Academic Portfolios & Badges – Want to think together?

I’ve had a long association with the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at the University of Davis and I get the opportunity to lend a hand here and there on projects. The latest in the MacArthur Foundation funded  Digital Portfolio/Badges project that Joanna Normoyle is working on for the new Sustainable Agriculture major. The problem is this: I don’t really know much about this sort of thing. I’ve been a long time skeptic about badges, but Joanna sucked me in by asking about how we can build more reflective practices into the system and that, my friends, excites me.

So the next thing I thought was — I need to tap my network! I sent out a tweet and pretty soon some terrific people responded. Of course, this was also when I was crazy busy so I decided instead of tweeting back, I’d start this blog post with an offer. How about it @soletelee,  @openbadges, @lbraun2000@emgollie @eknight , @kwerb, @pblhq, @dlnorman, @carlacasilli from Mozilla,  @donpresant,  @VennLibrarian and @dajbelshaw (“the badge guy for Mozilla Foundation.”) Care to jump into a little peer assist?

Joanna and I wonder if you’d like to find 30-60 minutes for a Google+ Hangout where Joanna can show you the thinking so far and just get some feedback. Are you game? If yes, leave a comment here. Joanna and I will try and find some time in the next ten days.

Update: Meeting time fixed! 

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for filling out the doodle. It looks like tomorrow, 11/27, 11:30-12:15 PST will work well.

Here’s the meeting link and talk soon!


1. Please join my meeting, Nov 27, 2012 at 11:30 AM PST.

2. Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) – a headset is recommended. Or, call in using your telephone.

Dial +1 (805) 309-0027
Access Code: 357-610-317
Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting

Meeting ID: 357-610-317


Strategic Communities of Practice for The Nature Conservancy

strategicCopsI had the great pleasure of leading a webinar yesterday with The Nature Conservancy on Strategic Communities of Practice. We focused on gaining some shared sense of what we mean by “communities of practice,” a framework fo looking at them strategically, some of the basic roles involved in communities and a quick peek at evaluation options.

There was some lively interaction in the chat. Many of these folks work in parts of the world where web based online interaction is not so great, so a wonderful thread on mobile-device-supports for communities emerged. If you know of any great examples, please share. ( I just found this one with a quick search and also suggested looking at I think some of the Twitter chats could serve as a model for a mobile-based distributed conversation by a community as well! Here are some examples in education.)

In addition, the good folks at TNC said I could share the webinar recording. I’m not sure if you can bear 90 minutes of recording, but just in case, here is the link. I’ve put the slides below as well, but as usual, they don’t make a ton of sense without the narrative. Thanks to Olivia, Nicole and Gillian at TNC for being such fabulous hosts and webinar facilitators!

via Strategic Communities of Practice.

Communities in Classrooms at UBATIC+

[Edited Nov10 to note that at the bottom of the post, I’ve uploaded a PDF of the Google Translated version of the web discussion. I so appreciated the spirit of this conversation, even though we were working across languages with machine translation.]

This week there is what looks to be (using Google Translate) a great online conference called UBATIC+, a virtual gathering about ICTs and teaching in higher education hosted by the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was great to be asked to offer a short (14 minute) contribution which Silvia Andreoli has captioned in Spanish. I’m impressed — I’m not always so easy to follow!

via NANCY WHITE – YouTube.

I’m trying to follow along as best I can — my video and discussion launches Friday and I wanted to have some context for the conversation. And to get used to Google translate’s view of ICTs in higher ed! 🙂 Language always presents such an interesting barrier. I don’t speak Spanish, but because of my Portuguese, I can decode some things. But I still find it incredibly tiring. It is important to remember this feeling — at a gut level — because so often I’m the one talking a mile a minute in English to people who are trying to think through two or three languages!

Updated: Here is a quick PDF of the web conversation. UBATICDiscussions