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Feature Article
Recognising Achievement with Badges and Blockchain in a Connectivist MOOC
Stephen Downes, Journal of Learning for Development, 2019/11/19

This paper describes the design objectives of an application that integrates open badges and blockchain with a cMOOC. The work described was undertaken during the offering of an online course, and, thus, development took place in an actual course context with interaction with course participants. The full workflow from course content to storage on the blockchain is described, and some concluding comments are offered on the results of this course, and the potential for future applications.

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Verifiable Credentials Data Model 1.0 is a W3C Recommendation
W3C, 2019/11/19


The W3C has announced a verifiable credentials standard. "The Verifiable Claims Working Group has published Verifiable Credentials Data Model 1.0 as a W3C Recommendation. Credentials are a part of our daily lives; driver’s licenses are used to assert that we are capable of operating a motor vehicle, university degrees can be used to assert our level of education, and government-issued passports enable us to travel between countries. This specification provides a mechanism to express these sorts of credentials on the Web in a way that is cryptographically secure, privacy respecting, and machine-verifiable." Do take a look at the very least to the table of contents. There's quite a bit of depth here, and a recognition that the idea of credentials overlaps into areas of privacy, security and trust. For those who dig deeper, there's some really cool stuff in here, eg., the section on zero-knowledge proofs.

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The Case Against Righteous Anger
John Danaher, Philosophical Disquisitions, 2019/11/19


If we witness or - worse - are the victims on an injustice, we have the right to be angry, don't we? Isn't it a natural response? Isn't it something that would be expected? Not so fast. As John Danaher summarizes, "In his fascinating book, The Geography of Morals, Owen Flanagan takes a long hard look at this positive view of anger by contrasting it with the Buddhist/Stoic view of anger... Flanagan argues that we should consider shifting our moral equilibrium. Instead of viewing righteous anger as morally necessary and occasionally positive, we should see it as potentially destructive and counter-productive." There's a lot of really good discussion in between these point. Recommended.

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Subscriptions: too much of a good thing?
Terry Freedman, ICT & Computing in Education, 2019/11/19


I don't see subscriptions quite the same way as Terry Freedman, who implies that creators have a right to get paid ("I wondered if, on the same basis, he expected supermarkets to let him have small bars of chocolate free, or small cups of coffee") because sometime work is performed for which there is no paying market, no matter how much effort it took (my singing also falls into that category). Still, I can see the day when I no longer have my day job where I might want to make some money from my work. But subscriptions just don't seem like the answer. As Freedman says, the barrier to entry today is quite low, which means there are too many people chasing too few dollars. He suggests "you had better be sure that you can  provide good content on a consistent basis, that offers fresh insight, or inside information that subscribers can’t easily obtain elsewhere" but I doubt that this would be enough.

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2019 European Distance Learning Week
European Distance Education Network, 2019/11/19

I had planned to devote an issue of OLDaily to the European Distance Learning Week that took place last week, because the panels looked like they would be really good, but they used Adobe Connect, with the result that the videos were basically unwatchable. I'll include the links for those of you who want to put yourself through that, but my general observation is that this post shows clearly why friends don't let friends use Adobe Connect.





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Copyright 2019 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.