Open Badges, a new digital standard to get recognition for skills you learn

Learning and training opportunities equip people with new skills and competences every day. The question is just how to acknowledge and value those skills to optimize their visibility and share-ability. Say hello! to the degree 2.0 thanks to Open Badges and Bestr.

By Eloisa Spinazzola, translated by Simone Ravaioli.

Along with the ever increasing amount of data we collect everyday also constantly grow the skills we acquire outside our regular jobs or formal education by attending events, online trainings, and specific courses. Let alone the chance to participate to summer schools, workshops, or weekend retreats. But our crave to learn may be inhibited by the need for some sort of recognition for those learning experiences.

Here comes Bestr to help. A project co-signed by Mozilla and Cineca to make personal skills and competences visible and easily share them with the rest of the connected world. It is done by issuing micro-credentials – called Open Badges – which certify the acquisition of a skill obtained through a variety of different learning paths – non necessarily formal.

The launch of the project

The project was rolled out on July 4th 2015, kicking off with the first initiative called “Giardino delle Imprese”, a training program aimed at developing entrepreneurial skills for high school students. At the end of this non-formal educational path participants will receive their first Open Badges issued by the Bestr platform and will be able to share them through their socials.

Open Badges

If only Open Badges were the same ol’ certificates, then nothing new. Instead they are a visual representation of a skill, digital and portable, containing a set of metadata associated with the competences acquired through a particular (learning) experience. Badges make skills visible and acknowledged as an Open Standard globally known as the Open Badge Infrastructure (OBI).

Bestr, more than platform 

Just like Open Badges are more than certificates, Bestr is more than a Badge Factory. In this first release user will be able to collect their Badges into their profiles, share them on their socials and embed them into LinkedIn for example. Once the full functionalities of the platform will be available (Early 2016) Bestr will become an exchange place between learners, employers and learning providers. For the Learners it will offer personalized learning and experience pathways, for Employers the possibility to orient the learning providers by endorsing skills the market is interested in and find talent to match their skill need, and for Learning providers it will provide a marketplace to promote their training offering and disseminate their culture and brand.

A futher innovation opportunity for ONG 2.0

ONG 2.0 will be among the selected pilots of Bestr. The added value for ONG2.0 will be the possibility to issue Open Badges for its online courses. Participants will then be able to share with their networks their digital certificate leveraging its innovative and social potential.

Sharing is always the viral beginning of a new collective knowledge experience.

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