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… “Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair” February 22, 2012

Posted by IaninSheffield in Inspiration, Musings, Web 2.0.
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It only seems like a short while ago that I first became aware of the Open Badges movement:

Learning today happens everywhere, not just in the classroom. But it’s often difficult to get recognition for skills and achievements that happen outside of school. Mozilla’s Open Badges project is working to solve that problem, making it easy for anyone to issue, earn and display badges across the web — through a shared infrastructure that’s free and open to all. The result: helping learners everywhere display 21st century skills, unlock career and educational opportunities, and level up in their life and work.


badges competitionThe project we’ve recently been working on in school (ICT Quests) seemed to be being constructed in a way which could benefit from the principles of Open Badges. So when the DML Badges for Lifelong Learning competition was announced, the possibility of offering an entry seemed to make sense. Well I’m not quite sure how, but we seem to have dropped lucky. Our submission not only got through the first round of selection, but we’ve been invited to the finals! They’re taking place in San Francisco next Tuesday & Wednesday, with the overall winners to be announced on the first day of the DML Conference.

Our entry was in the ‘Learning & Content’ stage with the ‘Design & Tech’ stage being undertaken by different groups to follow. For the finals we’ve been partnered with an open source development team from Catalyst IT, led by Richard Wyles (Project Lead for Mahara) in New Zealand. Their entry was “Moodle as Issuer, Mahara as Displayer” and clearly links with our ICT Quests through Moodle, our VLE – good matching by the competition organisers.

So now it’s all hands on deck to prepare our pitch for the judges. It’s not a massively big ask, but clearly competing against other teams adds a certain … edge! Bearing in mind we only have a maximum of 10 minutes to cover what our project can offer to the Open Badges movement, ensuring that the criteria for the content and tech strands are both covered and that they marry together to deliver a coherent whole. Condensing all that into a meaningful pitch is proving to be quite demanding. Given that projects can attract up to $200 000 of funding, it’s taking quite a bit of thought what to include and leave out … let alone the style! A bit like condensing Hamlet into a single Tweet.

So next Tuesday after the orientation and information dissemination session at the California Academy of Sciences, Richard and I will be knocking our pitch into shape, distilling and refining the content and finalising our budget ready for the judges on the following day.

Excitement and fear often do hold hands don’t they?