Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Digital badges

"Mozilla Open Badges are a new, data-rich way to capture and share skills across the web. DigitalMe is helping schools, learning organisations and employers to use Open Badges to capture skills not previously recognised through formal qualifications - for youth, educators and families."

"Like scouting badges, Open Badges communicate a skill or achievement but are displayed on the Internet. They contain comprehensive data including who has earned the badge, its criteria, learning evidence and who has endorsed it. All this information is packaged within a tiny badge image file that can be displayed via online CVs and social networking sites..."

"Our track record includes successful national and international projects with the British Council, The Childrens Society... the BBC, the Football Foundation, the Imperial War Museum, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Nesta, The Big Lottery Fund and the Nominet Trust. "

See more at:

"The [Scottish Qualifications Authority] itself is investigating the opportunities presented by open badges to support learners across Scotland and is encouraging its partners to do the same."

"Employers, organisations, schools, colleges and universities could gain a richer picture of an individual’s learning by exploring the metadata behind a badge."
"The philosophy of open badges in the recognition of achievements sits well with the principles of Curriculum for Excellence."
Curriculum for Excellence encourages pupils to build portfolios of their achievements outside school and it is easy to see how digital badges could be utilised in this scheme. All of that might seem innocent enough until you start pulling the bits and pieces together to see the bigger picture:
"All schools will have employers fully involved in informing curriculum planning and delivery and providing work-related learning experiences."
So we will have designer children for local businesses.

I don`t know why they call this Curriculum for Excellence because the authority has really narrowed the focus of education down to preparing for life and work, and life turns out to be work.  The trouble is that once robots come on board and start taking over more jobs, including middle class jobs, there won`t be enough work to go around. It is easy to imagine the fierce competition among young people to get badges.  Employers will be able to pick and choose the badges they want and therefore will be able to influence the qualities that young people will have to gain in order to find employment. Remember, we are not talking about knowledge here, we are talking about certain character traits and attributes.

Rat Race

That reminds me of the psychologist B F Skinner and his Skinner boxes, shaping pigeon behaviour. Only this digital badge enterprise looks like it is going to be the human version.

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