times has been a driving force for change in higher education."

Download “The Carnegie Unit: A Century-Old Standard in a Changing Education Landscape” here 

What do you guys think about the report? 

Let us know by replying to this post or commenting in the Open Badges Community Group:!topic/openbadges/99S_9fdJ5D0

February 25, 2015 04:33 PM

February 21, 2015

Open Badges blog

Badger Beats: The Week In Review [77]

Hey there! Here’s what we got up to this week:

Finally, check out this TEDxProvidence talk on credentials for the 21st century, featuring Achievery’s own Damian Ewens:

February 21, 2015 11:41 AM

February 20, 2015

Open Badges blog

Open Badges Community Call, Feb. 18, 2015



There were more community members than usual on this week’s community call, which made for some great lively discussions - thank you to all those who joined us.

We met Paul Smith-Keitley this week, who is looking to develop badges for 21st century workplace skills - learn more in this video. He’s been meeting with local politicians and raising awareness around his initiative, so we’re looking forward to hearing how that progresses.

Other updates included Don Presant’s preparations for ePIC 2015, to be held in Barcelona in June, where Serge Ravet and other European badgers will discuss badges, e-portfolios and digital identity. James Willis is writing a “philosophy of open badges” with collaborators Kim Flintoff, Erin Fields, Ted Curran, and Bridget McGraw; to be published in Foundations of Digital Badges and Micro-Credentials

Dan Hickey is working on a general narrated slide deck called Open Digitial Badges: What, Why, When, and Where? to market open badges in the edX community and beyond, as well as working to get the Open Badges Design Principles and Documentation Project report out soon and moving forward with other projects. Steve Lonn is preparing for two badging events coming up: an open conversation about the intersection of badges and ePortfolios on Feb. 26 and a local workshop on digital badges for co-curricular learning on March 4.

We heard from Megan Cole that there is movement building around the Cities of Learning for 2015. The team is gearing up for a May / June launch again with three exemplar cities from previous years, Chicago, LA and Pittsburgh, with potentially a few others getting on board as well. Digital Youth Network is leading the technology platform for the individual cities this year. Also in Chicago, MOUSE is working with Hive Chicago to do a youth gamejam in May, aiming to get the participants to tap into MOUSE’s serious game design badge and curriculum after the jam. They’re looking for partner organizations in Chicago to do activities at the event, so if you’re interested, reach out to Meredith via Twitter.

Badges at ELI 2015

Indiana University’s Dan Hickey and University of Michigan’s Steve Lonn were joined by Penn State’s Chris Gamrat at the Educause Learning Initiative meeting last week in California to lead a panel on digital badges in higher education. Their slides are available here, and the video will be available after 90 days if you didn’t register for the virtual event beforehand. 

Steve told the group on the call that more than half the room had at least a basic or fair amount of knowledge about badges, which was great to hear; the group still did a brief introduction to address specific terminology (micro-credentials, badges, etc.) as well as the continuing discussion of digital vs open badges, aided by the Badge Alliance’s Why Badges? page. Using Twitter, Steve also shared this quotable quote from Dan Hickey during their presentation:

.@dthickey: if your badges don’t have evidence, don’t bother #eli2015

It’s always interesting for us as a community to track our progress at these kinds of events, seeing which issues attendees get stuck on, what questions are most often asked, what the ‘aha!’ moments are. If you’re attending or giving badges presentations at conferences, let us know what your experiences are.

Thank you to everyone who joined us this week. You can review the full discussion in the notes and audio linked above. Join us next Wednesday for more community project updates and announcements!

February 20, 2015 09:26 AM

February 19, 2015

Open Badges blog

Badges come to OpenLearnWe’re really excited to share this...

Badges come to OpenLearn

We’re really excited to share this piece of news from across the pond: the Open University is introducing Badged Open Courses! 

Check it out:

The Open University is building on years of knowledge, experience and research into Open Educational Resources (OER) with its release of innovative new badged open courses (BOCs). These have been developed in response to the needs of informal learners who are seeking access to study skills and to have their learning recognised.
'We have listened to the changing needs and requirements of our informal learners using our open platforms' says The OU’s Open Media Unit Director, Andrew Law. 'Badged open courses will complement The OU’s extensive and growing portfolio of OER on OpenLearn and provide learners recognition for their achievements through assessment – for free.' The team at The OU who produced the courses were finalists in The Learning Awards 2015 for ‘Innovation in Learning’.

Read this article in full here.

February 19, 2015 08:47 PM

February 14, 2015

Open Badges blog

Badger Beats: The Week In Review [76]

Hello there Badgers! Here’s your chance to catch up on the week’s events, articles and project updates:

Thank you to everyone who contributed to calls, chats and articles this week - we’ll see you all on Monday. Have a great weekend!

February 14, 2015 12:26 PM

February 12, 2015

Open Badges blog

Open Badges Community Call, February 11, 2015


This week the team and community looked at the recent progress of the Standards Working Group, which has been focused on a variety of important issues, including an endorsement extensions proposal. The open badges community discussion on endorsement sparked a discussion around what kinds of issuing organizations, individuals and technical platforms will make use of endorsement. A number of community members indicated that their organizations will be interested in endorsement as a way to add value to badges in the ecosystem, including Nate Otto of the Oregon Badge Alliance

The endorsement issue also raises concerns within our existing community that giving organizations the ability to endorse badges will open the door for those already in power within education and workforce standards bodies to take control within the badging ecosystem. Both Serge Ravet and Carla Casilli commented on the difficulty of creating new environments for existing power structures and the importance of ensuring the ethos of the badging work is maintained moving forward.

To take a look at the endorsement extensions proposal, click the agenda link above or join the conversation in the Working Group at

Thank you to those who participated on this week’s call. Join us next Wednesday at 12pm ET to learn more about our community’s badging projects and share updates from your own.

February 12, 2015 04:48 PM

February 09, 2015

Doug Belshaw

A visual history of the first two years of Mozilla’s Web Literacy Map

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” (African proverb)

Jamie Allen reminded me that February 7th marked the two year anniversary of the Web Literacy community at Mozilla. We’ve achieved a fair bit in that time. Here’s a visual history of how we’ve got (nearly) to version 1.5  inspired, in part by contributor Greg McVerry. There’s a list of all of the contributors so far at the end of this post and here.


Mozilla’s web literacy work was actually kicked off by Michelle Levesque before I joined Mozilla. I helped with some suggestions and iterations as you can see from her blog. To begin with, it was just a list of skills that I suggested she might want to put into graphical form. So she did: v0.1 (alpha) - Michelle Levesque There was a few months of overlap between me joining Mozilla as ‘Badges & Skills Lead’ and Michelle leaving. I took over development of the web literacy work and wrote a whitepaper.


Erin Knight, Director of Learning at Mozilla at the time, suggested we might work towards a ‘Web Literacy Standard’. We hosted a kick-off call in February 2013 which was well-attended. This is when the community work started, iterating towards a v1.0. The first draft (April 2013) looked like this: First draft of Web Literacy Standard The ‘release candidate’ in July actually had some design love (from Chris Appleton) rather than me messing about in Keynote. This was the ‘Request For Comments’ version from July 2013: v1.0 RFC (July 2013) We’d decided to lock things down for September so that we could launch a version 1.0 at the Mozilla Festival the following month. We were still hoping for it to be a formal ‘standard’ so we called it a specification: v1.0 (specification) As you can see, it’s very similar to v1.1 and the upcoming v1.5 – as you’d expect.


I’d moved teams in late 2013 to become ‘Web Literacy Lead’ at Mozilla. This meant that the Web Literacy Map was one of my main responsibilities. As a community we decided to transition away from ‘Standard’ as the term carries so much negative baggage in North America. After some discussion and debate, we settled on ‘Map’  and took the opportunity to update it to v1.1. Cassie McDaniel provided the visual refresh: WebLiteracy Map v1.1 In April 2014 this was then used to underpin the Webmaker Resources section: Webmaker Resources section Clicking on one of the competencies takes you to a page listing the skills underpinning that particular competency. It was contains resources for teaching that particular area of the Web Literacy Map. This was curated by Kat Braybrooke. Webmaker Resources - Remix In addition, nine of the ten points of the Mozilla manifesto link through to appropriate parts of the Web Literacy Map when you click on them for more information. For example under the ‘learn more’ section of Principle 2 it says Explore how to help keep the Web open. This links through to the Open Practices section of Webmaker resources. Mozilla manifesto - 2


Towards the end of 2014 we began work as a community on scoping out what we originally called ‘version 2.0‘. There was a series of interviews, a community survey, and a small number of community calls in the run-up to Christmas deciding on what we should focus on in 2015. Ultimately, we decided to re-scope to version 1.5 with the potential to go for a v2.0 later in the year. In the community calls we’ve held this year, we’ve already decided to combine ‘Web Mechanics’ and ‘Infrastructure’ to create a new, re-scoped Web Mechanics competency. At the same time, we’re separating out the two parts of ‘Design & Accessibility’ to create Designing for the Web and Accessibility. Changes in competencies from v1.1 to v1.5 We should have v1.5 ready by the end of March 2015. :)


This is a visual history, but behind the simplicity we’ve aimed for is so much debate, discussion and complexity. I’ve been in awe at times at the nuanced thinking of contributors to this project. Some have showed up since the beginning of the project, others have given their precious time for just a couple of sessions. But either way, we couldn’t have come this far without them. If you want to get involved in this work, you’re very welcome! Here’s where to point your attention:


Here’s the community, in alphabetical order by first name. They’re all rockstars:

Have I missed your name? Apologies! Let me know. Finally, there’s a few people I want to single out for their extraordinary help. I can’t overstate how important Carla Casilli was as a thought leader to the community from 2012 to 2014. Ian O’Byrne has stepped up time and time again and has led when I’ve been away. Greg McVerry has been a tireless champion of the Web Literacy Map. Laura Hilliger has been inspirational, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Marc Lesser has been the voice of reason and wisdom. Gus Andrews has been thoughtful and questioning. Alvar Maciel has opened our eyes beyond the English-speaking world and been a indefatigable translator. It’s been such an enjoyable couple of years. I can’t wait to get v1.5 ready and then move on to version 2.0!

February 09, 2015 07:55 PM

Open Badges blog

Webinar: Digital Badges to curate, credential and carry forward...

Webinar: Digital Badges to curate, credential and carry forward digital learning evidence

In case you missed the February 4th webinar hosted by Transforming Assessment, here is the recording of David Gibson (Curtin University, Australia) and Kate Coleman (Deakin University, Australia) discussing badges for recognition and motivation within higher learning environments.

February 09, 2015 10:00 AM

February 06, 2015

Open Badges blog

Badger Beats: The Week In Review [75]

Welcome to the Badger Beats, your weekly summary of the news, project updates and events happening in the open badges universe.

Here’s what we got up to this week:

What a jam-packed week!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the community call and online discussions - we look forward to another productive and badgeriffic week with you all. Have a great weekend!

Opportunity for UK-based badgers [DEADLINE TODAY, FRIDAY 6 FEB.]

Jorum are currently investigating the implementation of Open Badges with the depositing, repurposing and remixing of OERs and are forming a focus group of representatives from further education and skills sectors in the UK. 

Get in touch with the organizers here.

February 06, 2015 01:32 PM

Chris Berdik | What can we learn from the badging movement?

The following is an excerpt from a thoughtful column by Chris Berdik, recently published by the Hechinger Report (bold = our emphasis). 

Read the piece in full here.


While the badge universe has grown exponentially — about 300,000 badges have been issued using an open-sourced software developed by Mozilla, one of MacArthur’s partners in the “Badge Alliance” — those first 30 pilot projects [from the 2012 DML Competition] are the most thoroughly scrutinized badges around. Their fates will be instructive. As this ambitious, multi-million effort draws to a close, I spoke to researchers who have followed it from day one. Those conversations suggest that badges will need at least two essential ingredients if they are to be more than a gold star sticker for the digital age — rigor and relationships.

“Badges are like a new currency,” says Sheryl Grant, director of badge research for the academic consortium known as HASTAC (the Humanities, Arts, Technology and Science Alliance and Collaboratory), another Badge Alliance partner, and the one that administered the pilot competition. “Currencies depend on a collective belief that something has value.”

And that value cannot be from mere participation, says Daniel Hickey, an education professor at Indiana University who tracked the badge pilots. For badges to be meaningful, they need to make specific claims about the learning they represent and link to evidence that backs them up. Some pilot programs, he says, took a year or more just to figure out what they wanted their badges to say.

“They had never thought, specifically, about what learning they provided,” Hickey says. What’s more, Hickey adds, badges should go beyond what’s already covered by grades, tests, blue ribbons or other marks of distinction. For example, finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search, a rigorous and prestigious high-school science competition, win thousands of dollars and a week in Washington, D.C., where they meet dignitaries and present their research to top scientists. In 2012, when the competition gave finalists digital badges as well, few bothered to claim them.

So the competition added badges for research papers judged to be college-level, and “initiative” badges, for students who had overcome hurdles such as a lack of advanced science courses or lab space in their schools. In 2014, 39 percent of the finalists claimed their badges, but the claim rates for research and initiative badges were 51 and 59 percent, respectively.

Ideally, of course, a badge won’t mean something just to the earner. It will also impress college admissions officials or potential employers. By that measure, badges have a long way to go. None of the college accreditation agencies yet recognize badges as course credit. While several universities award digital badges in select courses, most are still “considering” whether to work them into the admissions process. Most online human resources platforms can’t process them. People do post badges to their LinkedIn profiles, but it’s not common enough to track, says a spokesperson for the company — whose business depends on tracking everything subscribers do.

That brings us to the second key ingredient for badge value: relationships. Simply put, most badges will only be valued by organizations that already know and trust the issuer or that had a hand in developing them. The rigor behind a badge rarely speaks for itself.

Just ask Hillary Salmons, executive director of the Providence After-School Alliance (PASA), which offers workshops in subjects ranging from debate to dance to designing smartphone apps. When PASA started digital badges, students could find no use for them, so PASA dropped them after two years. Now PASA is planning to re-launch badges this spring.

This time, Salmons says, PASA is reaching out to local business and universities to find out how badges can be useful to them. “We’re asking them, do these skills we plan to measure seem right to you. Do you value them?”

February 06, 2015 01:04 PM

February 05, 2015

Open Badges blog

Open Badges Community Call, February 4, 2015


We were joined by two new community members this week: Russell Okamoto of, where they have been developing a mobile app for showcasing badges via GPS, built with OBI compatibility in mind:

"We have built a digital badge app that lets you "carry" and "beacon out" your badges to people around you. You can also slap your badges like stickers anywhere you go sort of like digital graffiti. We think this app would be great for edtech badges to let people showcase their credentials. if you want to try it please let me know. The app is called Wave. We think for professional development, Wave might be a good way to advertise what interests and skills people have as they move around at events or in daily life.”

We were also joined for the first time by Bohdan Andriyiv, founder of, where users can send thanks to others as recommendations and endorsements. Welcome, newcomers!

The Standards Working Group has been moving forward with numerous extension proposals - read more and contribute to the discussions on Endorsement and Identity in the mailing list. We’ll be hearing more from Working Group members next week, so join us next week if you’d like to hear more about what they’re working on.

This week we asked those who attended the Digital Promise Educator and Workforce Micro-credentials Summit on January 30 to join us and share their thoughts on the conversations and presentations they participated in during the Summit, which brought together around 100 teachers, administrators, entrepreneurs and non-profit representatives to discuss the value of micro-credentials for professional development. It was a small summit full of intense conversations, according to Carla Casilli, who said the term ”micro-credentials” was a “door-opener” that opened up conversations about badges to an audience of teachers discussing professional development credentials. Accreditrust’s Mary Bold said there were quite a few attendees starting from the beginning with badges and micro-credentials, using the phrase “eternal September” to describe the rolling on-boarding of those new to the badging conversation. Mary also noted the summit was largely California-centric, and spoke to the need for more global connections in the coming months, when asynchronous collaboration will become increasingly important. Nate Otto said there were lots of questions and conversations about how “recognizers of micro-credentials” (consumers of badges) can determine whether to trust or value certain badges and “convert them into opportunities for earners.”

A few people have written about the summit already:

If you attended the summit, share your thoughts on Twitter with the #openbadges and #MC4PD hashtags.

See you all next Wednesday for a deep dive on the Standards extensions work and more community updates!

February 05, 2015 02:07 PM

Open Badges in Higher Education project is seeking collaborators

Indiana University’s Dan Hickey is looking for new platforms and partners for his latest project, Open Badges in Open edX and Beyond:

"my team is funded for two years to support people who are getting innovative badge systems operational in higher education. We can offer quite a bit in terms of getting systems up and running, and documenting progress and projects in our open case library. The official name of this new project is Open Badges in Open edX and Beyond. Now that we have succeeding in getting open badges up and running in Open edX, we are looking for new collaborators and new platforms. We now know our way around Open edX, Canvas, and Google CourseBuilder, and are quickly expanding beyond that.

Get in touch with Dan or his research associate James Willis to discuss your projects - even if you don’t need help, your work may be included in the open case library the team is building.

Email Dan: 

Email James:

February 05, 2015 12:25 PM

February 03, 2015

Jess Klein

Strategies to get over yourself and start creating

When I start a new project, I often have a moment of anxiety - blank canvas syndrome.  I am really excited about all of the possibilities that are embedded within the task of initiating new work, however I am overwhelmed by the blank screen that is staring me in the face. I start to think: will I ever be creative again? Will I create something unique? How can I effect the most change? ... make impact? do something original.... not find the obvious solution... but the best one.

Despite the fact that I feel like an impostor or a fraud in these moments - this is actually pretty common. I've talked to a lot of designers, illustrators and creative people and everyone seems to have a strategy for conquering this feeling. Here are some of my strategies:

Sit with a marker in your hand

My good friend Chloe Varelidi suggested this to me once and it works for me 99% of the time. I find if I just sit somewhere - a coffee shop, a subway ride, a library etc - with a pen in my hand and a sketchbook in front of me and just start the action of drawing, something will spur on an idea. If I am in a total rut, I will start by drawing what I think is the boring or obvious solution to a design problem - kind of to just put it out there into the world. After that is done, it's out of my mind - time to come up with a handful of other ideas.

