by Stephen Downes
Apr 21, 2015
IMS Global Announces Initiative to Establish Digital Badges as Common Currency for K - 20 and Corporate Education
Knowing IMS, the phrase "common currency" was probably very carefully chosen, and it brings to mind Doug Belshaw's proposal the other day to issue badges using Bitcoin-like encryption. So I wonder whether IMS is thinking that far ahead (it wouldn't be the first time they've picked up on someone's idea like that). According to the press release, "IMS will leverage existing experience, expertise and momentum. IMS Digital Credentialing will complement and further IMS’s leadership in competency-based learning, including partnerships with AACRAO and the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) to define extended digital transcript and CBE interoperability." 2 page PDF. Image: Chris Appleton - found here (good badge overview).
Human-Like Brain Found in Worm
A persistent statement that frustrates not only me but many researchers involved in thought and perception is this: language is required for thinking. If you ponder it for a bit you realize that this could be true only for the most narrow definition of 'thinking', and would exclude babies, cats, and other animals from 'thinking'. It's far more accurate to state it the other way around, in my view: thinking is required for language. This not only makes conceptual sense, it makes biological sense; witness this article describing fundamental similarities in human and worm brains. Now draw this inference to the next logical step: language is not required for learning, thinking or cognition. What then do these look like?
Patient Zero of the selfie age: Why JenniCam abandoned her digital life
The subtext of this item is that there is something wrong with sharing your life online, because after all the original "cam girl", Jennifer Ringley of JenniCan, gave it up after seven years and not has no social networking presence at all. But I think that reflects more the price of fame than of sharing, and I don't think we should accept the subtext. Nonetheless, this is a fascinating article well worth reading and an interetsing look back at, if you will, a more innocent internet.
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