The assignment of creating this blog also had us work with a learning partner, which I found was a great experience. I had the pleasure of working with my learning partner Valinbc. We had multiple Skype sessions discussing what topic we would be comfortable with and if it be compatible with our respective professions. What I found really helpful was the fact that I have someone in the same situation as me going through the same process. I appreciate the fact that not only did it make this assignment a lot more enjoyable, but it helped me feel better knowing I had a friend I can contact if I had trouble with the course.
She had an interesting article relating to a system of education focused around Online Badges. Instead of committing large amounts of time to completing a degree, educational institutions are turning to these online badges to give learners the opportunity to learn in shorter amounts of time and still attaining credentials in a smaller scale.
She was very thoughtful and wrote a short summary of what we had discussed. Enjoy
Roles and Trends in Education – Laying it out for the world to see
More and more, demand for digital learning and online collaboration are increasing – in education as well as on the job – and it’s becoming less of an option for educators to ignore engagement with these new technologies if they are going to meet learner demands for easier access to education. Yet, there are still a lot of educators who are intimidated about exposing themselves online because of privacy concerns. Fortunately, educators do have models online who they can look to for ideas of how it can be done.
Also, in my field of Adult Basic Education, there is talk about the use of Online Open Badges to offer ‘microcredentials,’ or verified learning milestones. The Open Badges system by Mozilla Foundation gives adult learners the opportunity to manage their learning pathways and display a variety of achievements from a variety of sources, but they also require an open and trusting display of personal data for the world to praise, or to scrutinize.
(I have created a link to her blog so please feel free and have a look. Here’s a short intro)
In my blog, I review a paper titled The academic online: Constructing persona through the World Wide Web (Barbour and Marshall, 2012). It presents five different types of academic online personas and features distinguished academics who are good examples of how to successfully engage with learners and peers in the digital realm. These personas are the formal self, the public self, the comprehensive self, the teaching self, and the uncontainable self.
I also explain what Open Badges are and some of the debate surrounding them and present some findings from a report: The potential and value of using digital badges for adult learners (Finkelstein et al, 2013). In it, the authors note that a badge system based on a standardized framework of literacy competencies and administered by partners and stakeholders in adult education could benefit adult learners. It could eventually break down barriers to employment or education, help with motivation, and increase access to online learning. Still, questions remain, and the value of open badges are yet to be seen. You can read more about both these topics on my blog.