Look or listen to something that is unrelated but inspiring

I am the queen of podcasts - at any given time I can tell you about something that I found interesting in a recent episode of 99 Percent Invisible or The Moth. The topics of the show don't ever need to relate to something I am working on, but I find that hearing how other people process problems and ideas inspires me to create. Sometimes looking at art in a museum or gallery is helpful. I will say that not going online and hunting for ideas on Pinterest or Dribbble is the most constructive for me. If I go to those sites I tend to go into a downward spiral of self doubt - thinking - look at all these other designers rockin' it - will I ever get my idea? Instead I think more conceptually and proactively.

Move your body

You've heard of the expression - 'mind - body connection' right? Well there's a reason for that - it's true. Stretch, run, do yoga,  go for a swim or a walk around your office. My friend Atul Varma actually takes off his shoes and paces from room to room while he is brainstorming. It's the act of waking up your body and prepping it to be creative that really motivates you - and it could be completely subconscious.  I always hear about people coming up with great ideas in the morning while they are showering.  This is unscientific, but I am sure that it has something to do with the fact that you are moving your body - stretching, standing and letting your mind relax.
Context switch

Sometimes the reason that I can't get started on something new is that my head is stuck on something old.  For example, I recently went from designing a snippet for Firefox to making an onboarding experience to then making promotional content for Privacy day. There's a lot of context switching going on here. I am switching mediums, platforms and thematic concepts! I am still struggling with how to get over this, but one thing that I do is context switch my physical environment. If I have been sitting at a desk for a week straight working on a project, I go to sit at a coffee shop or on a couch to brainstorm. If I have to work at my desk, I find some way to change it : re - organize it,  put some fresh tea in front of myself, find a new pen to sketch with - sticky notes to cut up etc. Anything to alter the environment within my zone of comfort.

Talk it out 

When all else fails, I find a friend or colleague to talk to. This might be in the form of a tweet, a blogpost (ahem ahem), a journal entry, an instant message or a conversation in real life. I tend to talk to everyone - my husband, my community, my mom, my fellow designers, people who are struggling with the problem that I am trying to solve - people who know nothing about the work that I am dealing with, people who won't respond - but just listen to me ramble, people who will respond and give me thousands of ideas that make no sense, just anyone. It's like talk therapy for me. I just need to get out my concerns and energy in some way so that I can move forward with the creative business at hand. 

None of these solutions are fool proof, and it's not like you do one thing and it's a magic bullet or creativity, however, I find that these things are constructive ways to focus and release my anxiety or nervous energy when initiating new work. If you have other strategies, I would love to hear about them, please send me or copy me on a tweet.

February 03, 2015 02:04 PM

February 02, 2015

Matt Thompson

What we’re working on this sprint

Jan 30 demos video. Check out Andrew and Bobby’s presentation starting at 56:00. Great analysis and take-aways on recent efforts like on-boarding, login and more.

What we got done last sprint

 What we’re doing this sprint

Sorted by theme:


plus… wrapping up loose ends from the last Heartbeat.

Get involved

February 02, 2015 08:34 PM

January 30, 2015

Open Badges blog

Badger Beats: The Week In Review [74]

Happy Friday, badgers! Here’s the rundown of what happened this week:

The Digital Promise Micro-credential Summit is happening right now in Redwood City, CA, which we’ll hear more about on next week’s community call. Follow @DigitalPromise for ongoing updates, and take a look at this neat vine which captures some of the discussion topics below:

January 30, 2015 05:13 PM

Open Badges Community Call, Jan. 28, 2015



This week we met a new community member, Angela Fulcher, who is looking into options for developing a badge system for Harlem schools and is based at Columbia University. We also heard from longtime badgers Serge Ravet, who has made some updates to the Badge Europe site, and Nate Otto, who dialed in from the Digital Promise Micro-credential Summit (more on that next week). 

Our main presentation this week was from Ian O’Byrne, who spoke to the group about the work the Badge Alliance Working Group on Digital and Web Literacies did during Cycle 1 in 2014. This group used Mozilla’s Web Literacy Map as a starting point for drafting recommendations for creating a privacy badge pathway. The Web Literacy community has spent the last two years scripting out the Web Literacy pathways and really think about what it means to be a web-literate individual. The goal of Cycle 1 of the Badge Alliance Working Group was to aim for a descriptive approach, avoiding being prescriptive about what these literacies should be. They began developing pathways, trying to be transparent about the individual skills/competencies incorporated, and what they would look like with badges built around them. The result was this paper: “Considerations when creating a ‘Privacy’ badge pathway.”

The discussion that followed touched on endorsement, federated badge systems, and badge currency, which the open badges community has been grappling with on the mailing list. Carla Casilli suggested this work might be a good use case for endorsement, with the Web Literacy community endorsing badges that align with the mapped pathways developed in recent years. James Willis argued that a certain degree of generalization is important in work this like, to increase accessibility for those who are new to the concept. As organizations start to explore badges, they look for use cases to find out what worked and what didn’t. Being able to generalize these lessons learned makes them more easily applicable to new members of the badge issuing community.

Meredith Summs from MOUSE shared this fun ‘privacy’ activity for youth on Mozilla Webmaker, focusing on users choosing privacy levels based on which digital identities it relates to. Check it out here.

What a great call this week - thank you to those who participated. Join us next Wednesday at 12pm ET to learn more about our community’s badging projects and share updates from your own.

January 30, 2015 09:21 AM

January 29, 2015

Michelle Thorne

Clubs: First test kicks off!

webmaker clubs 15

A few weeks ago we posted an overview of a new initiative with Mozilla, “Webmaker Clubs.” While details (including the name!) are still pending, we’ve made great progress already on the program and are kicking off our first local tests this week.

Joined by over 40 organizations and individuals around the world, we’ll test the first section of our web literacy basics curriculum, based on our community-created Web Literacy Map.

We anticipate having a community-created and tested Web Literacy Basics curriculum ready by the end of March, consisting of three sections:

In addition, there will be extra guides and goodies packaged with the curriculum to help people start their own local clubs or to inject this kind of web literacy learning into their existing programs. These will be bolstered by an online “club house” and leadership development for club mentors.

If you’re interested in trying out the club curriculum or just learning more, drop us a line on this discussion thread.

webmaker clubs 11

Testing 1. Reading the Web.

The first section consists of two 45min. activities, designed by the ever-pioneering MOUSE, to introduce learners to “Reading the Web.”

We selected these activities because we’re looking for lessons that:

webmaker clubs 16

The testing process

Testers are looking at the effectiveness and compatibility of the activities. In particular, we’re interested in how people adapt the curriculum to their learners. One example could be swapping out the mythical creature, The Kraken, for your local variety, like Loch Ness, Knecht Ruprecht, etc.

We’d love to see greater remixes and alternatives to the activities themselves, hopefully uncovering more compelling and context-sensitive ways to teach credibility and web mechanics.

And most importantly, we’re looking at whether the activities meet our learning objectives. They should not only be fun and engaging, but instill real skill and a deeper understanding of the web.

The testing process invites our first cohort to:

  1. complete a pre-activity questionnaire
  2. do the activity first on their own
  3. do the activity with their learners
  4. complete a post-activity questionnaire
  5. share a reflection

where the questionnaires and reflection will unpack how the activities played out with learners and whether they taught what we think they do.

webmaker clubs 12

Co-creating 2. Writing the Web

In parallel to testing the first section, we’re co-developing the second section with our fellow club creators. Here we hope to up-level two existing activities from the community and to prepare them for testing in the next round, starting Feb. 10.

If you have ideas for how to teach “Writing on the Web”, particularly the competencies of remix and composing, chime in!

There are some great activities identified so far, including the Gendered Advertising Remixer, Life in the Slowww Lane.

webmaker clubs 13

Getting involved

There are also other groups emerging to hack on other aspects of clubs. These include:

If you’re interested in any of the above topics, or would like to test and co-create the curriculum, please get in touch! We’d love to have your help to #teachtheweb.

Photos by Mozilla Europe available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

January 29, 2015 07:12 PM

January 28, 2015

Jess Klein

Privacy Day Mobile and Desktop Wallpapers

When I was creating the patterns for the Webmaker privacy campaign, I posted my works-in-progress up on Instagram and a few people asked if I would make them into desktop wallpapers. So... in honor of Data Privacy Day you can download them in a variety of patterns and sizes here.

Doodle Pattern: 320x480 | 800x600 | 1024x768  | 1280x800  | 2560x1440

Hexagon Pattern: 320x480 | 800x600  | 1024x786  | 1280x800 | 2560x1440

Wink Pattern: 320x480 |  800x600  | 1024x768  | 1280x800  | 2560x1440

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

January 28, 2015 06:01 PM

January 27, 2015

Open Badges blog

Erin Knight | Emerging Themes & Approaches for 2015

Read the original post here.


Welcome to a new year of badging! In my last post, I detailed issues and topics that I think need to be a priority this year, and this one builds on that focusing more on new approaches for this year and beyond…

It’s hard to believe that January is almost over, but I’ve been impressed and excited by the energy and excitement that folks have had in just these first few weeks of the new year. Last week I attended an event at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston exploring ‘soft skill’ badges for Workforce in the Boston area and beyond. And Digital Promise is hosting an event this week in Redwood City to also dig into badges for Workforce, as well as Educators. It’s so fantastic and inspiring to see the initiative from the network organizations and these types of meetings occurring. 

In general, I think there are some important themes around new approaches already emerging this year:

1) Empowered network and distributed leadership - We are seeing increased initiative and leadership from across the network, where organizations are driving key conversations, not waiting around for permission or for a centralized effort to kick it off, and organizing around specific goals. This is so exciting and will be critical to our success and scale as a network. Of course, it will be important to make sure that we’re ensuring findings and outcomes of these initiatives get fed back into the broader network as we go so that we’re minimizing duplication and learning from each other’s efforts. This is a clear area in which the BA can help.

2) Regional momentum Conversations, projects and leadership are starting to have a regional focus, which creates more awareness beyond the early-ish adopters and further builds the network, focuses and speeds up policy considerations and conversations, creates relevant and strong partnerships, and even opens up more opportunities for funding. We’ve already seen many examples of this emerging, including the Boston event I mentioned, work in Oregon, Pennsylvania and Maine, and much of the current interest globally. Perhaps the strongest role for a centralized BA is to create any necessary support structures for these regional ‘alliances’ and then work to connect key leaders or representatives across each to share experiences and leverage one another further. This won’t work for every issue and project out there, but I think is an obvious and needed piece of how we optimize our collaborative work and productivity and scale well.

3) Specific projects versus general conversation - As I’ve written before, last year was great for building foundations, but this year needs to be focused on delivering specific work and projects that provide models and examples to learn from and point to. The Boston event was positioned around not badges generally, but how we could use badges to support ‘soft’ skill development and communication for workforce. It was a specific set of problems, with the right partners at the table, and is exactly what we need to see more of this year.

4) Face-to-face events - We are a distributed network, and growing even more distributed as global interest takes off, and virtual meetings and methods will always be a critical part of how we interact. But we can’t also discount the value of being in the same room every now and then. I think face-to-face events will need to be an important part of our collective strategies. Ideally we have an opportunity to get together as a network at least once, with more regional or project-based meetings in the meantime. And again, a lot of those specific events are already underway in the first few weeks of 2015. More thoughts on this to come on this shortly, but expanding our toolkit for how we work together is definitely an important theme.

To get even more meta on you, the theme across these themes is one of decentralized work, initiative and progress, with a strong BA role in connecting those efforts and people. More to come in my next post.

Here’s to an exciting year. Looking forward to working with you (and maybe seeing you) soon!


January 27, 2015 04:29 PM

Jess Klein

Quality Assurance reviews for Design, Functionality and Communications

This week a few of the features that I have been writing about will be shipping on - the work for Privacy Day and the new on-boarding experience. You might be wondering what we've been up to during that period of time after the project gets coded until the time it goes live. Two magical words: quality assurance (QA). We are still refining the process, and I am very open to suggestions as to how to improve it and streamline it. For the time being, let me walk you through this round of QA on the Privacy Day content.

It all starts out with a github issue

... and a kickoff meeting

The same team who worked on the prototyping phase of the Privacy Day campaign work are responsible for the quality assurance. We met to kick off and map out our plan for going live. This project required three kinds of reviews - that more or less had to happen simultaneously. We broke down the responsibilities like this:

Aki - (lead engineer) - responsible for preparing the docs and leading a functionality review
Paul - (communication/marketing) - responsible for preparing the docs and leading a marketing review
Jess - (lead designer) - responsible for preparing docs and leading design review
Bobby - (product manager) - responsible for recruiting participants to do the reviews and to wrangle  bug triage.
Cassie - (quality) - responsible for final look and thumbs up to say if the feature is acceptable to ship

Each of us who were responsible for docs wrote up instructions for QA reviewers to follow:

We recruited staff and community to user test on a variety of different devices:

This was done in a few different ways. I did both one on one and asynchronous review sessions with my colleagues and the community. It helps to have both kinds of user tests so that you can get honest feedback. Allowing for asynchronous or independent testing is particularly beneficial because it signals to the reviewer that this is an ongoing process and that bugs can be filed at any point during the review period specified. 

The process is completely open to the community. At any given point the github issues are public, the calls for help are public and the iteration is done openly. 

and if there were any problems, they were logged in github as issues:

The most effective issues have a screenshot with the problem and a recommended solution. Additionally, it's important to note if this problem is blocking the feature from shipping or not.

We acknowledge when user testers found something useful:

and identified when a problem was out of scope to fix before shipping: 

We quickly iterated on fixing bugs and closing issues as a team:

and gave each other some indication when we thought that the problem was fixed sufficiently:

When we are all happy and got the final thumbsup regarding quality, we then....

Close the github issue and celebrate:

Then we start to make preparations to push the feature live (and snoopy dance a little):

January 27, 2015 03:19 PM

January 26, 2015

Open Badges blog

Taken Charge Honored as First Online Game to Earn ISTE Seal of Alignment

Taken Charge Honored as First Online Game to Earn ISTE Seal of Alignment:

This is a pretty big deal:

For the first time, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) has awarded a Seal of Alignment to an online educational game. Taken Charge, created by Galvanize Labs, focuses on helping students learn how to use technology and build foundational technology skills, and is recognized with a Seal of Alignment for “Readiness” for its contribution to building foundational technology skills needed to support the ISTE Standards for Students.

“To truly realize the power of technology to transform learning, it is crucial that students develop tech skills as well as the attributes of good digital citizens, outlined in the ISTE Standards. Taken Charge provides learners with an engaging and rewarding online environment that gets them ready to learn, create and thrive in a technology-infused world,” said Wendy Drexler, Ph.D., ISTE’s Chief Innovation Officer. “We are proud to award the first ISTE Seal of Alignment for an educational game to Taken Charge.”

We’re really excited to see educational games issuing digital badges for tech skills, and even more thrilled to see standards bodies recognizing those skills acquired through game-based learning.

Read the press release by clicking the link in the title, or find out more about the ISTE Seal of Alignment here:

January 26, 2015 10:59 AM

Badger Beats: The Week In Review [73]

Welcome to the Badger Beats, your weekly summary of the badging projects, events and activities that happened over the past week:

  • On the Digital Me blog is a feature on BadgeLAB Leeds and one of the participating organizations, Buzz Creative Arts;
  • Over on the Yardstick blog, a piece on the benefits of digital badges looked at badge badge and impact as they launch their badges on their T2 LMS;

What a busy, productive week our community has had! We look forward to seeing what you all accomplish this year. See you on Monday, folks!

January 26, 2015 10:49 AM

January 23, 2015

Open Badges blog

Open Badges Community Call, January 21, 2015

Open Badges Community Call, January 21, 2015:


This year it’s all about making these calls more about you, our wonderful community. With our revived “open mic” approach, everyone who wants to give updates on their badging projects can have time to share and gather feedback from their fellow badgers.

This week we were introduced to newcomer Keesa Johnson, an instructional designer who is working on creating a framework for open badges at Michigan State University based on the badge system developed at Seton Hall University. Welcome, Keesa! We hope to see you sharing more on a future call.

A question from another newcomer, IBM’s Laurie Miller, sparked an interesting discussion about badge value. This is a conversation that’s been ongoing since badges first started gaining traction, but has gotten more attention recently, with more people writing, writing (and writing!) about the potential and challenges of creating value around digital and open badges. We’ll be using one of the upcoming calls to dive deeper, so get your thinking (and writing) caps on!

Sunny Lee brought up a recent discussion thread from the community mailing list on badges and image / content licensing, raising the question of whether folks would be interested in digging into the points raised on a community call. Catch up with the thread here and stay tuned for more movement on that conversation.

Andrew Downes is working on a prototype for issuing open badges through the Tin Can API; follow the Gitter chat here: Nate Otto posted “minor updates” to the Badgr mobile apps for iOS and Android - if you find any bugs, report them to Nate directly via email. These updates should make them compatible with more issuers of open badges (how exciting!)

Speaking of exciting projects, Don Present is working on building a badge-enabled personal learning environment (PLE) for international humanitarian workers, starting with Doctors Without Borders. We definitely look forward to hearing more about this as it progresses - and if you’re going to the 2015 ePIC Conference in Barcelona in June, look out for Don’s presentation on this project.

We were also joined by more of our European friends, Nerijus Kriauciunas and Robertas Visinkis, who have developed BadgeCraft, which offers tools for organizations to design, manage and issue open badges. Their project made it through to the finals of hte DML Competition, and although voting has now ended, you can read more about their proposal here:

Thank you to everyone who participated this week - join us next Wednesday at 12pm ET to share and give feedback on more community badging projects!

January 23, 2015 06:08 PM

Jess Klein

Dino Dribbble

The newly created Mozilla Foundation design team started out with a bang (or maybe I should say rawr) with our very first collaboration: a team debut on dribbble. Dribbble describes itself as a show and tell community for designers. I have not participated in this community yet but this seemed like a good moment to join in. For our debut shot, we decided to have some fun and plan out our design presence. We ultimately decided to go in a direction designed by Cassie McDaniel.

The concept was for us to break apart the famed Shepard Fairey Mozilla dinosaur into quilt-like

Each member of the design team was assigned a tile or two and given a shape. This is the one I was assigned:
I turned that file into this:

We all met together in a video chat to upload our images on to the site.

Anticipation was building as we uploaded each shot one by one:
But the final reveal made it worth all the effort! 

Check out our new team page on dribbble. rawr!

