Article | August 19, 2020
As many colleges and universities make the decision to offer online instruction in fall 2020 due to COVID-19, we’re quickly reminded of the Saturday Night Live (SNL) episode that aired during the spring commencement season. “Congratulations Class of 2020! You will now pay full price for your college experience at a University of Phoenix Online without the tech support,” joked Kate McKinnon. She was portraying the principal at a COVID-19 graduation at St. Mary Magdalene by the Expressway High School. Unfortunately, this skit from SNL wasn’t only humorous, it also reflected the reality for some. These people have been thrust into a version of remote teaching that, while developed with the best intentions of faculty and administrators, was more emergency triage than true online learning.
Article | August 19, 2020
Due to the increased exposures and positive COVID-19 cases, the educational industry is adapting to the fourth industrial revolution more swiftly than intended. Both students and educational institutions are realizing the requirement of technology to support the learning process. It has also led to the development of digital badges and the adoption of blockchain in this sector.
But, why should we adopt blockchain? Blockchain which is originally known as being the support of digital currencies like bitcoin is not new to the academe. Blockchain can be used as a validation tool for learning. With blockchain as the backbone of the educational system, institutions will become able to list courses, manage training badges, and issue certificates to the students. It will in return reduce the chances of issuing fraudulent certificates. Moreover, having high-end encryption, even the most experienced hackers will not be able to tamper the credentials.
And, what’s a digital badge? A digital badge validates the accomplishment, skills, and certifications of students. It can also be offered to the student after completing internships.
In the educational sector, a digital badge can be acquired by a student after learning a skill or completing a course. It should be considered by every institution to help students in showcasing their skills in the job market as well. The digital badges are multipurpose. It can be used for certifications to show the acquired skills, transparency for other universities or schools to collect key details of the student, and validation to show that the individual has participated in a workshop or training program.
Besides the basic reasons discussed, how these digital badges can help and why should institutions opt for digital badges?
Why Should Educational Institutions Opt For Digital Badges?
Among numerous reasons why an educational institution should go for digital badges, let’s check some of the most important reasons.
Micro-credentials help in dividing the part of the subjects into certain skills that enables students and educational institutions to design plans according to their needs. With the availability of personalized learning, a learner can complete the course anywhere regardless of the time and earn a badge.
A digital badge can enable students to showcase their skills while applying for an internship or part-time job. These badges must be connected with professional capabilities that confirm that it is worthy to the students. These skill badges either can be for technical skills like programming or soft skills like leadership, teamwork, and so on.
As we know that digital badges are verifiable, it offers a chance for students to learn something outside their typical classroom. It increases the achievement and abilities of the students creating a new opportunity for them at the time of recruitment.
Some of the companies and institutions that are using digital certifications include Certif-ID, Stamford University, Georgetown University, and MIT. For those who want to implement blockchain and digital badges in their educational institutions, you can easily hire developers that will build a powerful system to glorify the entire education process.
Wrapping it up!
To maintain educational records, a digital badge is the most innovative solution. Moreover, the education industry is gradually moving towards record maintenance on blockchain to eliminate fake degrees due to which many deserving candidates lose their chance to attain better opportunities. It is also beneficial for the companies as they will not have to hire less staff for cross-checking the information which will increase their profitability and productivity as well. Despite the increasing acceptance of digital badges and blockchain in the education sector, many educators are unaware of their power. Plausibly, it is about to change soon.
Article | August 19, 2020
Since formal education has existed, we have often wrestled with what the goals or outcomes are supposed to be and how we know if our learners have successfully reached them. For generations, the dominant goal seemed to be to acquire knowledge, information or facts. It didn’t matter what subject or level, the aim was for the learner to acquire content knowledge. But in an era where information is readily available through the digital revolution, many are asking what should the outcome be of learning?
Article | August 19, 2020
When you think of a playground what do you think of? Swings, slides, roundabouts?
Many years ago, these would be constructed without too much thought gone into the risks to ordinary children falling or losing grip. I have several siblings. We all sustained injuries at the local park. One fell off the high slide and lost her front teeth. One slid forward on the slippery rocking horse and had stitches in her chin. Another caught her foot on the roundabout as she tried to jump off when another child was pushing it too fast for her liking. I could go on.
Today playgrounds have to meet the European safety standards and safety surfacing has to be installed under swings, slides, and roundabouts. This must adhere to the current standard for impact absorbing playground surfaces.
It is good that playgrounds today meet these safety standards.
Yet. If your child is unable to walk, how will they get on that swing, that roundabout, that slide?
More and more children with disabilities are being educated in mainstream schools. Parents no longer think that a disability should stop their child from accessing the local playground. What is available to students with disabilities in these playgrounds?
Special schools have had to cater for students with disabilities when planning a playground but do ordinary schools? It is an act of discrimination if a child with a disability cannot enjoy being out on the playground as much as the able bodied child.
There was a time when the only wheelchair swing took ages to set up for a child to enjoy just 5 minutes of swing time. Anbakgard in Denmark have designed a wheelchair swing that takes just two minutes to set up and has additional seating for peers to join the experience. To see one in action go to https://YouTube.be/vh4NSOTULdA.
There are roundabouts that include a safety space for wheelchairs and slides that allow adults to accompany children on them for support. There are outdoor trampolines specifically for wheelchairs. There are birds nest swings that allow students with mild physical disabilities more space to enjoy the vestibular sensory stimulation. There are many sites that now provide play equipment to suit all kinds of needs. One such site is https://www.gljones-playgrounds.co.uk who provided our school with a lot of its play equipment.
There are climbing walls specifically geared to wheelchair users. Visit http://www.rockclimbingcentral.comto see the benefits to building muscle strength, endurance, strength, agility and flexibility.
When our children have missed out so much on play during the pandemic it is important that we provide all children with their right to play by ensuring that playgrounds everywhere are inclusive.