Another good thing from Scotland – Badges (yay)


Things I love about Scotland:

  1. Lovely people
  2. Edinburgh with the CRA in June was beautiful. So much culture.
  3. I love that they wanted to stay in the EU.
  4. They rock Badges.

I was looking for resources about Badges for the session I am running tomorrow with UG students from Geography.  I gave the talk last year but this year I wanted to show the students what their Badge would look like and who else was issuing Badges.  Last year, I could tell them about IBM, Samsung, City & Guilds and the NHS.  I thought there must be more and there are.  I discovered a wonderful site from the Scottish Social Services Council.  Not only can you be issued a Badge through their site, but there is a webinar about Badges (and not just for Social Services practitioners) covering all aspects from what is a Badge, how they can be used, how to issue and even how to future proof your service.  The webinar is a full 60 minutes but there is so much information and if you listen to the whole thing you can get a Badge.  This is not a trivial, motivational use, in order to get the badge I need to say what I learnt from the webinar and how I will use it in my organisation. It made me think and listen.  Awesome.

What (one thing*) I learnt from the webinar

It was refreshing to hear from an organisation with a practical, real-world use of open badges.  In particular, my key takeaways are around usage and application.  Robert Stewart sets out clearly how Badges (with evidence) can be used to evaluate events.  I really liked the Bronze, Silver and Gold attendance badges.  If you attended you get the Bronze (thats the hook to get you to see what a badge is) Silver attendance is what did you learn and plans for action, as well as sharing; Gold – having attended the conference or event, what have you done in your organisation.  Then you have evidence of action as a direct consequence of your event and not via a survey but with evidence.  It made my heart sing!

What I plan to do

I am going to take the idea forward of sharing.  There is huge interest in the use of Badges to engage academically. In particular co-curricular activities and I will ask people that when they gain their badges to share what they have done. I really liked the use of # in the naming of the Badges.  This also ties in with ePortfolios (inspired by Katie Coleman) where the evidence is part of a bigger picture of the online identity of the person.

The application has been submitted!

*I have a whole bunch of ideas but I need to digest all the things I have realised as I was listening, including format of presentation, resources etc

Every day sexism and the Digital Diva

I’m going to tell you a story. Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a land not so far away, lived a young girl who was fascinated by gadgets. This was a time before we were all connected through the wonderful web, but still it was a time when electronic gadgetry abounded. She loved to watch the cashiers in the shops as they pressed shiny buttons and made things happened. How she longed to play with the cash registers and input numbers into them. Over time, these shiny gadgets became easier and easier to get hold of, and soon she had experienced many different types of gadgets, including hand held telephones, computer games. One day she decided that she would learn about these magical devices and she went to college. She learnt how these mysterious machines worked, how to connect them together and how they spoke to each other. Her interest in this tech world grew and grew until after many years, after she had been on many courses and had experienced so many things, that she was told that she had grown into a ‘Digital Diva’. Confused at what this could mean, she asked the man that said it to her to explain. ” Well since you have become more successful you’ve become more demanding”.

And this is when it all began to sink in. The girl realised that she needed to change her approach. She had become a threat to the men in their world. She was a stranger, an outsider, daring to enter into the male domain. She went home and told her daughter about this experience and was surprised that her daughter knew all about the language of the male species. Apparently it was a well known technique for controlling women. To call a women a ‘diva’ was known as a silencing technique. How could a women respond? Anything she said after this would present her as difficult or aggressive. Her daughter warned her of this trap and told her to go forth and continue in her confident, innovative manner and not be afraid of the comments of the dark men, those who feel threatened and undermined by a strong confident woman.

And so it was that, to this day, she has stayed true to her path, and will always take forward her ideas with the passion and enthusiasm that has kept her ideas alive. No more will she be affected by the voices of the men who tried to keep her down. For they are but cowards, and she will reveal them for what they are.