Cassie also wrote about the exercise on her blog and discussed the opinion position for a designer to join the team.

January 23, 2015 01:12 AM

January 22, 2015

Matt Thompson

Mozilla Learning in 2015: our vision and plan

This post is a shortened, web page version of the 2015 Mozilla Learning plan we shared back in December. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be blogging and encouraging team and community members to post their reflections and detail on specific pieces of work in 2015 and Q1. Please post your comments and questions here — or get more involved.

Surman Keynote for Day One - Edit.002

Within ten years, there will be five billion citizens of the web.

Mozilla wants all of these people to know what the web can do. What’s possible. We want them to have the agency, skills and know-how they need to unlock the full power of the web. We want them to use the web to make their lives better. We want them to know they are citizens of the web.

Mozilla Learning is a portfolio of products and programs that helps people learn how to read, write and participate in the digital world.

Building on Webmaker, Hive and our fellowship programs, Mozilla Learning is a portfolio of products and programs that help these citizens of the web learn the most important skills of our age: the ability to read, write and participate in the digital world. These programs also help people become mentors and leaders: people committed to teaching others and to shaping the future of the web.

Mark Surman presents the Mozilla Learning vision and plan in Portland, Dec 2015

Three-year vision

By 2017, Mozilla will have established itself as the best place to learn the skills and know-how people need to use the web in their lives, careers and organizations. We will have:

At the end of these three years, we may have established something like a “Mozilla University” — a learning side of Mozilla that can sustain us for many decades. Or, we may simply have a number of successful learning programs. Either way, we’ll be having impact.

We may establish something like a “Mozilla University” — a learning side of Mozilla that can sustain us for many decades.

Surman Keynote for Day One - Edit.008
2015 Focus

1) Learning Networks 2) Learning Products 3) Leadership Development

Our focus in 2015 will be to consolidate, improve and focus what we’ve been building for the last few years. In particular we will:

The short term goal is to make each of our products and programs succeed in their own right in 2015. However, we also plan to craft a bigger Mozilla Learning vision that these products and programs can feed into over time.

Surman Keynote for Day One - Edit.003
A note on brand

Mozilla Learning is notional at this point. It’s a stake in the ground that says:

Mozilla is in the learning and empowerment business for the long haul.

In the short term, the plan is to use “Mozilla Learning” as an umbrella term for our community-driven learning and leadership development initiatives — especially those run by the Mozilla Foundation, like Webmaker and Hive. It may also grow over time to encompass other initiatives, like the Mozilla Developer Network and leadership development programs within the Mozilla Reps program. In the long term: we may want to a) build out a lasting Mozilla learning brand (“Mozilla University?”), or b) build making and learning into the Firefox brand (e.g., “Firefox for Making”). Developing a long-term Mozilla Learning plan is an explicit goal for 2015.

What we’re building

Practically, the first iteration of Mozilla Learning will be a portfolio of products and programs we’ve been working on for a number of years: Webmaker, Hive, Maker Party, Fellowship programs, community labs. Pulled together, these things make up a three-layered strategy we can build more learning offerings around over time.

  1. The Learning Networks layer is the most developed piece of this picture, with Hives and Maker Party hosts already in 100s of cities around the world.
  2. The Learning Products layer involves many elements of the work, but will be relaunched in 2015 to focus on a mass audience.
  3. The Leadership Development piece has strong foundations, but a formal training element still needs to be developed.
Scope and scale

One of our goals with Mozilla Learning is to grow the scope and scale of Mozilla’s education and empowerment efforts. The working theory is that we will create an interconnected set of offerings that range from basic learning for large numbers of people, to deep learning for key leaders who will help shape the future of the web (and the future of Mozilla).

We want to increasing the scope and diversity of how people learn with Mozilla.

We’ll do that by building opportunities for people to get together to learn, hack and invent in cities on every corner of the planet. And also: creating communities that help people working in fields like science, news and government figure out how to tap into the technology and culture of the web in their own lives, organizations and careers. The plan is to elaborate and test out this theory in 2015 as a part of the Mozilla Learning strategy process. (Additional context on this here: Surman Keynote for Day One - Edit.016

Contributing to Mozilla’s overall 2015 KPIs

How will we contribute to Mozilla’s top-line goals? In 2015, We’ll measure success through two key performance indicators: relationships and reach.

Surman Keynote for Day One - Edit.006

Learning Networks

In 2015, we will continue to grow and improve the impact of our local Learning Networks.

Surman Keynote for Day One - Edit.011

Learning Products

Grow a base of engaged desktop and mobile users for Webmaker.

Surman Keynote for Day One - Edit.014

Leadership Development

Develop a leadership development program, building off our existing Fellows programs.

Get involved

January 22, 2015 06:47 PM

January 21, 2015

Open Badges blog

BadgeLAB Leeds: badges for arts-based learning in the...

BadgeLAB Leeds: badges for arts-based learning in the UK

BadgeLAB Leeds is a partnership amongst ArtForms Leeds, Sheffield Hallam University and DigitalMe. The project works with local arts organisations and arts practitioners to help them create badges that recognise arts-based learning. BadgeLAB Leeds offers learning events for schools, learning programmes and informal audiences.

Buzz, one of the participating arts programmes, is for young people aged 14 to 25 who have a learning disability. It’s offered by West Yorkshire Playhouse at First Floor, their designated creative space for young people.Bee, featured in the above video, is an artist and support worker for Buzz who attended a Badge Design Day back in September.

Head over to the blog (link below) to read an interview with Maria, Co-ordinator at Buzz, about BadgeLAB Leeds.

Read more over on the Digital Me blog

January 21, 2015 03:50 PM

January 20, 2015

Matt Thompson

What we’re working on this Heartbeat

Transparency. Agililty. Radical participation. That’s how we want to work on Webmaker this year. We’ve got a long way to go,  but we’re building concrete improvements and momentum — every two weeks.

We work mostly in two-week sprints or “Heartbeats.” Here’s the priorities we’ve set together for the current Heartbeat ending January 30.

Questions? Want to get involved? Ask questions in any of the tickets linked below, say hello in #webmaker IRC, or get in touch with @OpenMatt.

What we’re working on now

See it all (always up to date):

Or see the work broken down by:

Learning Networks

Learning Products

Desktop / Tablet:



 Planning & Process

January 20, 2015 04:11 PM

January 17, 2015

Open Badges blog

Badger Beats: The Week In Review [72]

Hey there, folks! Here’s your rundown of what went on in the world of badges this week:

That’s it for this week - if you’ve got something to share, tweet it out using the hashtag #openbadges so we can pass it on to the community.
And don’t forget, public voting for the DML Competition closes next week, so get your votes in by January 20!

January 17, 2015 08:05 AM

January 16, 2015

Jess Klein

EYE Witness News: Promotional Content on Webmaker

On January 28th Mozilla will be celebrating Data Privacy Day. This is an international effort centered on "Respecting Privacy, Safeguarding Data and Enabling Trust." There will be content on Mozilla, Webmaker and Mozilla Advocacy. The Webmaker team had previously developed privacy content with the Private Eye activity (featuring the Lightbeam add-on), so the primary challenge here was how to promote that content via the Webmaker splash page. This is actually a two - fold design opportunity:

1. micro: how might we promote the unique Privacy Day content on the splash page for the 28th?

2. macro: how might we incorporate promotional interest-based content into the real estate on the Webmaker splash page on an ongoing basis?

Constraints: needs to be conceived, designed and implemented within 2 weeks.

Start from the beginning 

I took a look at the current splash page. The content that we are promoting is directly connected to the Mozilla mission, so I identified a sliver of space directly above the section where we state the project's values. My thinking here is that we are creating a three tier hierarchy of values on the page: 1) we are webmaker - we are all about making - and this is what you can do right this second to get started, 2) we are deeply concerned about [privacy] - and this what you can do right now to dive into that topic and 3)we are more than just making + [privacy] - here are all the things that we value.

I SEE what you did there

That sliver was great, but it was below the non-existent but deeply considered fold of the page. If this was a painting I would create a repoussoir element to bring the users attention to the core content  by framing the edge. In the painting below you can see that tree branch that directs your attention directly into the heart of the composition.

Jacob Isaaksz. van Ruisdael, The Jewish Cemetery (1655-60)

Building off of my thinking from designing the Mozilla snippet and the onboarding ux,  I wanted to make this repoussoir element something that a user might find quirky, whimsical or relateable. All of the other elements on the page were expected and kind of standard elements for a webpage. I needed to create something that would be subtle yet attention grabbing.  Looking at subject of privacy, I immediately had associations with corporations and individuals big- brothering me as I visited web pages. I realized that the activity we were directing users to was called private eye - and this led me to create a small asset that features an eyeball that follows your cursor around as you explore the splash page. On hover it will flip and direct you to the activity.This worked for desktop, but for mobile we would have to simulate the action by having a simple CSS eyeball animation center aligned on the sliver. Major props here go out to Aki who had to invoke the pythagorean theorem to get the eye to follow the cursor without leaving the sclera.

  I did a study of eyeballs on redpen and immediately got a ton of community and staff feedback - which told me two things: 1. it was a conversation topic and 2. people liked the very first eyeball that I drew. 

Let me give you a walk through

    From Mozilla's perspective, we are testing:

    • whimsy vs. traditional promotional placement 
    • mission driven content 
    • how many people are we getting to engage with Webmaker and sign up for new accounts

    What's Next Up:

    • This will be deployed on staging on Monday and then our goal is to go live on January 28th, which is Privacy Day!
    • Now that we have a promotional framework, figuring out how to incorporate a richer learning experience around mission - based content.
    • Users can opt into enrolling in a sustained challenge - based Webmaker activity. Almost as if it's a virtual Webmaker club.

      Shout outs to the team that made this possible: Aki, Andrew, Erika, Paul, Dave

    January 16, 2015 02:01 PM

    January 15, 2015

    Open Badges blog

    Open Badges Community Call, Jan. 14, 2015



    This year, we’re encouraging the community to have much more of a voice on the community calls, with “open mic” style updates and presentations.

    This week, Sunny Lee shared her hopes for badges in 2015, including continuing work on endorsement, the Directory and display tools. A number of community members, including Serge Ravet, are working on projects such as the Open Badge Passport to make badge sharing and display easier for earners. Tim Cook from the Sprout Fund also hopes 2015 will bring more display options such as backpacks and passports, as well as progress on backpack federation. Many community members are also working on increased documentation for badging projects in 2015 - James Willis is putting the Design Principles Documentation Project’s final report together, with “research and hard data” to contribute to our research base. Exciting stuff!

    We also heard from Nate Otto and Beth Unverzagt, who are founding members of the Oregon Badge Alliance. This sparked a discussion of how a selection of organizations came together to form “a network of partners in Oregon who want to advance education with technology.” They are kicking off 12 pilot projects in 2015, including workforce readiness programs, after school groups, higher education and informal learning organizations. Wayne Skipper, another of the Oregon Badge Alliance’s founding members, said the key to forming this regional alliances finding a “core group serving different roles with complementary skills” across different sectors. We hope to follow up with the folks in Oregon and get some advice for others who might want to start their own local or regional collaborations.

    Finally, we heard from Mercè Muntada, Jordi Moretón and Eduardo Millán, who together developed BadgeCulture, a project to engage people in cultural tourism activities in Spain. They recently launched an open beta at and are looking for further tools and user testing before progressing further. Badges are still a new concept in Spain, so they’re also doing a lot of evangelism and education on the concept of badges before taking BadgeCulture to the next level and developing badges.

    If you’ve got a badging project you’re thinking about or working on, please join us next Wednesday at 12pm ET and share it with the community!

    January 15, 2015 05:27 PM

    January 14, 2015

    Michelle Thorne

    Diving into PADI’s learning model

    padi 1

    For the last few years, Joi Ito has been blogging about learning to dive with PADI. It wasn’t until I became certified as a diver myself that I really understood how much we can learn from PADI’s educational model.

    Here’s a summary of how PADI works, including ideas that we could apply to Webmaker.

    With Webmaker at the moment, we’re testing how to empower and train local learning centers to teach the web on an ongoing basis. This is why I’m quite interested in how other certification and learning & engagement models work.

    padi 2

    PADI’s purpose

    The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) has been around since the late 1960’s. It  trained over 130,000 diving instructors to issue millions of learning certifications to divers around the world. Many instructors run their own local businesses, who’s main service is to rent out gear and run tours for certified divers, or to certify people learning how to dive.

    Through its certification service, PADI became the diving community’s de facto standard-bearer and educational hub. Nearly all diving equipment, training and best practices align with PADI.

    No doubt, PADI is a moneymaking machine. Every rung of their engagement ladder comes with a hefty price tag. Diving is not an access-for-all sport. For example, part of the PADI training is about learning how to make informed consumer choices about the dive equipment, which they will later sell to you.

    Nevertheless, I do think there is lots of learn from their economic and engagement model.

    Blended learning with PADI

    PADI uses blended learning to certify its divers.

    They mix a multi-hour online theoretical part (regrettably, it’s just memorization) with several in-person skills trainings in the pool and open water. Divers pay a fee ($200-500) to access the learning materials and to work with an instructor. They also send you a physical kit with stickers, pamphlets and a logbook you can use on future dives.

    Dive instructors teach new divers in very small groups (mine was 1:1 to maximum of 1:3). It’s very hands-on and tailored to the learner’s pace. Nevertheless, it has a pretty tight script. The instructor has a checklist of things to teach in order to certify the learner, and you work through those quite methodically. The online theory complements the lessons in the water, although for my course they could’ve cut about 3 hours of video nerding out on dive equipment.

    There is room for instructor discretion and lots of local adaptation. For example, you are taught to understand local dive practices and conditions, like currents and visibility, which inform how you adapt the PADI international diving standard to your local dives. This gives the instructor some agency and adaptability.

    Having a point of view

    PADI makes its point of view very clear. Their best practices are so explicit, and oft-repeated, that as a learner you really internalize their perspective. In the water, you immediately flag any detraction from The PADI Way.

    Mainly, these mantras are for your own safety: breathe deeply and regularly, always dive with a buddy, etc. But by distilling their best practices so simply and embedding them deeply and regularly in the training, as a learner you become an advocate for these practices as well.

    Learning with a buddy

    The buddy system is particularly interesting. It automatically builds in peer learning and also responsibility for yourself and your buddy. You’re taught to rely on each other, not the dive instructor. You solve each others problems, and this helps you become empowered in the water.


    Furthermore, PADI makes its learning pathways very explicit and achievable. After doing one of the entry level certification, Open Water Diving, I feel intrigued to take on the next level and trying out some of the specializations, like cave diving and night diving.

    Throughout the course, you see glimpses of what is possible with further training. You can see more advanced skills and environments becoming unlocked as you gather more experience. The PADI system revolves around tiers of certifications unlocking gear and new kinds of dives, which they do a good job of making visible and appealing.

    You can teach, too.

    What’s even more impressive is that the combination of the buddy/peer learning model and the clear pathways makes becoming an instructor seem achievable and aspirational—even when you just started learning.

    As a beginner diver, I already felt excited by the possibility of teaching others to dive. Becoming a PADI instructor seems cool and rewarding. And it feels very accessible within the educational offering: you share skills with your buddy; with time and experience, you can teach more skills and people.

    Training the trainers

    padi engagement ladder

    Speaking of instructors, PADI trains them in an interesting way as well. Like new divers, instructors are on a gamification path: you earn points for every diver you certify and for doing various activities in the community. With enough points, you qualify for select in-person instructor trainings or various gear promotions.

    Instructors are trained in the same model that they teach: it’s blended, with emphasis on in-person training with a small group of people. You observe a skill, then do it yourself, and then teach it. PADI flies about 100 instructors-to-be to a good dive destination and teaches them in-person for a week or so. Instructors pay for the flights and the training.

    At some point, you can earn enough points and training as an instructor that you can certify other instructors. This is the pinnacle of the PADI engagement ladder. We’re doing something similar with Webmaker: the top of the engagement ladder is a Webmaker Super Mentor. That’s someone who trains other mentors. It’s meta, and only appeals to a small subset of people, but it’s a very impactful group.

    What’s the role of PADI staff? This is a question we often ask ourselves in the Webmaker context. Mainly, PADI staff are administrators. Some will visit local dive centers to conduct quality control or write up new training modules. They are generally responsible for coordinating instructors and modeling PADI practices.

    Local learning, global community

    The local diver centers and certified instructors are PADI’s distribution model.

    Divers go to a local shop to buy gear, take tours and trainings. The local shop is a source of economic revenue for the instructors and for PADI. As divers level up within the PADI system, they can access more gear and dive tours from these shops.


    Lastly, PADI imparts its learners with a sense of stewardship of the ocean. It empowers you in a new ecosystem and then teaches you to be an ambassador for it. You feel responsibility and care for the ocean, once you’ve experienced it in this new way.

    Importantly, this empowerment relies on experiential learning. You don’t feel it just by reading about the ocean. It’s qualitatively different to have seen the coral and sea turtles and schools of fish yourself.

    The theory and practice dives in the pool ready you for the stewardship. But you have to do a full dive, in the full glory of the open water, to really get it.

    I think this is hugely relevant for Webmaker as well: it’s all good to read about the value of the open web. But it’s not until you’re in the midst of exploring and making in the open web do you realize how important that ecosystem is. Real experience begets responsibility.

    Giving back

    PADI encourages several ways for you to give back and put your stewardship to use: pick up litter, do aquatic life surveys, teach others about the waters, etc.

    They show you that there is a community of divers that you are now a part of. It strikes a good balance between unlocking experiences for you personally and then showing you how you can act upon them to benefit a larger effort.

    Going clubbing

    As mentioned, there are many shortcomings to the PADI system. It’s always pay-to-play, it’s educational materials are closed and ridiculously not remixable, it’s not accessible in many parts of the world due to (understandable) environmental limitations. Advocacy for the ocean is a by-product of their offering, not its mission.

    Still, aspects of their economic and learning model are worth considering for other social enterprises. How can instructors make revenue so they can teach full-time and as a career? How can gear be taught and sold so that divers get quality equipment they know how to use? How can experiential learning be packaged so that you know the value of what you’re getting and skills along the way?

    I’m pretty inspired by having experienced the PADI Open Water Diving certification process. In the coming months, I’d like to test and apply some of these practices to our local learning center model, the Webmaker Clubs.

