Kate Coleman’s (@kateycoleman) has opened a discussion on “ePortfolios and OpenBadges – friends or foes?” (link). Here is my attempted response to her question.
Open Badges best friends to ePortfolio practitioners and best foes to ePortfolio platforms? Let’s face it: the ePortfolio platforms of today are not that different from those that existed 10 years ago and many ePortfolios do not use any dedicated ePortfolio platform. If ePortfolio platforms want to keep up with innovation they will have to do much better than adding a layer of Open Badges; they might want to reinvent themselves from Open Badges.
Open Badges will facilitate the building of rich, trustworthy ePortfolios. We will be able to create truly “open ePortfolios” — one should note that there is a significant difference between using an “open source” eportfolio system and creating “open eportfolios.” With Open Badges, ePortfolios won’t be simply “open” they will also be “distributed” and “shared” and it is these qualities that will contribute to making them “trustworthy.”
Eventually we could describe the difference between Open Badges and ePortfolios as the difference between identity as self-narrative (ePortfolios) and identity through others (Open Badges).
In a presentation I gave in 2009 on “ePortfolio, the engine for learning communities” I presented ePortfolios as “the threads of the social fabric constructing our identity.”
Due to the siloed nature of current ePortfolios, this didn’t happen. With Open Badges, things are slightly different: no more silos and many threads, the threads of Open Badges feeding our interwoven networks of trust.
If I had to revise the 2009 presentation, it would be:
Open Badges: the substance from which are made the threads of the social fabric constructing our identities