“Badges are about connecting people to opportunity. It’s that simple”. Taking this lightbulb moment of David Leaser from IBM (an early adopter of open badges) in mind, we can use this great sentence also in relation to the last ePIC in Lille and use it as a guiding thread to walk you through what was going on last October 2019. Where badges are often seen as a certificate and represent resume worthy activities, more and more we see examples that highlight the importance of connecting people to an opportunity by using badges.
Yes, this ePIc was again about open badges (and more!). Open badges and ePIC are connected with Open Recognition. And so is our MIRVA project. What was becoming eminent during this ePIC were the many initiatives showcasing on how people are connected to an opportunity with Open Badges. This is clearly the road to Open Recognition.
How to bridge technologies to build recognition? And by doing this, connecting people to opportunities? What technologies are better suited to express recognition in its many expressions? In a workshop based on the O4 output – Guidelines for Technology Providers & Clients and led by MIRVA partners, two main pillars for participant discussion were presented: user stories and a proposed set of technology features.
During the workshop the partners of MIRVA introduced 9 personas. For each persona in the above matrix we can raise the question: “What will learning look like in the future?”
The following example is a use case based on Raymond to connect him through the use of technology to an opportunity.
Connecting Raymond to technology
Raymond, a full time father of 55 looking for a job, was introduced as a persona example to connect to these new emerging technologies. What benefit could this have for him being middle aged father and unemployed?
- Raymond can ask to his previous employers via a tweet on endorsing his skills achieved in his previous work. Raymond can be endorsed by the MOOC provider.
- With Badge Connect he can create a profile on a backpack or perhaps creates himself a decentralized backpack (Solid). The alignment is based on skills that can be found on the ESCO skills framework.
- He can then create a knowledge map or an idea map in his community based on his and other skills in his community.
The given example was further expanded during the workshop. You can read the full post here, where you can also find the survey and handout material.
Opportunities are enabled by new developments on the Open Badges Infrastructure. During the Technical Tracks Nate Otto and others discussed Open Recognition Technologies and related subjects like the new Europass development:
- Overview of Open Recognition Technologies like Badge Connect API and chaired by Nate Otto, director of Badgr).
- BadgeBot – The world’s first Open Badges issuing Twitter bot. Badgebot can spur some thinking about Open Recognition and other ways to use services to issue and understand Open Badges.
- EuroPass 2: The new EDCI standard is based on Verifiable Claims (a new W3C standard) instead of Open Badges was discussed and some suggestions were made to the Data Model to make the OBI compatible with the EDCI. Open Badges can align with Verifiable Claims, but will need some adjustments.
- Edubadges by SURFnet. Frans Ward shared the results from the Proof of Concept and the need for European oriented metadata, like Language Extension and EQF Extension.
Good practices at the ePIC showed where open badges are implemented to create opportunities for people. This was showcased by a representative of the organisation involved as is mostly the case on a conference. It is a source of inspiration for many and an opportunity for visitors to speak in person with these presenters. Most of the recordings of the presentations can be viewed here.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating
A new and promising element of this ePIC was the introduction of statements of recognised people and how open badges have helped them to connect to an opportunity.
The people from the k-d’Abra association, which leads social integration actions aimed at families benefiting from the RSA (solidarity labor income), in particular the development of personal, professional or collective projects, presented their Zoubibadge (see picture below). They also participated in the Badgebot initiative by issuing a badge for their initiative:
Looking for a short impression of the ePIC? These 5 visitors below give you a short video impression of their thoughts of what Open Recognition and the ePIC means to them.
Inspired? Great! We are also looking forward to the next ePIC, which is again in Lille next year from 26 – 28 October. The subject is ‘Open Badges: the missing link between Open Learning and Open Recognition?’ Hope you will be there too. Save the date!