    If you have more insights on how to do this, or other models worth looking at, share them here!

    January 14, 2015 12:23 AM

    Forrest Oliphant

    Turtle power to the people

    The Grid meet up

    MozFest 2014 #ArtOfWeb

    After working for about three years with Forrest we finally meet him on a meet up of The Grid team.

    During the first days we were preparing a workshop for MozFest's #ArtOfWeb track. The idea was to present a quick introduction to Flowhub/NoFlo and how to use it to draw with Mirobot. Then we would let people create their own drawings.

    We created a NoFlo component to talk with Mirobot:

    Having the robot represented as a component made it easier to even explain to people how it was drawing: "the SendCommand component waits for commands --- like go forward or turn left --- so when it receives a new command, it sends it to the robot. When the robot finishes drawing, it signalizes banging the completed port, so we are good for the next command".

    For the workshop Gabi created a NoFlo graph that draws contours of a given image:

    Given an image as input (the heart), the graph extracts its edges and chooses random points from it. If we give those points to Mirobot draw randomly, it will end up with a random path that wouldn't remember the original shape of a heart. We have to order the points in a way the robot will travel along the shortest path. We have a Travelling Salesman Person solver that finds the shortest path. After converting cartesian coordinates to polar ones --- because Mirobot just understands translations and rotations, remember? forward X and turn left/right Y --- we send the commands to Mirobot and using noflo-canvas we draw a preview. Here's the result:

    MozFest 2014 #ArtOfWeb

    The other graph collects points someone draw on a canvas and after sending that, Mirobot draws them on paper:

    MozFest 2014 #ArtOfWeb

    The meetup with The Grid was incredible. We met Forrest, Jon Nordby and Henri Bergius. Lionel Landwerlin joined us some days later. Those guys never stopped coding and inspiring us.

    More robots on the way

    While preparing the workshop we built a hack to Mirobot, making it possible to draw on walls. That's a work-in-progress and we are planning to keep improving and documenting the process.

    MozFest 2014 #ArtOfWeb

    MozFest's ArtOfWeb

    MozFest was fantastic. We met Kat, Eric, Paula, Michelle, Allison, Ginger, Ricardo and all the other incredible "art phreaks" of the #ArtOfWeb track. Ben Pirt, the Mirobot's creator, joined us in the art gallery and brought us his bots and kindness.

    ArtOfWeb was a refuge during the chaotic creative tornado of MozFest. A place to chat, create and relax listening to good music and enjoying art installations.

    Our session did its job. We had people curious about the drawing robot, nice discussions about procedural vs flow-based programming and really nice collaborative drawings.



    Henri recorded the following time-lapse video. A really nice way to capture this kind of session.

    The festival ended up with a demo party where the most revealing feeling of collaboration and aesthetics experimentation took its place. Surrounded by curtains, music and projections, people and robots joined again to draw together.


    Mozfest 2014 | #ARTOFWEB

    MozFest 2014 #ArtOfWeb

    We hope the next workshops are like this last experience and we'll try to make it happen more in the future. As well pointed by Kat, "let's (re)make networked art".

    We really want to thank and give a huge hug on all people we met. To our dear colleagues of The Grid, that made it possible to happen, thank you for all. To Mozilla, thank you to bring this amazing people together for a better Web of openness and opportunity.

    Mozfest 2014 | #ARTOFWEB

    Looking forward to keep phreaking art and meet you all again this year!

    Photos by Kat Braybrooke, Mozilla in Europe and Vilson Vieira.

    January 14, 2015 12:00 AM

    January 13, 2015

    Open Badges blog

    Vote for open badges proposals in the #DMLtrust competition finals


    Over the past five years, the Digital Media and Learning Competition has awarded $10 million to more than 100 projects — including the Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition, which kicked off 30 badging projects, many of which are still going strong today. 

    This year’s competition is The Trust Challenge: an open, international invitation to museums, libraries, school districts, schools, community organizations, app developers, researchers, colleges and universities, and other institutional/organizational partners willing to create collaborations or alliances that address existing real-world challenges to trust in connected learning environments.

    Many of you, our innovative and motivated community, submitted badging proposals to the Trust Challenge. Among the finalists are the following projects that we encourage you to vote for before January 20, 2015:

    Reputation building tools for Open Badge issuers

    BadgeCraft offers tools for organisations to design, manage and issue Open Badges in their educational practices. Our proposal will focus on developing reputation building tools for badge issuers and Open Badges within the wider community of potential endorsers: schools, parents, employers. We will partner with Trustribe to develop reputation building solutions. Trustribe has developed technology which enables users building and transferring their reputation across different collaborative platforms. We want to adapt their technology and know-how to enhance badge issuing process with reputation tools.

    Vote for


    Oregon Center for Digital Learning Trust Ecosystem Project


    The Trust Ecosystem Project will work with 12 pilot badge programs, employers, and Oregon Badge Alliance partners in workforce development, government, K12 and higher education to build software and a framework for connecting learning experiences with Open Badges. The project aims to close the loop between badge issuers, earners and consumers by building software that represents the interests of each stakeholder group. Each application will be released open source as well as hosted for public use. Beyond software, the Trust Ecosystem Project will organize a youth advisory council and will bootstrap a trust network around badges with pilot programs and badge-consumer partners in Oregon, yielding a variety of case studies and potentially exportable implementation models.

    Vote for the Trust Ecosystem Project here:


    Open Badge Passport


    The project aims at establishing a native, distributed, open trust infrastructure based on a network of Open Badge Passports (OBPassport) that seamlessly issue, receive, share and display badges. Fully OBI compliant and open source, the OBPassport will provide users and organizations with their own backpacks and create the conditions for the emergence of new services through the provision of an open API. The OBPassport will provide social features, such as the creation of badge aggregations at group, network, organization or business levels, the display of badges earned by friends in one’s activity stream, or the search for people with a specific badge, sharing evidence across passports.

    Vote for the Open Badge Passport here:


    Global Gateway: Building Trust Through Peer Review


    VIF’s Global Gateway system provides online professional development (PD), digital badging and a social community to over 8,000 educators from around the world. To further our trusted environment, educators need opportunities to engage in focused peer and expert review of learning products. The proposed Global Gateway enhancement will allow teachers to choose between completing PD modules or progressing toward competency badges while fostering a trusted peer review community.

    Vote for the Global Gateway project here:


    Badging as Lifelong Learning


    ForAllRubrics is hoping to develop ForAllLearners, a tool to help learners navigate all their learning experiences throughout their lifetime. Badging as credentialing supports learning from the point of view of employers, schools and others that control opportunities. During this project we will focus on badging in the context of work readiness with the goal of creating practical working exemplars of how these three approaches to badging complement each other and make for a more effective learning ecosystem.

    Vote for Badging as Lifelong Learning here:


    About the DML Competition

    The Digital Media and Learning Competition is a program designed to find and to inspire the most novel uses of new media in support of connected learning. The Competition aims to explore how technologies are changing the way people learn and participate in daily life. It is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation through a grant to the University of California, Irvine, and is administered by HASTAC.

    January 13, 2015 07:07 PM

    Laura Hilliger

    “Prove that people want to remix curriculum.”

    A map of all the resources and their connections to an initial Teaching Kit

    Easier said than done. Back in the day, my amazing colleague Jess Klein made an epic PDF laying out a lesson plan for what was then known as Hackasaurus. People who teach started using it left and right, and when I saw it for the first time I thought “Holy moly that looks like a fun bit of curriculum.” But I didn’t need all of it. I only needed pieces and parts (many of which, BTW, are baked in, remixed and modified within Webmaker Teaching Kits), and so I started to think about the models we use when we make curriculum. The old smelly models that didn’t evolve as technology evolved. [caption id="attachment_2523" align="aligncenter" width="500"]A map of all the resources and their connections to an initial Teaching Kit A map of all the resources and their connections to an initial Teaching Kit[/caption] I’ve always thought the models and systems could be better, so several years ago I started working on an educational model that centered on the idea that educators ALWAYS remix. I thought that if the model was clear, we could tackle the problems of OERs while making new curriculum to #TeachTheWeb. Fast forward about five years and the OER (open educational resources) movement has become something that is well known within the open and the educational communities. But people are still publishing their resources in ways that make remix hard, and as a result we edunerds tend to remix on the fly. We implemented the model in HTML, creating overview pages that were separate from activities. The idea was to separate all the pieces and parts of curriculum – the learning objectives, the assessment criteria, the activities, the overviews – so that any one individual part could be remixed into a new bit of curriculum. We tried to lay this model out using the mechanics of the web to make the modularity and remixability clear, but we began to realize that
    “No one remixes the HTML. It’s too high bar.”
    So now, I’m trying to figure out how we can collect those on the fly remixes and get educators to understand how important their ideas and feedback is when it comes to learning materials. What works? What doesn’t work? How did someone remix context? I think that Webmaker could become the clearinghouse for Web Literacy OERs, and to do so, I think remixability is key. I still think the model is solid, but we haven’t gotten to a place where remixing curriculum is common place. This post begins to explore WHY.

    The Problems of OERs

    1. Open Licenses are Confusing and Attribution is Hard

    "confusion over copyright, fair use, and Creative Commons is one of things that makes many educators hesitant about adopting any new resources, licensing be damned.” - Audrey Watters
    "Often resources using more open licenses incorporate or refer to media that are made available using a more restrictive license.” (Tel Amiel 2013)
    In education there is “…still a limited understanding of how to move beyond some of the encumbrances— specifically with regard to reusing others’ content as well as more complex reuse behaviors that lead to new configurations of existing content” (Petrides et al., 2008, p. 352). (Tel Amiel 2013)
    Users need to be able to contextualize credit depending on how they’ve used a resource.

    2. Users don’t have time to make the required effort

    “Faculty consistently listed the time and effort to find and evaluate open educational resources as the most important barriers to adoption.” (Open the Curriculum 2014)
    “Existing educational sites and repositories contribute to this concern. Most are focused on the distribution and dissemination of resources and provided little guidance or tools for those who wish to make revisions or remix existing resources.” (Tel Amiel 2013)
    Staff (anywhere) rarely have the time to review all the resources submitted. We build software and communities though, so how can automation or, much more importantly, social evaluation make it easy for users to find quality curriculum?

    3. There are technical barriers to remix

    “When presenting OER development and use, many of the restrictions derived from our working scenario came to the forefront. In many cases, the source guides assumed a reader with substantial access to computer-based resources. “ (Tel Amiel 2013)
    "The process of remix is usually associated with four steps: finding, relating, creating, and sharing resources...Many of the online portals, which contain more openly licensed resources either do not have alternative language interfaces or metadata, which impacts both finding and sharing resources in these sites." (Tel Amiel 2013)
    We have to design mobile-first and keep our need for localization at the forefront. We know this, but we also need to find more ways for lo-fi, no-fi communities to share their offline remixes (e.g. a couple of community managers does not a stable system make).

    Towards Solutions

    [caption id="attachment_2524" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Creative Commons licensing table and an early Mozilla Drumbeat project that aimed to make attribution easy. Creative Commons licensing table and an early Mozilla Drumbeat project that aimed to make attribution easy.[/caption] Make licensing and attribution easy, embedded. I’ll leave it to the amazing devs and designers to figure out what exactly that means, but building this into our tools from the onset is a way to encourage remix at all levels (both in learner focused and mentor focused content).
    “Reuse is perhaps reminiscent of the rhetoric around learning objects as they were presented as blocks of media that could be reused and assembled for different contexts, a metaphor that did not hold in practice (Fulantelli et al., 2008; Gunn et al., 2005).”
    Make remixability & modularity obvious and lean into social evaluation. This is as much about presentation as it is about functionality. We are missing context around our educational model. We’re starting to do that with the Club curriculum, where we are building resources on how to remix as well as giving examples of why and when and how we’ve remixed. Build the thing that makes it easy for others to build their thing (no matter what device they have). As we build features for our communities, continuing to encourage open interaction is essential to changing the landscape of OERs (and open in general). What are the ways in which we can utilize existing systems to encourage remixable curriculum? We’ve thought on this before… Leave me comments and check out the Bibliography:

    January 13, 2015 02:50 PM

    January 12, 2015

    Doug Belshaw

    Join me this Thursday for a Connected Learning webinar: An Introduction to ‘Teaching the Web’ and ‘Web Literacy’

    This Thursday (15th January 2014) at 5pm UTC* I’m leading a webinar on behalf of Mozilla’s #TeachTheWeb team. The title is An Introduction to ‘Teaching the Web’ and ‘Web Literacy’.  Click through to sign up for event reminders.

    The webinar is the first in a series of three our team is running under the banner of Empowering Lifelong Learners by ‘Teaching the Web’.

    An Introduction to ‘Teaching the Web’ and ‘Web Literacy’

    What is “web literacy” and why should we teach it? How does creating/remixing the web help strengthen learning?

    How the Webmaker Community Is Helping Youth Be Creative and Curious

    What are “web literacy clubs,” and how are they helping youth develop lifelong learning mindsets?

     Ongoing Learning Opportunities with Mozilla Webmaker

    What are some of the easiest ways to get involved in the Webmaker community? Where do you start?

    During my webinar I’ll be going through introductory stuff around Webmaker, the Web Literacy Map, and the Webmaker whitepaper. I’m also interested in any questions you’ve got, so please do ask them as comments below! I’ll try and answer as many as possible during the webinar.

    * That’s 9am PT / 12pm ET / 5pm GMT / 6pm CET / 10.30 IST / 4am AET

    January 12, 2015 08:16 PM

    Daniel Sinker

    OpenNews: 2015 Fellowship Onboarding is GO

    I love Los Angeles. Peel back the Hollywood veneer and, at its core, it’s a city that belives in putting in the work.

    Which is why I’m excited to be in LA this week with our 2015 cohort of Knight-Mozilla Fellows to start the work of the fellowship year. With a distributed fellowship like ours, where fellows will spend far more time apart than together, it’s important to start the experience building the pathways of collaboration, community, and sharing that we want our fellows to continue to utilize throughout their fellowship year. It’s also an opportunity to meet somewhere warm and to celebrate the start of an amazing year.

    We’re not just celebrating the start of the fellowship year at this onboarding, we’re also welcoming our final fellow for 2015: Kavya Sukumar, who will be spending her fellowship year at Vox Media.

    Kavya is a developer-journalist who appreciates both elegant code and well-written prose. Everything about journalism fascinates her and she wants in on it all. She has reported and written stories, analyzed data and built a CMS. She has more than eight years of experience working at technology companies as well as in newsrooms. Kavya was a software engineer at Microsoft when the journalism bug bit her. She has a graduate degree from Medill School of Journalism where she was a Knight Scholar. She is currently a Data & Interactives Editor with the The Palm Beach Post’s investigative team.

    We’re thrilled to have Kavya join the already-amazing cohort of 2015 Knight-Mozilla Fellows, and excited to have all of them together with us in LA this week. There’s so much more to come in 2015 from OpenNews, and it feels great to kick off an incredible year with these incredible people.

    January 12, 2015 05:00 PM

    January 10, 2015

    Open Badges blog

    Badger Beats: The Week In Review [71]

    Welcome back, badgers! We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, wherever you are.

    This week we invited you to help shape the future of the weekly community calls - see the discussion notes here and listen to the audio here:

    If you want to check out the Open Badges in 2014 Timeline, head over to to see all the amazing things you accomplished in the last year.


    Here’s a quick rundown of what else has happened since the year began:

    • In the UK, Barclay’s Bank kicked off an exciting new initiative issuing badges for digital skills - check it out here;

    If you’ve got more to share from the past few weeks, make sure to tweet it using the hashtag #openbadges…….it’s been awesome to see how much has come out over the holidays, and we can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store!


    January 10, 2015 10:45 PM


    January 10, 2015 01:50 PM

    January 05, 2015

    Jess Klein

    Shall we dance? On-boarding Webmakers

    The first time that someone comes to your website is like a high school dance at the gym. You want that hottie who you have been thinking about all year to be attracted to you and join you on the dance floor . You want to show them what you are all about: how you aren't just about the MC Hammer pants and bikini top you are wearing (dating myself much?) - and you have the moves to prove it. This dance is just the beginning - you really want to go steady, but you have to start somewhere, right?

    About 40-60% of users who sign up for a free trial of your software will use it once and then never come back.

    When designing the on-boarding experience, we have a few goals: 
    • We should make a positive user experience where the visitor learns something within minutes of interacting
    • We should have the user take some action which results in signing up for a Webmaker account
    • We should give the user a clear and compelling reason to return.

    Deeply inspired by the theory of Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media, I started to think about what a low bar way might be to get people to dance with me.  The idea is that there is a progression and/or just different ways that a site visitor might interact with the site. I wanted to create an experience for the user, that will allow them to walk away having seen a little bit of code, had the a ha! moment, the realization that there is so much to learn about the way that the web is crafted - and most importantly: that remixing the web is an approachable challenge.  According to this chart below, we could argue that most of our site visitors are at the beginning of the customer awareness journey.

    Start from the beginning --- err where is that exactly?

    I started by doing an exploratory sketch - asking where might users first see/ interact with the Goggles on Webmaker? I see 5 main areas of contact:
    1. Webmaker Landing Page with a very specific call to action
    2. Via the not-yet-existing "Join Webmaker" button user flow
    3. On the Tools page within Webmaker
    4. On the Goggles page within Webmaker
    5. Within the Goggles interface upon activating the bookmarklet
    For this heartbeat (and the build sprint after) we decided to focus on number 1 via 2 (Join Webmaker user flow via the landing page) as the goal for the first quarter is to improve our conversion of visitors to into makers.

    Think through the user flow

    With a clear scope, I took a stab at thinking through potential user flows (ahem,dance moves). What interactions might I be able to design that could help the user gain an understanding of the awesome potential of Webmaker and come away with learning a little bit about making things on the web within the first few minutes of their site visit? On a traditional site, this is where I would do a product tour - to tell the visitor about all the bells and whistles. But, let's remember, we are at a high school dance. We don't want to just tell that hottie about how great we are, we want them to hold our hand and dance with us. So what exactly is our dance? It's an introduction to the site through an interactive tinkering activity.

