Learners have been teaching themselves for many centuries. However in our highly connected time learning practices have truly gone feral. Twitter drips out 140 character learning bites around the clock. Google Scholar gives you, on demand, as many resources as you need. Scoop.It lets you connect with experts in your field who are curating the best and most recent information on any topic you are interested in. Don’t know how to make that widget? Search YouTube or, better yet, join a maker community.
According to Pew Research the age of ‘binge learning’ in linear courses might be coming to an end: we can now all “graze on information” anytime, anywhere. So how are people organizing these platforms and information streams to maximize their learning? Is it possible, or desirable, for formal higher education providers to engage with these independent learners and add value?
More importantly, if learning is feral and happening everywhere, how can we assess and accredit the learning that is happening in existing higher education settings, but not as part of formal course work? A conventional degree testamur is a ‘mute’ object that actually tells us very little about the richness of the learning that is taking place, especially around the edges of formal coursework. It looks like Mozilla’s Open Badges may be an important piece of the puzzle, a way of making learning more legible to others, and to the learner themselves.
In this lecture Joyce Seitzinger will discuss the concept and potential of Mozilla’s Open Badges movement against the background of these feral learning practices and sketches out what this new development might mean for our universities.
Bio: Joyce Seitzinger has worked in eLearning for 15 years, including 8 years in higher education in New Zealand and Australia. Since 2007 she has become a strong advocate of networked learning in education and organisational learning. Her consulting service Academic Tribe helps individuals and organisations build networked communities and practices in education that suit lifelong learning needs in the 21st century. Joyce is one of the founders of the newly established OBANZ (Open Badges Australia and New Zealand) community. She is an active Twitterer, follow her at http://twitter.com/catspyjamasnz to see what she’s working on.