Building professional credentials in the 21st Century is both different and fun!
Badges--as they're called--are the newest open-source trend to help professionals better define themselves and their composite skill sets. Adding greater internet presence to the bearer and issuer alike, badges bring heightened visibility and credibility to professionals everywhere, no matter the industry.
You might say badges are becoming the new social panacea intended to offset every small and great skill or accomplishment that can get lost or go unnoticed if you're still using the traditional resume all by itself.
Figure 1: How Open Source Badges Work
Fast Facts And Questions About Badges
Q: Who can earn a badge?
Q: Who can design and promote a badge?
Q: Why should professionals be interested in badges if just anyone can create and earn them?
A: Because not all badges are created, issued, or worn equally.
One Badge Size Does NOT Fit All
True, badges can be designed and offered by any individual, company, or entity, but not all badges are the same. Certain "designer" badges carry more weight (and more clout for the bearer) than others do. Not every badge is validated, but when they're pre-vetted and pass the litmus test of Mozilla's standards, you can count on their weight and worth. Here's a growing list of issuers, just to give you an idea.
A word to the skeptics (who also still doubt the legitimacy of Wikipedia): Credentialling mechanisms of each badge are "baked in" and link back to the issuer. The footprint and breadcrumb trail behind each badge's design tell a richer story than a resume alone. So before you miss something important about that student or that potential new-hire who's talking about all those badges in his backpack, look closer. You just might have a genius on your hands. It's just good business to check out people and their badges.
What's Moodle Doing With Badges?
If you didn't already know, some of the new features of Moodle 2.5 can help you start earning badges too. Whether your'e a teacher/trainer or a student, or even an administrator, you could earn a Moodle badge too.
Not a Moodle user yet? Not a problem.
Click here to register and attend our free webinar designed to introduce you to the basics of Moodle. After viewing the webinar, contact us directly. We can have you earning badges and using Moodle in no time at all!
BACKGROUND A self-taught programmer and systems architect with formal studies in Sociology and Mass Media, Martin Langhoff began his work on open-source (OS) projects in the days of multimedia CD-ROMs and the early Internet.
OPEN-SOURCE DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCE Martin’s work with private sector, education, and government customers matured into a career of architecting complex systems for e-government projects such as national election backends. The tools of choice were OS languages and engines running on Linux, even at a time when skepticism and uncertainty about OS were still prevalent.
MOODLE DEVELOPMENT & CONTRIBUTIONS While residing in New Zealand, Langhoff took on a project to find the best open source LMS in existence to develop and deploy for a consortium of local universities. Moodle was the clear winner, and Martin put together a small team that reworked Moodle internally for greater scalability and high performance. This effort spanned Moodle versions 1.4 to 1.9, with each version reaching major milestones, such as the roles-system rewrite that enabled Moodle to work on an unprecedented scale. In that process, Martin Langhoff and his team members found themselves being early users of the GIT version control software, and quite naturally, working with Linus Torvalds on important enhancements and extensions. Using GIT for Moodle programming allowed the New Zealand team to develop and deploy faster and more efficiently; their work predated the Moodle.org switch to Moodle by several years.
OPERATING SYSTEMS, HARDWARE AND FOCUS ON LEARNING As School Server Architect and later CTO at One Laptop per Child (OLPC), Martin continued his focus on technology for learning and education. His responsibilities spanned architecting, managing, and executing on hardware, operating systems, and production. With Langhoff’s leadership in place, his direct involvement in all aspects of operating system customization and central work on hardware planning and design, the OLPC project delivered several product cycles, including the acclaimed XO-4 Touch laptop.
REMOTE-LEARNER’s VP OF PRODUCTS AND PLATFORMS Today, Martin Langhoff returns to the Moodle world, bringing his renowned expertise in debugging, programming, and architecture. His continued contributions to the field have secured his place among Remote-Learner’s impressive leadership team. As Remote-Learner’s VP of Products and Platforms, Langhoff will harness his understanding of the hardware and software stack to consolidate and fine-tune the Remote-Learner platform to integrate and deliver complex products that better address customer needs. Langhoff will also accompany Remote-Learner on the road by making appearances at eLearning and training conferences, delivering keynotes and training as needed or requested by the Moodle community at large. Remote-Learner will also tap into Langhoff’s thought-leadership and diverse experience to provide consulting for projects, products, and strategic initiatives.