    I had some experience tackling this user experience challenge a few months back when I designed the Maker Party snippet for the Firefox about page. Here, we were trying to coax visitors to the About Page to sign up for Webmaker AND ... (the cooler part) expose them to a little bit of code through modeling a playful interaction that they in turn would emulate. We found this approach to be successful. I personally user tested the page with a variety of site visitors in the Hive Learning Network and found that the animated modeling of the CSS value being typed acted as I would as a teacher in a classroom, or a friend showing someone how to approach the problem, asking the friend to try it out themselves. This approach could easily translate to an activity on the landing page where we show a visitor how to edit some playfully placed text using the X-Ray Goggles.

    Approach 1: Modeling
    Modeling tries to emulate the way you might teach this in a classroom environment - you show the actions that you want the learner to emulate.  See complete mockup here.

    I also tackled this challenge of getting a user to dabble with new information and content in the weather activity experiment for the Hour of Code. Here, I thought about how I like to follow recipes and get feedback as I do each each step in a staged progression. (This would be like... someone teaching you how to do the macarena step by step at the dance)

    Approach 2: Stage Progression
    The staged progression allows the user to read, and then asks them to try it out, providing little tips along the way. See complete mockup here.

    After getting some feedback from my colleagues and a few user testers I am leaning towards a hybrid approach - where you might model for them at each "step."

    Next up: enticing your friend to get on the dance floor

    All of the user flows and interaction designs are a good exercise, but if the icebreaker prompt isn't enticing, then it's no good.  So - I did a few iterations:

    Name tag fill in the blank --- this could somehow tie in to the sign up flow.

    Venn Diagrams - probably too designerdy but I couldn't help myself.

    Fill in the blank - I <3 webmaking.="">

    Fill in the blank - attempt 2. I like this one the most at the moment because it has a focal point, and it feels a bit disruptive, like Webmaker itself.

    Next up: Finding those dancing shoes.
    To get to an interactive prototype, we need to:
    • Design the hybrid interaction design (modeling + staged progression)
    • Choose a direction and then work on the UI elements
    • Wordsmith the copy.
    • User test with real humans!

    Designing an on-boarding is like asking someone to the dance floor ----testing if your pits stink and all, so I would love to hear any thoughts if I've got any moves. 

    January 05, 2015 03:30 PM

    December 30, 2014

    Open Badges blog

    Erin Knight | Happy Holidays and Forward Thinking

    Erin Knight | Happy Holidays and Forward Thinking:

    Badge Alliance Executive Director Erin Knight reflects on the year coming to a close and looks ahead to the exciting things 2015 holds in store for the badges community.

    Click the link above to read more.

    December 30, 2014 01:20 PM

    December 29, 2014

    Sunny Lee

    What I want to work on in 2015

    2014 has seen a lot of development in the open badges world. You can see all the cool things we did and worked on here




    Reflecting back on the past year allows us an opportunity to take pause and inventory the tremendous amount of work and activity around open badges that occurred and the advances we made to further our goal of reimagining credentialing for the 21st century so that it is interoperable, democratic, open and designed with the learner in mind. 
    But it also gets me excited about 2015 and thinking about what I want to work on in the next year; i.e. whats personally interesting to me, what I get most energized about and where I think well get the most bang for our buck in terms of broader adoption. 


    Here’s my list:


    * Adoption and ongoing experimentation of the open badges standard extension
    The standard the standard the STANDARD! Are you sick of hearing about the standard yet? I know I know but that’s how important it is! It’s the underpinning of all our work enabling credentials to be all the things we want it to be; interoperable, stackable, portable and easily shareable. We’ve made a lot of advances on the foundational standards framework during Cycle 1 of the Badge Alliance Standard Working Group adapting JSON-LD technology to enable extending open badge metadata such that it is machine readable and indexable. We have shared the 1.1 proposal of the extension framework with the broader community and have put it through the feedback and iteration cycle. Having done that, in 2015 I’m eager for the community to start plugging in. The extension specification is super exciting because it allows badge issuing organizations to append additional metadata fields to any of the badge objects (i.e. badge assertion, badge class, issuer). 


    * Image courtesy of Nate Otto


    Oft-talked about extension field possibilities include location data, endorsement, additional identities, etc. 
    What’s really neat about the extension field is that we can experiment in a coordinated way. Say, my organization thinks location data is really important within my community so I decide to define a location extension context and add it to the Badge Class object. After introducing the field, I notice that other organizations are starting to use the context file in which I define my location field with increasing frequency. As more and more organizations start utilizing the location field, I can potentially bring this up with the Standards community and build a case to add the location field to the standard proper. 


    * Making endorsement a reality by using the open badges standard extension field
    Once we get organizations playing with the extension field for endorsement, I think things will get interesting. There are still a lot of things around endorsement that needs discussion and unpacking such as the following:
    • What’s the user experience around an issuer organization endorsing another organization’s badge class?
    • What’s the user experience around an issuer organization endorsing an earner’s badge instance?
    • What’s the user experience of a badge consumer who wants to review the endorsements a badge class has received?
    • What’s the user experience of a badge earner who wants to review the endorsements her particular badge instance has received?
    • What’s the user experience around an issuer organization or badge earner rejecting an unwanted endorsement?
    • How are the various endorsements a badge class or badge instance has received displayed so that it is both human and machine readable?
    As folks start to pick up and run with the extension field, we can start to pin point with more accuracy the pain points people are experiencing in utilizing the endorsement field for their needs. We can use that data to triage and prioritize how to make the experience smoother for all participating parties to help support endorsement adoption. 


    * Continuing progress on the Directory
    Under the leadership of Kerri Lemoie from Achievery, the Directory Working Group has accomplished a lot during Cycle 1. But there’s so much more we can do to. 
    I concluded my last blog with some next step suggestions such as listing badge instances in addition to badge classes, additional API end points and exploring ways in which we can lower the barrier of entry for badge issuers and being more articulate about the value proposition of the directory offering. 
    Pending usage and uptick of the extension field in 2015, we could also list badges according to location data, or endorsement information, standards alignment, and more. 
    In 2015 I want the directory to be at a place where twitter was circa 2008; minimal UI with production ready back end and APIs developers could easily plug into. With badge instance, badge class, endorsement data and the like available with easy access points, I can see an employer-facing application develop on top of the directory that enables hiring managers to extract badge earner listings based on certain badges, endorsements, tags and location, deriving practical value for organizational needs. This paves the way for employer tool development making it easier for employers to plug in and start accepting badges, completing the badge narrative from issuance to consumption for hiring. 


    * Making a kick ass open badges display tool
    It’s hard to “get” or wrap your head around what you don’t see and I think herein lies the problem with bridging the gap between early to mainstream adoption of open badges. The pitch is there and more and more people are coming on board, acknowledging the value proposition of an interoperable digital credential but we still don’t have a simple example of a visualized open badge that we can point to that has been verified, earned and displayed with all the meaningful data easily extractable on somewhere as simple as a Facebook timeline or blog. We need a simple display tool that helps folks easily share and display their open badges wherever they want. I think this tool should satisfy several needs currently not met with satisfaction in the ecosystem:
    • Earner can easily share earned badge on various websites, via email or attachment
    • Badge reviewer can easily extract and view the badge metadata
    • Metadata is both human and machine readable
    • Badge reviewer can verify whether badge earner matches the person claiming the badge
    Current display capabilities do exist but they don’t do a good job at fully telling the potential and value of an open badge. A display tool that makes it simplistic and easy to share and review an open badge will go a long way in helping guide a broader audience to adoption. 


    This is already a pretty extensive list with each major bullet warranting multiple blog posts on their own. I know it’s highly ambitious aiming to tackle all of these but I think we have the right community, resources, thought leadership and organizational partners at the table to work on these collaboratively and in parallel with one another. I can’t help but think 2015 is the pivotal year that takes open badges several steps closer to mainstream adoption. I’m so excited for what’s in store and can’t wait to dive in. 

    December 29, 2014 04:28 PM

    December 21, 2014

    Open Badges blog

    Badger Beats: The Week in Review [70]

    Welcome to the year’s final edition of the Badger Beats - and what a year it’s been!

    From February’s launch of the Badge Alliance and the collaborative efforts of the various Working Groups, resulting in an impressive set of deliverables from Cycle 1, to the summer’s exciting CGI Commitment for 10 Million Better Futures, this year we’ve seen just how much can be done when our community works together. The Cities of Learning and the emergence of new international badging communities pushed badges into new areas, while ongoing efforts in higher education, workforce, research and professional development strengthened the work the community had already done.

    For now, let’s look back at what happened this week:

    The Badge Alliance team is looking forward to seeing what exciting new projects await in 2015 - you guys really crushed it this year!

    Happy holidays, everyone! We’ll see you in January.

    December 21, 2014 01:23 PM

    Jarin Schmidt | Badging: The End of a Trend

    Jarin Schmidt has spent more than 14 years in the credentialing industry at Pearson, and was product lead for Pearson’s badging platform, Acclaim. Schmidt now supports the platform as a business development executive and recently wrote a piece for the Institute of Credentialing Excellence titled "Badging: The End of a Trend," in which he examines the momentum of the badging movement over recent years and offers his insights into the Acclaim team’s findings since launching their platform at the beginning of the year:

    Now Is the Time to Go Digital

    Dynamic digital badges can evolve in response to changing needs within the global economy. They are a viable resource for credential issuers and earners that:

    • Inform and enable credentialing organizations to evolve their programs based on direct feedback from the market in order to meet skill gaps;
    • Increase brand value through more transparent recognition of what it takes to earn a credential;
    • Engage credential earners with the issuers over the span of a career, instead of a moment in time;
    • Provide credential earners with the kind of verified recognition that is relevant in the digital world.

    Badges aren’t just a trend to watch; they are happening now. And now is the perfect time to start badging your credential.

    Read the piece in full here.

    December 21, 2014 01:10 PM

    December 19, 2014

    Open Badges blog

    Open Badges Community Project Call, December 17, 2014

    Open Badges Community Project Call, December 17, 2014:



    We led the year’s final community call by providing an overview of the year’s major milestones, including:

    Check out the audio by clicking the link above, and follow along using these slides:

    The Year In Review [2014] from Open Badges

    December 19, 2014 07:24 PM

    Laura Hilliger

    Web Literacy Lensing: Identity


    Ever since version 1 of the Web Literacy Map came out, I’ve been waiting to see people take it and adjust it or interpret it for specific educational endeavors that are outside the wheelhouse of “teach the web”. As I’ve said before, I think the web can be embedded into anything, and I want to see the anything embedded into the web. I’ve been wanting to see how people put a lens on top of the web literacy map and combine teaching the web with educating a person around Cognitive Skill X. I’ve had ideas, but never put them out into the world. I was kind of waiting for someone to do it for me (ahem Web Literacy community :P Lately I’ve been realizing that I work to develop socio-emotional skills while I teach the web, and I wanted to see if I could look at the Web Literacy Map from a personal, but social (e.g. psychosocial) angle. What, exactly, does web literacy mean in the context of Identity?


    First things first - there’s a media education theory (in this book) suggesting that technology has complicated our “identity”. It’s worth mentioning because it’s interesting, and I think it’s worth noting that I didn’t consider all the nuances of these various identities in thinking about how the Web Literacy Map becomes the Web Literacy Map for Identity. We as human beings have multiple, distinct identities we have to deal with in life. We have to deal with who we are with family vs with friends vs alone vs professionally regardless of whether or not we are online, but with the development of the virtual space, the theory suggests that identity has become even more complicated. Additionally, we now have to deal with: So, back to the Web Literacy Map: Identity - As you can gather from a single theory about the human understanding of “self”, Identity is a complicated topic anyway. But I like thinking about complicated problems. So here’s my first thinking about how Identity can be seen as a lens on top of the Web Literacy Map. webliteracy-lens-identity

    Exploring Identity (and the web)

    Navigation – Identity is personal, so maybe part of web literacy is about personalizing your experience. Perhaps skills become more granular when we talk about putting a lens on the Map? Example granularity: common features of the browser skill might break down into “setting your own homepage” and “pinning apps and bookmarks”. Web Mechanics - I didn’t find a way to lens this competency. It’s the only one I couldn’t. Very frustrating to have ONE that doesn’t fit. What does that say about Web Mechanics or the Web Literacy Map writ large? Search – Identity is manifested, so your tone and mood might dictate what you search for and how you share it. Are you a satirist? Are you funny? Are you serious or terse? Search is a connective competency under this lens because it connects your mood/tone to your manifestation of identity. Example skill modification/addition: Locating or finding desired information within search results ——> using specialized search machines to find desired emotional expression. (e.g. GIPHY!) Credibility – Identity is formed through beliefs and faith, and I wouldn’t have a hard time arguing that those things influence your understanding of credible information. If you believe something and someone confirms your belief, you’ll likely find that person more credible than someone who rejects your belief. Example skill modification/addition: Comparing information from a number of sources to judge the trustworthiness of content ——> Comparing information from a number of sources to judge the trustworthiness of people Security - Identity is influenced heavily by relationships. Keeping other people’s data secure seems like part of the puzzle, and there’s something about the innate need to keep people who have influenced your identity positively secure. I don’t have an example for this one off the top of my head, but it’s percolating. [caption id="attachment_2514" align="aligncenter" width="500"]braindump braindump[/caption]

    Building Identity (and the web)

    Composing for the Web, Remixing, and Coding/Scripting allow us to be expressive about our identities. The expression is the WHY of any of this, so directly connected to your own identity. It connects into your personality, motivations, and a mess of thinking skills we need to function in our world. Skills underneath these competencies could be modified to incorporate those emotional and psychological traits of that expression. Design and AccessibilityValues are inseparable from our identities. I think design and accessibility is a competency that radiates a persons values. It’s ok to back burner this if you’re being expressive for the sake of being expressive, but if you have a message, if you are being expressive in an effort to connect with other people (which, let’s face it, is part of the human condition), design and accessibility is a value. Not sure how I would modify the skills… Infrastructure - I was thinking that this one pulled in remembrance as a part of identity. Exporting data, moving data, understanding the internet stack and how to adequately use it so that you can keep a record of your or someone else’s online identity has lots of implications for remembrance, which I think influences who we are as much as anything else. Example skill modification/addition: “Exporting and backing up your data from web services” might lead to “Analyzing historical data to determine identity shifts” That's all for now. I've thought a little about the final strand, but I'm going to save it for next year. I would like to hear what you all think. Is this a useful experiment for the Web Literacy Map? Does this kind of thinking help hone in on ways to structure learning activities that use the web? Can you help me figure out what my brain is doing? Happy holidays everyone ;)

    December 19, 2014 04:46 PM

    December 13, 2014

    Open Badges blog

    Badger Beats: The Week In Review [69]

    Welcome to the Badger Beats! We’re excited to share this week’s round of news and updates with you:

    A couple of community reminders:

    1. We’re putting together a Tiki Toki timeline of Open Badges for 2014 (check out last year’s timeline!) If you or your organization have badging milestones you’d like us to include in this year’s timeline, let our Marketing + Community Manager know at

    2. If you participated in Hour of Code, Badge List is offering open badges (awesome!)

    See you next week, badgers!

    December 13, 2014 12:46 PM

    Open Badges Community Project Call, December 10, 2014

    Open Badges Community Project Call, December 10, 2014:



    This week, superbadgers Nate and Serge shared their recent collaboration on a presentation for the Open Education Conference held in Washington, D.C. in November. The session, titled “An API of one’s own: Individual Identities as First-Class Citizens in the Open Badges Infrastructure,” looked at issues of trust, identity and symmetry in the badging ecosystem. They reviewed their presentation and gave the community the opportunity to dive deeper into some questions raised during the presentation.

    Badges as currency

    Open Badges are “a common portable language about data,” providing information on a skill or knowledge as well as those earning and issuing it. Serge argues that Open Badges are “declarations of trust,” and that this shift in thinking affects both badge system design and how badges are used in particular environments.

    Currently, badges are part of what Serge describes as “trust silos,” where an issuer is at the center and trusts numerous earners (see above). This conflicts with the narrative of Open Badges, which states that the earner is at the center of the ecosystem. In that narrative, we have often talked about badges as a “new currency” for skills and knowledge in the 21st century. Serge made the point that it could be said that badges are a visible representation of the oldest currency: trust. By thinking of badges as tokens of trust, we can address those who have concerns about dilution if there are ‘too many badges’ in the ecosystem or in a particular earner’s backpack / portfolio.

    To dig deeper into the issues of trust within badging interactions, Nate and Serge examined the three roles performed and the necessary assets to perform those roles:




    These three roles are built on very different different technologies, making it difficult to move between roles. Earlier this year, Mark Surman compared the current state of badges with the early days of email: a small number of issuers with huge potential to grow into a global network. The key difference is that all email users use the same tool to send and receive emails, whereas badging still relies on piecing together many different tools with varying functionality.

    Nate and Serge posed the question of how to align badges with our philosophy of an earner-centered system, by building these values into the Open Badges Standard and software. Doing this would break down the silos of trust Serge described above and instead create visible chains of trust. There are two proposed models to help build this network: Nate and a team from Concentric Sky, Oregon Center for Digital Learning and the Oregon Badge Alliance are working on a trust ecosystem project, which includes a 3-faceted application for issuers, earners and consumers of open badges.

    The initial pilot will focus on 12 programs, including workforce development, conferences, K-12 and out-of-school learning environments. The project will see further development, testing and refining in 2015, but is aimed at enabling connectivity among enterprise issuing platforms and independent services, connecting to other badge-aware services on the web, with software and support for all 3 badging roles, making it easier for users to move between them.

    Serge, in a partnership between Discendum Oy, Badge Europe and Europortfolio, is working on an open badges passport that acts as a basic portfolio where anyone can earn and issue badges. This passport can then be built up with endorsements and other trust-building add-ons, as well as a ‘dashboard’ of stats on badges earned, issued, pledged, etc., contributing to the growth of a social network around badges. If everyone used a passport for receiving and issuing badges, Serge argues, it would build a trust network in which the barriers between roles of issuer, earner and consumer are significantly lower.

    To learn more about the projects described here, check out Nate and Serge’s slides from their Open Ed presentation here.

    You can also see the full discussion notes on the agenda, linked at the top of this post.

    December 13, 2014 12:17 PM

    December 12, 2014

    Open Badges blog

    Open Badges MOOC: The Year In Review

    Badges: New Currency for Professional Credentials
    Session 13: The Year In Review


    This week the Badge Alliance team led the live MOOC session, going over highlights from the year. Check out the slide deck above, as well as this overview of Cycle 1 to see a neat infographic of the working groups’ deliverables and other major milestones the badges community hit this year.

