Open Badges

Open Badges

If you want to ride the wave of what’s new and hip, then an emerging concept called open badges is worth checking out. Open badges have actually been around for a while but have recently garnered much attention – especially with Mozilla’s recent release of their open badges site for coding and web development.

The concept is simple, just like boy scouts receive a badge for proficiency of a skill, open badges are proficiency badges that are given by an organisation (such as Mozilla) or by peers. It’s a system where proficiency in skills can be legitimised by receiving peer recognition.

The idea is novel and has enormous potential to disrupt traditional educational institutes. Currently, the only legitimate education is through universities. However what would happen if open badges were legitimsed? What if companies started recognising open badges as ways of evaluating potential employees?

The impact of open badges is yet to be determined. However there’s a clear trend online (in social communities) where certain members are recognised as having skills. In online groups, some participants rise to the top and are acknowledged for their abilities – whether that’s organising the group, contributing, teaching others or whatever.

If we build skills by participating in social online communities, do they translate into workplace skills? Will future resumes be filled with badges instead of academic degrees?

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