We trust that our readers will be pleased that Martin Langhoff is now a part of the Remote-Learner family and leadership team.
Waynesboro, Virginia - August, 13 2012 - When economic complexities continue to drive higher education officials’ backs to the wall, it’s gratifying to know that a company like Remote-Learner will go the distance with you, all the way.
After almost a year in process, the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) has completed one of its most arduous but gratifying tasks. Selecting from among many contenders, the NCCCS has opted to partner with Remote-Learner, U.S. Moodle partner headquartered in Waynesboro, VA, to provide a comprehensive set of Moodle hosting and related services to its 58 member colleges.
The NCCCS is one of the largest community college systems in the nation. Its educational resource needs are similar to many higher ed institutions’ needs: the LMS must be affordable, reliable, and comprehensive. When the NCCCS committee went to work in search of ways to meet its colleges needs, commitee members deliberated among many options. After nine exhausting months, the committee found a solution to its ongoing Distance Learning and educational resource management needs, and late May, Remote-Learner was declared the winner of the RFP process.
Wanda Braker, Executive Director of eLearning and Learning Technology Systems for the North Carolina Comumunity College System (NCCCS) stated, "Four years ago, the Moodle Open Source Collaborative Pilot with Remote-Learner introduced many of our community colleges to the Moodle platform for the first time. Our new cloud solution with Remote-Learner expands that pilot to a fully managed service with room for expansion. We are committed to providing the best open source alternative for learning management systems for our colleges, and our renewed partnership with Remote-Learner provides a solution for our community colleges that is affordable, yet dynamic and scalable".
Today, the NCCCS is moving forward with Remote-Learner as its Moodle partner, and plans are already in place to execute the roll-out in several structured steps. To learn more about the Moodle movement in North Carolina’s community college system view the OSC (Open Source Collaborative) supporting documents found online at http://oscmoodlereport.wordpress.com/ .
As one of the nation’s largest community college systems leads the way in providing high quality 21st Century resources to its 58 member colleges through Moodle, Remote-Learner will be there every step of the way. For information about how you too can partner with Remote-Learner, visit the company’s website at www.remote-learner.net .
Moodle 2.3 is Here
Remote-Learner’s Suggestions for Customers
With the recent release of Moodle 2.3 on June 25th, Remote-Learner has already completed a range of quality assurance testing and debugging activities that customers will directly benefit from. Additional subset quality assurance tests are in process to ensure that any significant regressions will not interfere with eager customers’ desire to test-drive it first.
Martin Dougiamas is optimistic about the new release’s implications and applications:
"I'm really keen to see Moodle 2.3 in the hands of teachers. Our development teams have added a long list of new interface features that address our feedback from the community about the things that annoy them most and the result is a smoother and more modern course management experience. Perhaps the most exciting for many people will be the changes to file handling: not only are the display and handling of files improved a lot from Moodle 2.2, but you can now drag and drop files, text and links straight in to the course page from your desktop or browser, and they will automatically be added to the course as the appropriate resources. We've also vastly improved the repository interface, making it even better than ever to pair Moodle with a document management system or an internet service like Dropbox, so that you can truly keep your files in the repository where they belong.”
Remote-Learner advises its more eager customers to be aware that full support for Moodle 2.3 will not be offered right off the bat. Being aware of this information in advance, Moodle 2.3 enthusiasts are still encouraged to download and experiment with 2.3 with full awarenss that full support will be forthcoming shortly—perhaps by the end of September, maybe sooner. We promise you’ll be the first to know.
With proprietary e-learning vendors growing larger and becoming more revenue-driven at the cost of innovation, it is becoming more apparent that finding an LMS that will fit your specific needs is no easy task. Many organizations are struggling to avoid these corporate giants and the long-term contracts associated with them. However there are alternatives such as open source that could offer an enormous return on investment in any enterprise level organization.