    The MOOC recording will be available from soon.

    Cycle 1 Deliverables

    Here’s a quick overview of each Working Group’s successful deliverables from this cycle:

    Open Badges Standard:

    • Researched and experimented with technology options for implementing extensions to BadgeClass and BadgeAssertion
    • Proposed an extension solution that is open to the community to experiment with,  comment and iterate on.
    • Joined W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) Credentialing Community Group

    Open Badges Infrastructure (OBI):

    • Formed a Tech Advisory Council to act in an advisory role to the Badge Alliance and guide the ongoing development of the open badges technical infrastructure
    • Drafted an Open Badges Infrastructure strategy


    • Drafted a working paper on conceptual approaches to badge endorsement
    • Released initial technical implementation proposal in collaboration with the Open Badge Standard Working Group


    • Launched a working beta of an Open Badges Directory that makes it possible for learners and other organizations to find and connect to various badge issuers, their badges and their programs
    • Released accompanying tutorials and documentation



    Digital & Web Literacies:

    • Launched Learning Pathways for Privacy
    • Began building badges for privacy pathway
    • Initiated Web Literacy Map 2.0


    Higher Education:


    Badges for Educators & Professional Development:

    Cities & Network-wide Badge Systems:

    • Launched Cities of Learning site
    • Implemented in four cities: Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Pittsburgh

    Policy (launched in September 2014):

    December 12, 2014 02:12 PM

    December 06, 2014

    Open Badges blog

    Badger Beats: The Week In Review [68]

    Hey there, badgers! We’ve got a few things to catch you up on this weekend:

    Don’t forget to let us know if you think you’re eligible for any of the Badge Alliance badges.

    We hope everyone has a lovely weekend - get ready for the holidays, wrap up warm, and beware those pre-Christmas sales (or at least the revolving department store doors!)

    December 06, 2014 04:42 PM

    In case you missed the Policy 101 webinar hosted by the Penn...

    In case you missed the Policy 101 webinar hosted by the Penn Hill Group team on Thurs, Dec. 4, here’s the recording on our YouTube channel.

    Slides can be found here:

    More information on the Badge Alliance Policy Working Group:

    December 06, 2014 12:57 PM

    December 05, 2014

    Open Badges blog

    Open Badges Community Call, December 3, 2014

    Open Badges Community Call, December 3, 2014:



    Before we kicked off this week’s presentation from Jeff Colombe, we heard from our Directory whizz, Kerri Lemoie, who gave the community some updates from the Directory project. The call attendees raised some great questions about next steps for the Open Badges Directory, including taxonomy, a take-down or ‘opt-out’ mechanism for the registry, and who can add badges. See the full discussion on lines 69-156 in the call notes:

    Badges for Talent Management

    Jeff Colombe works in the Emerging Technologies Department at the MITRE Corporation, a not-for-profit technology company operating several federally funded research and development centers. MITRE frequently works with various organizations to try to connect technology with whose who can use it best, including other not-for-profits as well as for-profit companies.

    Jeff, like many others, saw how badges were being used in education and was interested to see how badges could be used to aid the hiring process in the workplace. Jeff’s project is Skillset, a talent management project undertaken during the last two years at MITRE to match people to project work based on skills, expertise and interests.

    There is a “marketplace” for work at MITRE: project managers need to find people to do work, and employees need to find enough work so that they don’t have to bill their vacation hours. Skillset is essentially a MITRE-specific job skills inventory. Employees can fill out a profile of practical and soft skills, working styles, etc., all of which are graded by levels of both expertise and interest. These skills profiles can then be voluntarily verified (endorsed) by a manager, task leader or co-worker. When job roles are listed, they include a list of skills categorized by level and necessity, then employees’ profiles are cross-referenced to show their expertise in those particular skills, allowing for fast connections between those who have the skills and the roles they can fill.

    Several factors will affect the long-term success of Skillset, according to Jeff:

    • Adoption: currently there are only 2 user groups at MITRE that have completed their job profiles; more widespread adoption across the organization is needed to support the project;
    • Content quality: as the user community continues using the inventory and adding skills to the database, the most desirable and valuable skills will be revealed;
    • Incorporating Skillset into business practices: there are legal issues related to data privacy and the sharing of information that might present a hurdle to the widespread adoption of the Skillset program;
    • Merging with other services / platforms: Jeff is exploring the potential uses of Skillset as a plug-in for HR software and a web service to be used globally

    Learn more about Skillset in Jeff’s white paper:

    Jeff’s presentation slides can be found here.

    December 05, 2014 02:20 PM

    December 02, 2014

    Open Badges blog

    The Badge Alliance at MozFest

    By Jade Forester

    At this year’s MozFest, the Badge Alliance was represented by three team members—Carla Casilli led a research-focused session and held office hours throughout the festival weekend, and Sunny Lee and I sat down with a group of attendees to dig into this year’s accomplishments and start to look at areas in need of attention in the coming year.


    We used the Cycle 1 Working Groups as a starting point, focusing on each to identify gaps still to be filled in key areas of both the infrastructure that supports Open Badges and the growing ecosystem that expands adoption of badges. Upon our return from MozFest, we brought our notes from this group exercise to the Community Call, inviting attendees to add their thoughts. These conversations helped clarify the most critical issues facing the open badges community as we continue to push this work forward.

    Here’s what we found

    Employers will be the key to widespread adoption

    Workers need jobs. Employers need talent. Badges can help workers showcase their full skill sets and allow employers to identify candidates with the right qualifications and competencies. This has been part of the Open Badges narrative since day one, and as we see increased adoption of badges within education, the next step is to help more employers see the value proposition in using badges to differentiate between job applicants and identify those with the right skill set. Without employer buy-in, badges earned for academic or professional skills cannot have meaning outside of the issuing environment.

    During Cycle 1 the Workforce Working Group developed an Employer FAQ, identified a list of existing workforce badge use cases, and created an employer pipeline graphic for Open Badges. Expanded badging piloting and documentation particularly as part of the hiring and training processes, will lead to increased employer acceptance. It will also enhance the value of existing badges, especially the badges that align with industry standards in particular fields.

    Some members of the community indicated that veterans separating from the military will play an increasingly important role in workforce, therefore focusing badge activity and adoption in this area could potentially yield great success—not only for the veterans but also for employers. Continued efforts will be needed to support open badges initiatives aimed at connecting veterans with civilian employment opportunities.

    We need to keep pushing for badges in higher education

    Badges are steadily gaining a foothold in higher education as a way for instructors to recognize a wider range of skills and achievements than traditional credentials allows - institutions such as UC Davis are using badges as a supplement to traditionally graded programs. Others are pushing the envelope even further, such as Dr. Bernard Bull at Concordia University Wisconsin, who has developed a master’s program in education technology based entirely on competency-based digital badges. Many are still reluctant to integrate badges into their courses; the Campus Policy Framework Document developed by the Policy Working Group will help more institutions find a way to make badges work for them.

    Continued collaboration by the community will be increasingly important as more educational bodies and institutions start to explore and adopt badges. The Higher Education Working Group started curating a list of examples of badges in higher education - if you know of more, add them to the list!

    Continued research is vital

    Building on a quickly developing base of ongoing open badges investigation, the Open Badges Research strives to establish a research base that reports on a variety of open badges aspects. A nice progression from the Research & Badge System Design Calls, now with a stronger emphasis on traditional academic research, this group covers the entire realm of the open badges ecosystem, and actively works to provide the public with meaningful information about open badges.The group’s foundational landscape survey—developed with IRB review and exemption granted from the University of Michigan (thanks Steve Lonn!)—will help badge researchers find future areas of focus. By coalescing, investigating, and funneling research activity into accessible locations, the research community will continue to expand on this meaningful research base that benefits the entire ecosystem.

    Global Cities of Learning will bring badges to communities around the world

    2014 has truly been a year of global growth for Open Badges. Initiatives such as Badge The UK have continued to raise awareness of badges in the UK; European badging projects have seen increased activity in France, Finland, Serbia, Spain, and Germany; and Down Under, the OBANZ community has formed to support the research, development and adoption of Open Badges in Australia and New Zealand.

    The Cities of Learning initiative grew from one summer program in 2013 to six summer and year-round initiatives in 2014. Now that there is increased global badging activity, international cities are starting to investigate the value of using badges to recognize youth activity. Partnerships with local governments and community leaders will be the key to developing an international Cities of Learning movement—the driving force will come from the communities, not from outside influences.

    The Open Badges Standard is really important

    The Open Badges Standard and technical infrastructure (OBI) are the lynchpins that hold the ecosystem together: their importance can’t be understated, and the community recognizes this. There are several issues that the badges team and community have been working on that are in need of continuing efforts, including:

    Get involved: be the change you wish to see

    We’ve identified a number of important areas for community contribution over the coming months. None of them were particularly surprising; these are issues we’ve been talking about for a while now. We’ve already achieved so much—if you haven’t already checked out the overview of our successes from Cycle 1, do it now—but there is still much more work to be done.

    The exciting part is, the work has already begun. No-one has to start from scratch, and there is a thriving community ready to support and collaborate with you. We started this work the same way we’ll accomplish the things we outlined above: as a community.

    December 02, 2014 05:59 PM

    November 29, 2014

    David Rajchenbach-Teller

    Vous souhaitez apprendre à développer des Logiciels Libres ?

    Cette année, la Communauté Mozilla propose à Paris un cycle de Cours/TDs autour du Développement de Logiciels Libres.

    Au programme :

    Pour plus de détails, et pour vous inscrire, tout est ici.

    Attention, les cours commencent le 8 décembre !

    November 29, 2014 08:58 PM

    November 24, 2014

    Hive NYC

    Vision, Leadership and Hive NYC

    The seeds for this post were planted back in 2011, when I first traveled to London as a Hive NYC member-participant in MozFest, Mozilla’s annual gathering where creatives, techies and geeks develop solutions to the web’s most pressing problems. That year marked my introduction to Mozilla—not as the producer of the Firefox browser—but as a company that combines traditional management structures with open, collaborative participation. As the Program Manager for Informal Learning at the Institute of Play at the time, where I was immersed in the worlds of systems-thinking and game-based learning—I was amazed by MozFest’s rules of play, and its ability to inspire people to battle jet lag and other realities to work together toward shared goals.

    Come with an Idea, Leave with a Community

    With one out of every three participants facilitating sessions around nine different topical themes, MozFest 2014 continued to flip the sage-on-stage conference dynamic to encourage a focus on interaction, making and doing. MozFest 2014 also welcomed participants with the new tagline—Come with an idea, Leave with a Community—to accompany its focus on the potential of the mobile web and the importance of advocating for and teaching about the web. This year in particular, I was struck by the varied and distributed displays of leadership that I saw percolating among the creative chaos. Whether it was teaching mobile app development, advising on starting a Hive or facilitating an activity at the MozFest Maker Party, all across MozFest Hive educators stepped up to shepherd ideas and help others. Whether they hailed from Pittsburgh or Pune, I saw practitioners exploring, participating and collaborating in a demonstration of an organic and community-minded leadership. See what was created at MozFest 2014. Read first-time MozFest observations from Kevin Miklasz and Armando Somoza.

    Welcome Back, Mr. Kotter

    Hive educators participate in the Hive Labs Action Incubator

    Hive educators at MozFest 2014

    It wasn’t until I was back in New York reflecting on Hive NYC’s role during MozFest, that I began to think more specifically about the ways that community and participation can fuel innovation and nurture non-traditional notions of leadership. In his seminal 1990 Harvard Business Review article, What Leaders Really Do,” John P. Kotter discusses management and leadership as two “complementary systems of action,” building a strong case for his idea that, within large organizational contexts, the simple act of envisioning something different and/or pressing for change can be seen as a leadership characteristic. Using organizational case studies to demonstrate his findings, Kotter notes that successful organizations don’t “wait for leaders to come along but instead build structures to nurture them.” In this way, Kotter’s definition of leadership is exceptional in that it makes room for a multiple, shared vision. Leadership isn’t the function of one individual but something to be co-constructed and shared.

    Kotter notes that what’s “crucial about a vision is not its originality but how well it serves the interests of important constituencies”; he adds that “dozens of people can play important leadership roles within the context of one organization.” For me, acknowledging this varied, multi-player notion of leadership is key to understanding the value proposition of MozFest and other open, collaborative structures. Not only does this definition encourage people to try out the exploratory and iterative practices that innovation demands but it also makes these practices visible and accessible so more people can experience and learn from them. MozFest and it’s many hubs and nodes of interest-based and values-driven production operates as a laboratory and practice space for others to try on the roles and responsibilities of a non-traditional notion of leadership. MozFest operates like more sustained initiatives like Hive Learning Networks or Maker Party, in that it provides opportunities for participants to try new things and envision larger societal change with like-minded peers. See the Maker Party 2014 Recap and 2014 Infographic for more about this distributed community-driven initiative. See Hive Community Member badge for more details about what Hive members do.

    Identifying Hive NYC Leaders

    From my vantage point as Hive NYC Director, I know that leadership and effectiveness look and feel different in the context of Hive. Increasingly, Hive’s practitioners and educators are not simply applying for grants and implementing projects but enacting varied forms of collective learning and collective action—exchanging expertise, brokering relationships, and putting in long hours on top of the basic responsibilities of their job in order to build something with other community members. Hive’s community of contributors are the ideators who stand at the forefront of Hive’s goals to mobilize more individuals and organizations, create and distribute new tools and resources, and inspire cities to commit to deeper action. The individuals and organizations that who assume the mantle of responsibility to address these larger, collective visions distinguish themselves as Hive NYC’s co-conspirators, partners and leaders.  And to continue to nurture and grow them, we’ll have to do a better job of identifying and celebrating their roles and responsibilities, so more people can join them. See Rafi Santo’s working model of social ties in Hive NYC, which highlights the importance of brokering, advice, and spread-oriented ties across the network.

    A great illustration of how some individuals and organizations are transitioning from members to partners and leaders is Hive NYC’s ongoing work with the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Readiness. Through the Digital Ready program, Hive NYC organizations provide expanded learning opportunities to a group of 20 NYC public schools. While the partnership was brokered by Hive NYC HQ and NYC Department of Education leadership, the hard work of co-designing with schools and building trusted environments for youth to make, learn and play is being implemented and led by Hive individuals and organizations themselves. For a specific example, see the Expanded Learning Case Study featuring Beam Center and Brooklyn International High School. For more local examples of Hive’s distributed and member-led initiatives in action, read about Hive Movable Game Jam, Emoti-Con, the Youth Trajectories Affinity Group or Hive Youth Meet-up.

    Hive Contributor Pathways

    Detail from Hive NYC’s new Community Page


    Drivers Wanted

    This week, Hive NYC HQ launches a new Community page on its website. This is a conscious effort to address the changing nature of Hive membership and specifically identify the role of individual leadership and contribution within Hive NYC’s organizational structure. As I wrote in my earlier post, Rethinking Contribution and Membership, the updated Community page extends a wider invitation to NYC educators and organizations to get involved with Hive NYC—to explore, participate, and partner in Hive’s work. This new approach best reflects what we have seen over the years, that experiencing Hive and getting involved in the community first, is the most successful way to engage with Hive NYC’s infrastructure of programs and supports.

    In moving from a focus on Hive membership to community participation and leadership, Hive NYC HQ chose to call attention to three specific people: Jocelyn Leavitt, Gina Tesorio and Juan Rubio. While these are only a few of many active contributors, their portraits represent a larger effort to better identify and illustrate how Hive NYC works and what Hive NYC members do. As we move from a start-up to a more growth-oriented model, it’s important to call attention to one of Hive’s most unique and striking innovations, its ability to develop and grow diverse leaders within a networked community of practice. While the human energy that powers an annual event like MozFest is striking, so too is the day-to-day commitment that motivates Hive’s members and leaders—whatever their contribution may be. While the work of Hive members and leaders can be hard to see, their dedication is of utmost importance. Going forward, Hive NYC HQ will make a concerted effort to identify and celebrate these voices and their accompanying visions. I encourage you to check out the new Community page, revisit Hive NYC’s growing online project portfolio or peruse our new community directory, to get to know some of the co-conspirators and partners who are helping to drive Hive NYC’s goals, vision and work.

    The post Vision, Leadership and Hive NYC appeared first on Hive NYC.

    November 24, 2014 01:31 PM

    November 21, 2014

    Open Badges blog

    Badger Beats: The Week In Review [67]

    Hey there folks,

    We were thrilled to issue Badge Alliance badges this week - if you think you’re eligible but haven’t gotten yours yet, let us know.

    Lots of community members have been out and about this week at various conferences, including Open Ed, Global Education Conference, and the Pittsburgh Learning Pathways Summit - the #openbadges hashtag on Twitter is a good way to find conversations from other events.

    What else happened this week?

    That’s it from us, folks! Enjoy your weekend, and we’ll catch up with everyone for a couple of days next week before we break for Thanksgiving.


    November 21, 2014 08:32 PM

    Badge Alliance Badges are here!

    The Badge Alliance is pleased to announce the first set of open badges designed to recognize the diligent work and meaningful contributions that Working Group members have made to the global open badges movement throughout Cycle 1. We’re excited to say that all of the email notifications for these badges have been sent and that these badges are beginning to be claimed by their earners.

    If, after reading the badge descriptions and criteria below, you believe that you are eligible for one or more of these badges and you haven’t heard from us, email to let us know which badge(s) you have earned. Please include the criteria you’ve met, as well as any evidence supporting your application. Thank you!


    Badge Alliance Community Member


    This badge acknowledges general membership in the Open Badges community and participation ranging from activity in the Google group to joining weekly community calls.


    The Community Member illustrates conceptual fortitude by signing up for at least one of the mailing lists to interact with the Open Badges community.

    Potential Evidence:


    Badge Alliance Working Group Contributor


    This badge acknowledges Open Badges community members who have actively attended conferences, or participated in mailing lists, working groups, or community calls.


    The Contributor helps to build the open badges ecosystem through active participation in the Working Group or community calls and mailing lists.

    Potential Evidence:


    Badge Alliance Working Group Fellow


    This badge acknowledges those who go above and beyond in their contributions to the Open Badges community.


    The Fellow displays community-building characteristics, reinforces new ideas about assessment, learning and credentialing, and champions open badges in their respective areas of expertise.

