How can we value people in a way that drives purpose, meaning and prosperity throughout society?¬† How can we build a life-long learning environment which credentials knowledge on a global scale?¬†
The Internet is changing our world at an exponential rate.¬† Most evidently, this change can be seen and experienced in the growing evolution of the online classroom.¬† In only a few years the Web has challenged our traditional understanding of education and the belief that we need to physically attend a prestigious school or university in order to receive a higher education.
MOOC‚Äôs, or massive open online classrooms, allow hundreds of thousands of students to receive higher education from anywhere in the world, typically for free.¬† Emerging organizations such as¬†The Open Education Alliance¬†(supported by Udacity, Google, and AT&T)¬†Coursera,¬†edX, The University of the People¬†and others, are improving tools and expanding outreach making modern education more available and useful than ever before.
This is only the tip of the iceberg, for as the exponential growth in online education continues we can anticipate that our planet will become exponentially more educated, and thus, empowered.
‚ÄúThe expansion of education can contribute, under certain conditions, to the aggregate economic well-being of the population‚Äù Sociologist, Randal Collins.
The Need for Personalization
While emerging technologies in online education offer novel benefits they come with inherent costs.¬† Taking a class with a hundred thousand people means students are more than likely going to miss the hands on, personalized attention they deserve in a learning experience.¬† Besides the challenge of personalizing the online classroom to fit the unique qualities, skills and needs of students, how can education adapt to the accelerating changes in business, science, technology, and the real world?
What is emerging now, beyond formal modes of credentialing such as certificates, transcripts, degrees, etc., are peer-based methods such as¬†Mozilla‚Äôs Open Badges, or to a far lessor extent,¬†LinkedIn Endorsements.¬† ¬†While peer-based methods offers a more open and flexible approach to credentialing, they do not address the challenges, or fully utilize the potentials, of online education over the Web’s open-architecture.
While badges relate to any subject and can be shared openly across the Web, qualification is based on predefined criteria issued and associated to the badge. Subsequently, second-person accounts such as Endorsements, Likes, Recommends, and traditional ratings, reviews, and feedback, are inherently limited because they harbor fraud, maliciousness, misinformation, and biased results.
If MOOC’s are going to be successful, and online education is going to evolve openly across the Internets open-architecture, then we need a real-time, real-world system for credentialing that is open, adaptive, and personalized.
The Future Web
While the current Web 2.0 is comprised of different online communities that represent various aspects of society in education, entertainment, news, sports, business, enterprise, science, technology, government, etc., there is nothing tying it all together. What is limiting the Web from providing the right information to the right people at the right time, is the universal ability to recognize accurate representations of knowledge for people and information resources across different communities and disciplines.
Through cross-platform integration, online communities in education, research, science, technology, business, etc., can all contribute to building an online environment where innovation would thrive, novelty would emerge, and people would be valued for their unique contributions to society.
Through accurate and authentic representations of knowledge, we can anticipate that the next generation Web 3.0 will naturally identify, and match, people’s values with others needs and problems with solutions on a global scale.
Megathread’s Open Social Credentials
It doesn’t matter if you are a blogger, researcher, or a student in an online classroom, any time people share knowledge through information there is some degree of education that is occurring.¬† Within an online classroom or not, the sharing of knowledge through information is fundamental to the learning process and this is where social accreditation should begin to occur.
Applied to blogs, forums, chat, or any form of online discussion, Megathread leverages the Internet’s open-architecture to generate open social credentials–accurate and authentic representations of knowledge that measure the social influence and relevance of people and information resources in any subject of interest. This ubiquitous ability to credential knowledge from a real-time, real world source provides a next generation technology for online education and Web socialization.
Megathread’s open social credentials are inherently empowering because they naturally identify and match the unique qualities and skills of people with the needs of society. In terms of formal education, open social credentials seamlessly integrate students, educators, and curriculum with the real-world.
Credentialing knowledge through the real-time exchange of information provides a next generation technology that is adaptive, personalized, and empowering.
Megathread‚Äôs Core Benefits
- Awareness: ¬†A comprehensive understanding of the top influencers, trending topics, relevant discussions, and distinct concepts that apply to various areas of study in and out of the online classroom.
- Credibility: ¬†A real-time, real world application that credentials knowledge for students, educators, curriculum, schools, and organizations in any subject of study.
- Interconnectivity: An integrative learning ecosystem that identifies and matches the qualities, skills, and needs of students, professionals, and institutions while integrating the online classroom with emerging events and real world applications.
Megathread in Online Education
Megathread‚Äôs open social credentials can be integrated with existing online communities in education or applied to social technologies such as Badges (or any form of social profile, avatar, or identifier) in order to:
- Qualify & quantify students, curriculum, educators, and institutions in any subject
- Personalize online classrooms of any size (perfect for MOOC‚Äôs)
- Integrate the classroom and curriculum with real-time, real-world situations
- Connect students, educators, researchers, and institutions based on shared interests
- Identify innovation and novelty in and out of the classroom
- Create a life-long learning environment and a singular-semantic Web
For more information on Megathread, our open social credentials, or our strategy for creating a singular-semantic Web, please contact me directly at Brian (at) Megathread (dot) com.