In this white paper you'll learn:
-The benefits of open source software in the learning enterprise
-What to consider when choosing a vendor to support your open source project
Head over to our resources page and download the whitepaper
Waynesboro, Virginia - March, 27 2012 - Blackboard’s recent acquisition of Moodlerooms and Netspot, two of the fifty companies that make up the Moodle Partners Network, has surprised many in the open source LMS community. Blackboard’s traditional proprietary product strategy contrasts sharply with their recent investments in Moodle partners.
"The impact of Blackboard’s acquisition of Moodlerooms and Netspot on their open source commitment remains to be seen" Remote-Learner CEO Jason Cole commented, “They have a lot to prove.”
Remote-Learner remains dedicated to Moodle’s open source model. We have released a number of major components to the Moodle community on a freemium basis including our flagship Enterprise Learning Intelligence System (ELIS). As a company built by educators, creating and delivering open source components to further educational and learning goals continues to be a primary focus. Our commitment to Moodle and open source applications will always be the core of our business model.
"Remote Learner, one of our biggest partners, have been supporting Moodle since the very earliest days of the Moodle Partner program. I'm proud to have them as part of the team that is contributing towards core Moodle development" Martin Dougiamas, founder of Moodle and Managing Director of Moodle Pty Ltd stated.
Blackboard is currently funded by Providence Equity, a private equity firm with several online learning companies in their portfolio. Over the past few years, Providence Equity and Blackboard have acquired numerous companies including Edline, ANGEL, WebCT, Schoolworld, Schoolfusion, and Teacherweb, with a long-term goal of offering an extensive mix of commercial online learning solutions to meet the diverse needs of the market.
"Such a vast product line can compromise customers’ best interests. Schoolworld and Schoolfusion are both no longer available but once offered unique solutions designed with a specific segment in mind” states Bryan Poss, Director of Marketing for Remote-Learner.
With 58 million users, it's easy to see why Moodle has been the LMS of choice for numerous educational and corporate entities over the years and will continue to be. Moodle's open source licensing reduces the risk of vendor lock-in, lowers costs, improves organizational flexibility, and allows end users control over the source code.
A large portion of Moodle’s success comes directly from the strength of The Moodle Partners Network. "We started the network back in 2004 with only four partners and it has expanded to over fifty with more partners added every year. Moodle’s growth and success is, in part, due to all the Moodle partners contributing a portion of their proceeds back to the Moodle program for ongoing development." said Bryan Williams, Chairman and Founder of Remote-Learner.
Learn about the Benefits of the Kaltura-Moodle integration in K-20 and Corporate Education at Kaltura Devconnect in New York City April, 2 2012.
Online education has exploded over the past few years, with public, non-profit, and for-profit K-20 institutions, educational tablet apps, and corporate and public sector training all moving from early adoption to mission critical state. Reliable video is increasingly essential to the success of these projects. Many such projects are delivered using a Learning Management System such as Moodle, an open source PHP based LMS used by over 57 million learners. The Kaltura-Moodle integration enables educational content developers to take advantage of Kaltura's advanced video management and delivery options to enable reliable high quality content to be delivered as an integrated component of the educational conent, to various OS's and devices in use, including PC/Mac, Tablets, and Smartphones.
Michael Penney will briefly discuss the advantages of having Kaltura integrated into your content delivery application, and the increasing importance of reliable video content in the expanding online education market. Akin Delamarre, Remote-Learner Lead Developer for the Kaltura Integration, will also discuss technical aspects of building the integration, including integrating Kaltura with Read-Write web applications, the technologies used to create the plug-in, the type of LMS functions that Kaltura's API can utilize, benefits and challenges of utilizing Yahoo's YUI3, and other standards and tools used for the integration.
Akinsaya Delamarrare is a software developer and has 8 years of experience. Akinsaya works as a developer at Remote-Learner Canada (an official Moodle partner) creating extensions and various plugins for Moodle. Akinsaya also developed the Kaltura extension for Moodle 2.0; and was part of the development and maintenance for the Moodle 1.9 extension.
Register for Devconnect 2012 for $50.00 by following us on twitter.