    Potential Evidence:


    Open Badges Advocate


    This badge acknowledges individuals who regularly champion Open Badges through active blogging, writing, research, or speaking at conferences.


    The Advocate exhibits depth and breadth of knowledge about Open Badges in their writing, research, or presentations.

    Potential Evidence:


    Badge Alliance Visionary


    This badge acknowledges individuals who have altered the landscape of Open Badges through innovative work in research, coding, or badge system design and implementation.


    The Visionary makes it possible for others to see the tremendous potential in the open badges movement.

    Potential Evidence:


    Badge Alliance Founding Member


    This badge acknowledges individuals who played an important role in helping to found the Badge Alliance.


    The Founding Members helped to establish the Badge Alliance as a nexus of badge innovation and thereby increased the reach of the open badges ecosystem through their support.


    Claim Your Badges

    We’ve made every effort to appropriately issue these badges.

    If you think you might be eligible for one or more of these badges, and you haven’t heard from us, email to let us know which badge(s) you have earned. Please include the criteria you’ve met, as well as any evidence supporting your application.

    If you’ve been awarded badges to the wrong email address, please email to let us know which badge(s) you have earned and your preferred email address (the one your Backpack is associated with).

    Thank you!

    November 21, 2014 03:38 PM

    November 20, 2014

    Open Badges blog

    Open Badges Community Project Call, November 19, 2014

    Open Badges Community Project Call, November 19, 2014:



    This week Sheryl Grant joined the community call to discuss findings from initial research into the 30 winners of the 2011 Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition administered by HASTAC in partnership with Mozilla (funded by MacArthur Foundation).

    These 30 project teams won funding for one year, to develop their proposed badging projects, many of which were built starting in fall 2012. Sheryl and her team asked each project group a series of questions at various stages in the projects’ development to find common lessons learned and stumbling blocks to badge system development in the early days of the open badging ecosystem. She was particularly interested to see whether the projects that were designed to be more ‘functional’ (meaning they were sustainable in the long term) had particular lessons to share, compared to projects designed to be pilots.

    Here were some core lessons learned:

    For more detail, check out the full report here:

    November 20, 2014 06:45 PM

    Michigan State University Extension | Digital Badging Series

    Jacob Dedecker, an academic specialist at MSU, began a series on digital badges in August 2014. Five parts of the series have been published so far - take a look at the topics covered in the excerpts below:


    Part 1: A bright new way for students to showcase their skills and knowledge

    An introduction to digital badges, including an ongoing project with youth participating in a 4-H Renewable Energy Camp:

    Youth participating in 4-H Renewable Energy Camp this past June were given the opportunity to earn digital badges in solar energy, wind energy and bioenergy. Youth researched a problem, designed a solution and presented their findings to the entire camp. Learning hot to problem solve, work as a team and communicate are important life skills. In addition, youth engaged in these activities meet certain core science competencies that schools try to teach in the classroom. If youth learn and demonstrate these key competencies during out-of-school time activities like in summer science camps, could they receive credit for that learning? That is one of the key questions this group is asking and digital badging may be a way to do just that.

    Read the article in full…

    Part 2: What do high school students think of digital badges?

    Part 2 looked at how the youth participating in the 4-H Renewable Energy Camp responded to the badges they were earning:

    Read the article in full…

    Part 3: Could earning digital badges help young people get a job?

    This article explored the potential of badges to help youth find employment opportunities:

    As companies look to find the best talent to help their companies thrive, digital badges offer a different view into the experiences, knowledge and skills of candidates they are looking to hire. While grade point averages and ACT scores offer perspective on formal academic achievements, a digital badge can speak to learning experiences and knowledge gained around standards in specific content areas such as solar energy or water quality.

    Read the article in full…

    Part 4: Could earning digital badges help your child get into college?

    This article explored the potential of badges to help youth access academic opportunities:

    Are digital badges something post-secondary institutions are looking at to help them determine the best students to admit to their colleges? Digital badges certainly provide another means for students to showcase what they know, the skills they have developed and the experiences they have that would help them be successful in college. Ultimately that is what college admissions are trying to do – identify students that can be successful in their college and departments. However this can be challenging when only looking at a few data points such as GPA and ACT scores, which now carry so much weight in those decisions. Offering another way to feature a student’s academic success and abilities would help students better highlight what they are capable of doing, allowing colleges to make more informed decisions.

    Read the article in full…

    Part 5: Could digital badges be designed to represent different levels of learning?

    This latest article looks badge types and levels, as well as standards that can help badge consumers differentiate between different badges and the learning experiences they represent:

    Because digital badges can represent a wide scope of activities, it could be helpful to create a standard that depicts specific types of learning. Even better would be a particular look for badges that connect to a type of learning that can be easily seen by teachers and future employees. The badge style, in essence, would say, “this badge means I learned something significant.”

    Read the article in full…


    These articles were published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit

    November 20, 2014 03:19 PM

    November 14, 2014

    Open Badges blog

    Badger Beats: The Week In Review [66]

    Hello there, badgers,

    Welcome to the Badger Beats! Here’s a quick run-down of what’s been going on this week:

    Have a great weekend, everyone. We’ll catch up with you on Monday!

    November 14, 2014 05:23 PM

    November 13, 2014

    Open Badges blog

    Open Badges Community Project Call, November 12, 2014

    Open Badges Community Project Call, November 12, 2014:



    Carey works in the office of Distance Learning at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where they have developed a badge system for their online faculty training program. He is also conducting his doctoral research on digital badges at Louisiana State University, looking at the group of online instructors to see what their perceptions of badges are, and whether they’re at a stage of adoption that would indicate readiness for larger certification programs to make use of badges.

    Carey has been encouraged by his graduate committee to look at badging from the viewpoint of the organizations that recruit and hire the instructors that go through the online training. Their reasoning is: regardless of how enthusiastic instructors are about badging, if there aren’t long-term benefits to their careers and job opportunities, a badging system won’t be utilized as much. Conversely, if hiring agents start using - and expecting - badges to play a role in their decisions, then instructors will be increasingly drawn to badged programs. Carey has found little research or commentary on these hypotheses, though he thinks they are correct. He presented his research to the community with a set of questions he was looking to address:

    1. What organizations are using badges as part of their hiring process? Are there some case studies already?

    The Badge Alliance Workforce Working Group curated a list of examples of open badges and digital badges in the workforce, including early adopters such as Stack Overflow / Careers 2.0, the Manufacturing Institute, and Michigan Mblem badges. If you know of more, add them to the list!

    2. What are inhibitors that prevent the adoption (lack of knowledge, lack of trust, “info overload” - etc.)

    A lack of awareness and/or knowledge of badges is often the first barrier to adoption within the workforce, as well as concerns about verification and security of badge metadata, and reticence towards trusting a credential within an open ecosystem. Employers often ask specifically about what we call ‘badge overload,’ worrying about how to differentiate between different badges for the same skills and competencies and the time and resources needed to verify multiple badges per job candidate.

    Other inhibitors preventing widespread adoption of badges within the workforce include a lack of common skills frameworks across industries, and a lack of technical support (particularly within smaller organizations).

    3. How would hiring agents learn about badges and how to interpret and evaluate them? Is there some training available for this new evaluation tool? If not, should there be?

    The Workforce Working Group also developed an Employer FAQ and an Employer Tutorial for badges during Cycle 1, both of which was designed to familiarize employers with badges and the processes needed to assess and evaluate them.

    The community raised an important question during the call: is an applicant who has earned badges a useful introduction to badges employers? Ideally, employers and hiring managers would have at least a basic understanding of badges before encountering a badge collection from a job applicant. As Carla Casilli pointed out during our discussion, much of our work has been focused on pushing badges from education out into the workforce. Now we need to focus more of our efforts on pushing badges from the workforce back into education, where employers recognize their need for a better way to evaluate applicants, adopt badges, and institutions of higher education start scaffolding programs around badges based on workforce requirements.

    4. How could badges fit in with more traditional credentials and resume applications? As a supplement, or eventually replace other methods?

    This question has been addressed more from an education perspective than from the workforce. For example, UC Davis and other institutions of higher education are using badges as a supplement to traditionally graded programs. Others are pushing the envelope, such as Dr. Bernard Bull at Concordia University Wisconsin, who has developed a master’s program in education technology based entirely on competency-based digital badges. As more educational bodies and institutions start to explore and adopt badges, we will see whether the trend is towards using badges as a supplement to or a substitute for traditional assessment and credentialing methods.

    Contribute to this work!

    If you have research or use cases relevant to the above questions, check out the call notes and email Carey with information you think might be useful to his ongoing work.

    You can also join the conversation in the Open Badges Community Google Group or on Twitter by using the hashtag #openbadges.

    November 13, 2014 09:40 PM

    Sunny Lee | The Open Badges Directory → Laying the foundation for cool open badges applications

    Read the original post here.


    As open badges continues to gain a foothold in the world of digital credentialing and skills recognition, more and more folks have expressed interest in accessing a list of all the earnable open badges out in the wild. Earners, issuers and employers alike want to see the various badges available to earn based on certain search parameters, find out how to earn them and be directed to the appropriate places to dive deeper and start learning and earning.

    One thing that the ecosystem was clearly in need of was a directory service that cataloged and listed all the open badges in the ecosystem with APIs that would enable other organizations to build cool applications on top, such as a badge-based pathway generator, an employer tool that facilitates connections with earners of certain badges, a badge or pathway discovery engine, etc.

    In response, the Open Badges Directory Working Group was formed to precisely dedicate itself to prototyping this much-needed directory offering.

    *** n.b. The documentation for the Open Badges directory can be found here: and examples of it in use can be seen here: and here:


    In Cycle 1 of the Working Group, we had to figure out the scope of the project we wanted to tackle. The following were some of the questions we needed to answer to determine the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) feature set.

    I’ll share the line of reasoning we went through and where we netted out with each of these questions below.

    What are we listing?

    This seems like a simple question but actually is a bit more layered. This has to do with the way in which Open Badges technology is set up. The fundamental building block in the badging ecosystem is the assertion. The assertion describes 3 things;

    The assertion essentially ties all these 3 different pieces together in a unique badge instance that is tied to a specific badge earner.

    *** n.b. More information can be found in this wiki guide written by Sue Smith.

    In that case, what do we list?

    While there’s a case to be made for all three options, we decided that the MVP of the badge directory will simply list the Badge Class to start, with Badge Instance and potentially Issuer Organization as subsequent additions. This was because, while listing Badge Classes, depending on method of implementation, has a dependency on the Issuing organization, listing Badge Instances has a dependency on the Earner to make the badges they earn, public. We thought the latter was a bigger initial barrier that the directory would have to overcome as opposed to working with the issuers.

    What is the barrier to entry for badge issuers? What does the badge issuing organization need to do in order to be a part of the directory?

    This question presented us with a few options as well:

    1. Crawl the open web and look for the open badges assertion file type, automating the listing process for the issuer: While this option eliminates the barrier to entry for issuers, it is a resource intensive and expensive undertaking as the crawler would have to scour millions of IP addresses looking for certain file types. This didn’t seem like the right approach for the initial MVP.

    2. Issuers register their badge classes with the directory and provide the paths to where their badges are stored: This is the least developmentally intensive process but at the same time we are dependent on issuers to come to us and register their badges. The barrier to entry for issuers is put in place and we must provide them with a value proposition to register themselves and their badges.

    3. Issuers only register themselves and a simple crawler would know what domains and IPs to crawl: This is a bit of a hybrid solution of the above 2, utilizing crawling with minimal issuer cooperation. Even so, without a robust value proposition presented to issuers, we still have to reckon with the initial barrier of registration that they must overcome.

    We opted for Option 2 in this initial iteration because it provided us with an opportunity to work collaboratively with the issuers in the ecosystem to highlight their badges and proof of concept the directory to a broader audience. Not only that, it saved us from overexpending our technical and development resources which would have been the case if we opted for Option 1.

    However, we have seen rather slow responses from issuing organizations who want to register. We are in the process of evaluating the barrier(s) to entry, as well as the value proposition for issuers, in order to figure out next steps.

    Where does the directory end and other potential third party services begin?

    It’s easy to get excited about a directory offering because of its potential. Say I’m a learner and I want to find out what badges are out there that I can earn that will make me more competitive in the job market. I hear user experience design is a growing field, so I go to the directory, input a few keywords like ‘UX’, ‘user experience’, and ‘UI’ to see the list of badges in the ecosystem related to my search. What next? Does the directory offer me a cool UI with a list of various badge pathways around user experience design I can tackle? Can I save or favorite the badges presented so I can come back to them later?

    What level of end-user experience will the directory enable? Are the cool, personalized experiences mentioned above, something an application on top of the directory creates while the directory is simply providing the service of listing open badges with some search and filtering?

    Is there an end-user interfacing component to the directory at all or should it simply be a list of APIs for developers?

    We all agree the API component of the directory will be critical for encouraging application development, but at the same time, we felt we needed some level of a UI to help folks understand and grasp the fundamental concept behind the directory. As such, what we ended up creating is a simple user interface that lists all badges with basic search and filter capability but nothing beyond that for now.

    *** n.b. The API Explorer illustrates how the API works.


    Having released this initial MVP that provides the broader ecosystem with a production beta version, we’re eager to continue development of the directory. Focus areas include the listing of badge instances in addition to badge classes, additional API endpoints, and exploring ways in which we can lower the barrier of entry while clearly articulating the value proposition for badge issuers.

    There is still a lot more work left to do to have a full functioning directory product. But the prototype is a strong proof of concept and has taught us a ton. Needless to say, none of this could’ve been possible without the leadership, dedication and hard work of Kerri Lemoie from Achievery.

    While Cycle 1 has ended, we still have an active mailing list, so please join the conversation!

    November 13, 2014 06:44 PM

    Sunny Lee

    The Open Badges Directory → Laying the foundation for cool open badges applications

    As open badges continues to gain a foothold in the world of digital credentialing and skills recognition, more and more folks have expressed interest in accessing a list of all the earnable open badges out in the wild. Earners, issuers and employers alike want to see the various badges available to earn based on certain search parameters, find out how to earn them and be directed to the appropriate places to dive deeper and start learning and earning.

    One thing that the ecosystem was clearly in need of was a directory service that catalogued and listed all the open badges in the ecosystem with APIs that would enable other organizations to build cool applications on top, such as a badge-based pathway generator, an employer tool that facilitates connections with earners of certain badges, a badge or pathway discovery engine, etc.

    In response, the Open Badges Directory Working Group was formed to precisely dedicate itself to prototyping this much-needed directory offering.

    *** n.b. The documentation for the Open Badges directory can be found here: and examples of it in use can be seen here: and here:

    In Cycle 1 of the Working Group, we had to figure out the scope of the project we wanted to tackle. The following were some of the questions we needed to answer to determine the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) feature set.

    I’ll share the line of reasoning we went through and where we netted out with each of these questions below.

    What are we listing?

    This seems like a simple question but actually is a bit more layered. This has to do with the way in which Open Badges technology is set up. The fundamental building block in the badging ecosystem is the assertion. The assertion describes 3 things;

    The assertion essentially ties all these 3 different pieces together in a unique badge instance that is tied to a specific badge earner.

    *** n.b. More information can be found in this wiki guide written by Sue Smith:

    In that case, what do we list?

    While there’s a case to be made for all three options, we decided that the MVP of the badge directory will simply list the Badge Class to start, with Badge Instance and potentially Issuer Organization as subsequent additions. This was because, while listing Badge Classes, depending on method of implementation, has a dependency on the Issuing organization, listing Badge Instances has a dependency on the Earner to make the badges they earn, public. We thought the latter was a bigger initial barrier that the directory would have to overcome as opposed to working with the issuers.

    What is the barrier to entry for badge issuers? What does the badge issuing organization need to do in order to be a part of the directory?

    This question presented us with a few options as well:

    1. Crawl the open web and look for the open badges assertion file type, automating the listing process for the issuer: While this option eliminates the barrier to entry for issuers, it is a resource intensive and expensive undertaking as the crawler would have to scour millions of IP addresses looking for certain file types. This didn’t seem like the right approach for the initial MVP.

    2. Issuers register their badge classes with the directory and provide the paths to where their badges are stored: This is the least developmentally intensive process but at the same time we are dependent on issuers to come to us and register their badges. The barrier to entry for issuers is put in place and we must provide them with a value proposition to register themselves and their badges.

    3. Issuers only register themselves and a simple crawler would know what domains and IPs to crawl: This is a bit of a hybrid solution of the above 2, utilizing crawling with minimal issuer cooperation. Even so, without a robust value proposition presented to issuers, we still have to reckon with the initial barrier of registration that they must overcome.

    We opted for Option 2 in this initial iteration because it provided us with an opportunity to work collaboratively with the issuers in the ecosystem to highlight their badges and proof of concept the directory to a broader audience. Not only that, it saved us from overexpending our technical and development resources which would have been the case if we opted for Option 1.

    However, we have seen rather slow responses from issuing organizations who want to register. We are in the process of evaluating the barrier(s) to entry, as well as the value proposition for issuers, in order to figure out next steps.

    Where does the directory end and other potential third party services begin?

    It’s easy to get excited about a directory offering because of its potential. Say I’m a learner and I want to find out what badges are out there that I can earn that will make me more competitive in the job market. I hear user experience design is a growing field, so I go to the directory, input a few keywords like ‘UX’, ‘user experience’, and ‘UI’ to see the list of badges in the ecosystem related to my search. What next? Does the directory offer me a cool UI with a list of various badge pathways around user experience design I can tackle? Can I save or favorite the badges presented so I can come back to them later?

    What level of end-user experience will the directory enable? Are the cool, personalized experiences mentioned above, something an application on top of the directory creates while the directory is simply providing the service of listing open badges with some search and filtering?

    Is there an end-user interfacing component to the directory at all or should it simply be a list of APIs for developers?

    We all agree the API component of the directory will be critical for encouraging application development, but at the same time, we felt we needed some level of a UI to help folks understand and grasp the fundamental concept behind the directory. As such, what we ended up creating is a simple user interface that lists all badges with basic search and filter capability but nothing beyond that for now.

    *** n.b. The API Explorer illustrates how the API works.


    Having released this initial MVP that provides the broader ecosystem with a production beta version, we’re eager to continue development of the directory. Focus areas include the listing of badge instances in addition to badge classes, additional API endpoints, and exploring ways in which we can lower the barrier of entry while clearly articulating the value proposition for badge issuers.

