Monday March 9, as part of March on Gender — FAST FORWARD TO GENDER EQUITY, Andreas Schleicher presented the results of OECD studies related to gender equity ( link to video recording). What the studies clearly elicit is the fact that girls on almost all accounts score better than boys, whether in terms of creativity, willingness to cooperate, literacy, sciences etc. In short, take at random a cognitive, social or emotional skill and you have over 90% chances to be right if you bet that, in the same age range, girls outperform boys.

Yet, there is a gender gap…

While…


Introduction

More than three decades ago, I started a journey exploring how technologies could contribute to making one’s competencies more visible, especially for those who didn’t have the chance to receive a formal qualification. Started in the world of formal¹ education this journey led me to pay increasing attention to the informal world in which we spend most of our life (including during our schooling years!).

After discovering the competency portfolio² I became actively engaged in the work on ePortfolios (that led to many European projects and conferences) and, more recently, Open Badges. While the “normal” trajectory should have led to…


Are blockchains to credentials what the embalming fluids are to thanatopraxie, a means to keep the appearance of life to the dead?

In the previous post, we examined some of the blockchains shortcomings: over-hype being second to their defective and noxious relationship to trust — and the human race in general. In this post we are looking at one particular application of the blockchain technology in the field of education: Blockcerts(1). …


Metaphor for blockchain-centred systems — when a part becomes the whole

Why Blockchains?

The rationale for the initial development of blockchain technologies like Bitcoins, was to solve the problem of double spending while simultaneously:

  • Getting rid of regulatory bodies — the dream of the proponents of anarcho-capitalism also called libertarian anarchy, one of the ideologies widely shared between the alt-right, Trump and Silicon Valley (c.f. their track-record in tax dodging).
  • Getting rid of the need for trusted authorities to secure transactions — which resulted in creating an ecosystem that works best when everybody is at war with everybody.


Prolegomenon

Blockchains have become both a kind of a fashion item and a religion. Not having one on display can be considered as a sign of bad taste, ignorance, misplaced skepticism, Luddism or heathendom.

This series of posts (3) is a rebuttal of the blockchain bandwagon on to which so many are willing to jump without engaging their brains: remember Farmingdale (link), a $24 million iced tea company had its stock jump 200% when it declared moving into the blockchain business? How engaged were the brains of those who decided to invest in the 1,000+ cryptocurrencies (link) that failed in 2018…


The title of this post is inspired by a text written in 1935 by the French poet Paul Valéry which I received from my friend and colleague Philippe Petiqueux (@misterppqx).

The opening words of Paul Valéry’s text are:

“I never hesitate to declare that the diploma is the mortal enemy of culture. The more important diplomas have become in life (and this importance has only increased because of economic circumstances), the lower the performance of education has been. The more control was exercised and extended, the worse the results became.”

What could that signify in the realm of Open Badges…


Ensuring that the competencies acquired during training are actually transferred to the workplace — what the “Kirkpatrick methodology” defines as assessment level 3— is a classic human resource management problem. How to address it? And more specifically, how could Open Badges contribute to its resolution?

Open Badges according to Kirkpatrick …

In an attempt to address this question, I went to Kirkpatrick Partners where I discovered a whole range of badges, from simple participation badges (“Kirkpatrick Session Participant”), up to those issued after demonstration of the application of Kirkpatrick Methodology (“Kirkpatrick Certified Professional”).

The 4 levels of assessment according to Kirkpatrick

  • Level 1: ReactionDid…


“We want a reconditioned and more powerful Public Opinion. In a universal organisation and clarification of knowledge and ideas, in a closer synthesis of university and educational activities, in the evocation, that is, of what I have here called a World Brain, operating by an enhanced educational system through the whole body of mankind, a World Brain which will replace our multitude of unco-ordinated ganglia, our powerless miscellany of universities, research institutions, literatures with a purpose, national educational systems and the like; in that and in that alone, it is maintained, is there any clear hope of a really Competent…


“Open Recognition” is the association of two words that, when taken independently, cover such a wide range of connotations and values that they can easily become confusing, while, when combined, they provide a powerful concept to discriminate between open/closed, recognition/rejection, inclusion/exclusion. For example, the very first Open Badge technologies were designed in such a way that individuals were de facto denied the right to recognise others, and therefore prevented the development of Open Recognition practices. The technology standard was open, the software implementing the standard was also open, but the recognition process was mainly closed. The 2.0 …


“On the social plane, the understanding that identities are formed in open dialogue, unshaped by a predefined social script, has made the politics of equal recognition more central and stressful.”
— Charles Taylor, Politics of Recognition.

In my previous posts I tried to elicit the dangers associated with the increased colonisation of the world of (informal) education and recognition by institutions of formal education and how Open Badges might become the weapons of mass destruction of (informal) learning through what could be described as carpet badging — an expression borrowed from Dan Hickey who used it with a different meaning.

Serge Ravet

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