by Stephen Downes
May 05, 2015
8-Year Old Creates Stunning Victory For Gender Equality
I'm always sceptical when I read headlines about the great accomplishments of 8-year-olds like this, because I know that they require a lot of support from their parents just to get in the door of major publishers, not to mention deciding what to say and how to say it. But I also really like it when they (and their parents) do have an impact like that, because it's so good for the child, and it's so good for society to have children having an impact on major policy decisions. We should do it more often. So Kudos to Els of North London for convincing a number of publishers to do away with the harmful 'for girls' and 'for boys' lables on books.
Four Scenarios on the Future of Credentials
I'm not really a fan of the 'scenario-building' approach to projecting future trends, but it's all the range these days and so not surprising to see employed in this report (which is overall a pretty good overview of the environment). Here are the four scenarios (quoted from the study (17 page PDF)):
- “All Roads Lead to Rome,” imagines a future in which degrees awarded by the K-12 and post-secondary sectors still serve as the dominant form of credentials."
- “The Dam Breaks,” explores a future in which the employment sector accepts new forms of credentials, such as micro-credentials, on a standalone basis.
- Every Experience a Credential,” considers what credentials might look like if new technologies enabled every experience to be tracked and catalogued.
- “My Mind Mapped,” imagines a future (with) breakthroughs in both the mapping and tracking of brain functions.
The universities are pursuing scenario 1, naturally. Most others are pursuing scenario 2. We are pursuing scenario 3. Nobody is really pursuing scenario 4, because it will be decades before the technology becomes practical, and would raise serious social and moral issues.
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