    There is still a lot more work left to do to have a full functioning directory product. But the prototype is a strong proof of concept and has taught us a ton. Needless to say, none of this could’ve been possible without the leadership, dedication and hard work of Kerri Lemoie from Achievery.

    While Cycle 1 has ended, we still have an active mailing list, so please join the conversation!


    November 13, 2014 06:30 PM

    Open Badges blog

    #openbadgesMOOC Session 13: Policy Matters That Affect Open Badges

    Badges: New Currency for Professional Credentials
    Session 13: Policy Matters

    Session Recording: coming soon!

    This week, Anne Derryberry put forth the community-developed framework for developing institutional open badges policies which she participated in authoring as part of the Badge Alliance’s Policy Working Group. In addition, Mary Alice McCarthy, Senior Policy Analyst in the Education Policy Program at New America, presented a number of policy discussions occurring at the federal level within the U.S.

    Why We Need An Institutional Policy Framework

    Educational institutions around the world are exploring Open Badges for teaching and learning. The purpose of the Campus Policy Framework document is to inform the development of badge policies in higher education and to highlight important issues and areas for consideration, such as assessment, transcripting and publishing, intellectual property, privacy, and ethical / legal issues.

    Policy is a broad area that can significantly impact badge uptake and effectiveness within postsecondary education. It includes institutional legal obligations, rights, ownership, federal and state government requirements, and local government regulations.

    Peruse the document here:

    Federal Policy Issues

    Badges are part of a larger conversation around the need for more competency-based assessment and credentials at the federal level. That conversation is driven by three guiding principles, according to Mary Alice McCarthy: driving quality; ensuring equity; and protecting consumers and taxpayers.


    A number of groups and organizations are conducting research into postsecondary education, assessment and credentials which could play a role in building support for open badges:

    The Higher Education Academy also offers opportunities for investigating the potential benefits of open badges in higher education, as their focus is on securing support for competency-based education approaches and addressing quality assurance issues with non-traditional credentials.

    McCarthy closed her presentation by reminding attendees that federal support of open badges will hinge upon the risks of creating a federal badging policy, and whether can the badging community can help policymakers see the relationship between technology and better credentials. The continuing work of the open badges community in key areas such as policy, higher education and workforce will be increasingly important as major players in the federal and regional policy landscape start to investigate the potential uses for open badges in postsecondary education.

    What do you think? Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #openbadgesMOOC


    We look forward to continuing this course with you! See below for details of the next session.

    Go to to access more resources, information, and challenge assignments to earn badges.


    Future sessions:

    Monday, Dec. 8, 2-3pm ET:
    Open Badges Review - Sunny Lee and Jade Forester

    November 13, 2014 04:38 PM

    November 10, 2014

    Mark Surman

    We are all citizens of the web

    Ten years ago today, we declared independence. We declared that we have the independence: to choose the tools we use to browse and build the web; to create, talk, play, trade in the way we want and where we want; and to invent new tools, new ways to create and share, new ways of living online, even in the face of monopolies and governments who insist the internet should work their way, not ours. When we launched Firefox on on November 9, 2004, we declared independence as citizens of the web.

    Firefox NYT Ad

    The launch of Firefox was not just the release of a browser: it was the beginning of a global campaign for choice and independence on the web. Over 10 million people had already joined this campaign by the time of the launch — and 10s of millions more would join in coming months. They would join by installing Firefox on their own computers. And then move on to help their friends, their families and their coworkers do the same. People joined us because Firefox was a better browser, without question. But many also wanted to make a statement with their actions: a single company should not control the web.

    By taking this action, we — the millions of us who spread the software and ideas behind Firefox — helped change the world. Remember back to 2004: Microsoft had become an empire and a monopoly that controlled everything from the operating system to the web browser; the technology behind the web was getting stale; we were assaulted by pop up ads and virus threats constantly. The web was in bad shape. And, people had no choices. No way to make things better. Together, we fixed that. We used independence and choice to bring the web back to life.

    And alive the web is. For all 2.8 billion of us on the web today, it has become an integral part of the way we live, learn and love. And, for those who think about the technology, we’ve seen the web remain open and distributed — a place where anyone can play — while at the same time becoming a first class platform for almost any kind of application. Millions of businesses and trillions of dollars in new wealth have grown on the web as a result. If we hadn’t stood up for independence and choice back in 2004, one wonders how much of the web we love today we would have?

    And, while the web has made our lives better for the most part, it both faces and offers new threats. We now see the growth of new empires — a handful of companies who control how we search, how we message each other, where we store our data. We see a tiny oligopoly in smartphones and app stores that put a choke hold on who can distribute apps and content — a far cry from the open distribution model of the web. We see increased surveillance of our lives both by advertisers and governments. And, even as billions more people come online, we see a shift back towards products that treat people as consumers of the digital world rather than as makers and as citizens. We are at risk of losing our hard won independence.

    This is why — on the 10th birthday of Firefox — I feel confident in saying that Mozilla is needed more than ever. We need great products that give people choices. We need places for those of us who care about independence to gather. And we need to guard the open nature of the web for the long haul. This is why Mozilla exists.

    Who owns the internet?

    Just as we did 10 years ago, we can start to shift the tide of the web by each and every one of us taking concrete actions — big or small. Download the Firefox 10th Anniversary release — and then tell a friend why Mozilla and Firefox still matter. Grab a colleague or a parent or a kid and teach them something about how the web gives them independence and choice. Or, just watch and share the Firefox 10 video with friends (it’s really good, honest :)). These are a few small but meaningful things you can do today to celebrate Firefox turning 10.

    Putting the web back on course as a force for openness and freedom will require much more than just small actions, of course. But it’s important to remember that the global community of people who installed Firefox for others — and then talked about why — made a huge difference when Mozilla first stood up for the web. We moved mountains over the past 10 years through  millions of people taking small actions that eventually added up to a groundswell. As we look today for new ways to shore up our independence on the web, we will need to do this again.

    Th 10th Anniversary of Firefox is a day to celebrate, no doubt. But today is also a day to deepen our commitment to choice and independence — to stand together and start sharing that commitment with everyone around us.It is a day to show that we are citizens of the web. I hope you will join me.

    Filed under: drumbeat, mozilla, open, openweb, poetry, webmakers

    November 10, 2014 05:43 PM

    Laura Hilliger

    Thinking Big and Learning Big

    Last week, we gathered ThinkBig program heads, educators, partners and technologists in London to run a workshop on Webmaker and open collaboration. We had a lot of goals for this workshop, but my main objective was this one:
    Accept one another as a valuable ally and feel confident in reaching out to ask for or provide feedback.
    I wanted to make sure all the people who came to this workshop knew that they could rely on me, personally, the TeachTheWeb team generally and Mozillians writ large. I also wanted to make sure that they saw each other as allies inside Telefonica. At Mozilla events, we encourage participatory interaction, which underpins communication on the web (because you have to both push and pull in order to be a digital citizen), and we deliver digital skills as a byproduct of the cognitive and social skills that are arguably more important in the digital environment and in life. Hanging out with the 40 or so adults from the UK, Germany, Spain and Costa Rica (plus my fantastic co-facilitators Melissa and Bobby) it solidified for me that I don’t actually teach digital skills all that much. I could, but I rarely do. At the beginning of our two-day workshop, we created mindmaps to define the problems Telefonica is dealing with. What I saw reflected in that thinking was fear. Fear of failure. Fear of looking bad at work. Fear of looking stupid in front of youth. Fear of the unknown. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Group photo from Helen Parker[/caption] I teach confidence. I teach agency. I teach people about the true nature of fear, I teach participation and I teach openness. I knew this, but the confidence, agency and fear bit has never been so prevalent in my own head. I’m starting to think about how working openly can contribute to your confidence and the idea that openness can negate isolation, not only from the work perspective but from that deep dark place that people have inside. You know the imposture syndrome? Can it be that openness is the antidote? How does ego and entitlement play in here? I believe that webmaking can be a conduit for self development, so how can we design materials that help educators see that more clearly? I’m interested to keep these queries in mind when I plan another event like the Telefonica + Mozilla training. This particular workshop felt really good. We collaborated to create a good arc, I felt confident about it, it seemed like people were happy, like they learned. They made amazing, interesting things. I worry that we could have done more to help people level up their digital skills, but I let myself off the hook on that one because two days is such a short amount of time. I think about creating programming like this that isn’t a one-off (e.g. I want to run multiple workshops for passionate people like these folks.) Perhaps we should think about a reunion which unpacks how the lessons of the first workshop influenced a year of work, and dive down into specific digital skills that the participants still feel are lacking. The folks who showed up to the Telefonica Training in London showed up strong. They dove in, they made things, they took notes, they collaborated and were honest and were present. We only started the work we have to do together, which is why I’ve started a new Discourse Category called “New to Open”. I hope Discourse continues to be a place to find collaborators, share things, and explore what it means to work openly (among other relevant discussions). The open community should continue to be curious and start reaching outside of our comfort zones to work together with people in other industries. If we start utilizing one another’s skills and expertise in a more conscious way, perhaps we can start making more impact in the public sphere.

    November 10, 2014 12:25 PM

    November 07, 2014

    Open Badges blog

    Badger Beats: The Week In Review [65]

    Happy Friday!

    There’s been a lot going on this week - our team and community have been presenting at the AECT 2014 Annual Convention, Open Ed Conference and iNACOL Symposium, while others have been wrapping up their MozFest activities and more are preparing to present at Deakin University’s National Forum.

    Here’s a summary of some of the other great stuff that happened this week:

    March of the Robots delivered activities and workshops for thousands of people in Leeds in the UK, as well as hanging out at MozFest with us. Read more on the Digital Me blog!

    Here are some great shots of the CubeBot in action with the kids on the badges floor:



    November 07, 2014 02:47 PM

    November 06, 2014

    Open Badges blog

    Open Badges Community Project Call, Nov. 5, 2014

    Open Badges Community Project Call, Nov. 5, 2014:



    This week we heard from community members in three different countries - it’s great to see these community calls going truly global. Dr. Devedzic and his colleague Dr. Jelena Jovanovic presented on the October 15th community call on their GRASS (grading soft skills) project based in Estonia. He joined us again this week to share his experiences from the Belgrade Job Fair, where he and another colleague gave an Open Badges presentation to a group of employers and students (primarily from technical fields).

    Introducing European students and employers to badges

    Badges are still relatively new in Serbia, as in much of Europe. Dr. Devedzic reported that students’ reactions were mostly positive, whereas employers were generally more cautious. Employers had to be approached “with more care” and Dr. Devedzic believes that ongoing efforts to raise awareness and introduce employers to examples of badges being used in the workplace will encourage acceptance and adoption.

    Students were interested to learn more about badge validity, trusted issuers, issuing criteria, validity of evidence, and the number of badges earned - questions many of us are familiar with when introducing badges to new audiences. Employers also asked about the potential to forge badges, as well as the sustainability of the concept in the long term, and some expressed reluctance to the idea overall. There were also concerns about candidates coming to them with hundreds of badges, before badge collections and sharing options were explained.

    In a region where personal connections often open more doors than skills sharing, Dr. Devedzic argues “a greater campaign is necessary in order to make employers here aware of the benefits of badges.” Ongoing contact with employers will be important as awareness and adoption of badges spreads throughout Europe. There is another big promotional event in Belgrade scheduled for the spring of 2015, where Dr. Devedzic has been invited to talk about Open Badges - we look forward to hearing more updates after that.

    To learn more about the GRASS Project that Dr. Devedzic and Dr. Jovanovic are leading, go to

    Badging conversations with Dr. Dan Hickey & Dr. James Willis

    In the hour before Wednesday’s community call, Dan and James led a discussion on how major learning management systems are incorporating digital badges, the entrepreneurial and university-based support system emerging around this new feature, and examples of badge-induced transformation and disruption. Learn more here.

    Dan Hickey’s team developed a modest initial badging integration for Open edX, and are planning to figure out how to build the functionality into downloadable instances for future uses, working towards making it possible for anyone using it to issue badges using the platform.

    Here is a blog post on Dan Hickey’s musings about scaling up badge systems from a non-technologists perspective :

    Next week, Dan will be presenting in Australia at the Curate, Credential and Carry Forward Digital Learning Evidence National Forum being held at Deakin University and then the Open edX Conference in Boston, Mass.

    Learn more about Indiana University’s COIL (Center for Online Learning and Innovation) here:

    Badges for Digital Leaders in the UK

    Educators in the UK have been working to recognize youth digital leaders using badges, based on an open framework for skills and knowledge for digital leadership.

    Chris Sharples worked with Digital Me’s Tim Riches and Lucy Neale, as well as the team at Makewaves, to develop levels of Digital Leader Badges. Chris has awarded badges to 25 digital leaders in his North Yorkshire school, and has found that the primary challenge facing schools working to award badges to students is that IT staff are often very busy and don’t have the resources to maintain and monitor the badging process.

    Chris has kept an ongoing record of the work being done on his blog:

    There is also a weekly #dlchat Twitter conversation held every Thursday at 4pm EST / 9pm GMT. In October, our Marketing + Community Manager Jade Forester led a badges-themed chat, and we’d love to get more members of the badging community involved in a future Twitter chat. Contact Jade if you’d like to join!

    November 06, 2014 04:58 PM

    November 05, 2014

    Open Badges blog

    Upcoming Badges Webinars from Pearson

    Pearson have announced some interesting Open Badges webinars for college administrators and faculty, as well as non-profits and corporations.

    See below for details and registration links, and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #pearsonlearn


    Exploring Open Badges

    Open badges allow academic institutions, corporations, and associations to recognize the resume–worthy achievements of students and employees in a way that can be easily verified and shared online. This month we take a look at open badges and the impact they can have on the pathway from college to career.

    From Colleges to Careers: Sharing Competencies through Open Badges

    Fast Track to Valuable Badges: Connecting Learning to Jobs

    Exploring Badges: A New Method to Recognize Professional Credentials

    November 05, 2014 07:00 PM

    November 03, 2014

    Hive NYC

    MozFest Reflections: Armando Somoza of Urban Arts Partnership

    This is a guest post by Armando Somoza, Program Director for The Academy & Adobe Youth Voices at Urban Arts Partnership.

    My first experience at #MozFest was a fascinating first encounter with an “Open Conference” model.  Unknowingly, I have been groomed to believe the “conference” experience should be one with sessions with defined beginning and end times, structured discourse around predetermined topics, and clear workshop agendas.  My entire world turned inside out!  #MozFest defined a new paradigm of gathering people to have powerful discourse about important topics that are sourced from those participating in the community.  At first take, I felt excluded and lost.  I had no idea what “Tracks” or “Space Wranglers” were and I felt like I was missing valuable opportunities to learn and contribute to great conversations.  I wondered around to various spaces eavesdropping and glancing over shoulders.  I joked with a few other first time MozFest participants that it felt like I was invited to a house party where other participants were actively dancing to music they all knew and were sharing in festive exchanges, but that I was standing in the kitchen sipping on a beer trying to find my “in.”  I had difficulty finding my entry point and then it all changed.


    The catalyst for the shift was ignited on Saturday when we hosted our office hour session called “Hacking the NYC Dept of Ed with the Arts.”  We wrote out our title on a large post-it and waited to welcome conversation.  At first we couldn’t find a place to meet and nobody was stopping by to engage in conversation. Then Rafi Santo stopped by and…. ka’boom!  The two hour conversation that followed, through the span of four floors in Ravenbourne, took us through topics including Hive’s vision on creating a collective impact space to maximize efforts between organizations to bring about real change, celebrating shared experiences and building trust between organizations, Marx, negotiating the real challenges of the “Digital Divide” and strategies on serving students from under-represented communities and much more. I was starting to hear my “music” play at the party!


    Sunday was the most powerful experience, though.  We gathered in groups to discuss Hive’s five-year plan and vision statement: “We imagine a time when connected learning is ubiquitous in Hive cities across the globe, empowering educators and unlocking opportunities for all youth.”  Hive’s four goal realms are: Mobilize, Create, Catalyze, and Grow.  I met with an awesome group at the Catalyze table.  We began with general conversation around partnerships and then we went for a ride.  Through collective visioning, the sharing of core values, and an enthusiastic investment in the community we share, we began to envision an introduction of critical discourse around race, gender, class, sexuality, etc to supplement the amazing work already happening at MozFest.  We titled our concept #codeswitchdigital and the idea of proposing a new track in MozFest took life.  More importantly, I created great friendships with colleagues from various backgrounds and roles in the MozFest community.  It felt like the DJ at the house party finally introduced a playlist full of all my jams and it allowed more people to come out of the woodwork!

    The epiphany hit in the moment of wrapping our conversation that MozFest not only embraces its core values, but intentionally models them for all of those who participate.  I was inspired to see the philosophy of “working open” held with integrity, honored as foundational pedagogy, and valued as an authentic approach to gathering talented and passionate people.  I learned that MozFest creates open space where passionate minds gather to engage in powerful discourse, hack technical solutions, and define the future of the field.  #Awesome.

    Photos from Armando’s Instagram.

    The post MozFest Reflections: Armando Somoza of Urban Arts Partnership appeared first on Hive NYC.

    November 03, 2014 07:27 PM

    November 02, 2014

    Open Badges blog

    Badger Beats: The Week In Review [64]

    Welcome to the Badger Beats!

    Here’s what we got up to this week:

    We’ll leave you with this vine that Steve Lonn put together at MozFest:

    See you next week, everyone!

    November 02, 2014 05:15 PM

    November 01, 2014

    Open Badges blog

    Open Badges Community Project Call, October 29 2014

    Open Badges Community Project Call, October 29 2014:

    Catch up on last Wednesday’s community project call where a few of us reported out from the Mozilla Festival.

    November 01, 2014 11:27 AM

    October 31, 2014

    Open Badges blog

    EDUZILLA: Covering Education & Badges at MozFest

    EDUZILLA: Covering Education & Badges at MozFest:

    I think Open Badges and other digital qualifications…are a fantastic idea, especially in developing areas where formal education can be hard to access.

    “Badges are a great idea but they need to explode

    Check out Eduzilla for MozFest coverage, including a post on Open Badges and Think Big.

    October 31, 2014 05:23 PM