PHERECLOS: Interactive web platform and open badge ecosystem successfully implemented and launched
The PHERECLOS Online Platform provides information, inspiration and dedicated services as well as networking functionalities for boosting Open Schooling and science education. It includes news and knowledge as well as tools, services and communities for practitioners. Furthermore, the project has launched an open badge ecosystem, which is embedded in the community section of the platform to display particular engagement for science education.
The PHERECLOS project aims to boost Open Schooling and Science Education in Europe and beyond. For supporting this objective, the project has developed and launched a digital platform for supporting teachers and education promoters to get access to relevant information, practices and tools that allow setting up collaboration communities, local education clusters and translational education mentoring partnerships as well as general exchange. The PHERECLOS Mobilization and Mutual Learning Platform (MML-Platform) provides knowledge, services and inspiration as well as a framework for establishing Local Education Clusters and Transnational Education Mentoring Partnerships.
The Landing Page provides the main claims, relevant calls for engagement and a brief overview as well as the main pillars of the project. It also lists the partner organizations and highlights the funding as well as contact information. The Project Information section highlights administrative details on the project, the background, objectives, methodology, challenges and the expected impact. Furthermore, it offers reports, videos and briefings on the project.
Social media are crucial for staying up to date with latest activities of stakeholders in this field. Therefore, the PHERECLOS platform offers a dedicated “News Section” with relevant and related social media streams, which show the latest social media news that are related to the topic of open schooling.
In the “Knowledge Section”, the project partners share latest knowledge with the public in the form of articles that are either provided by the partners, by external experts and practitioners as well as by third-party online media through a creative commons license.
As mutual learning and access to information is crucial for activating successful future science education efforts, the PHERECLOS platform provides a dedicated database for finding inspiring practices from a variety of countries. The practices can be browsed and filtered along countries, topic areas, lead organisations as well as level of schools and categories of external partners. In addition to the practices, the platform offers an overview of Local Education Clusters (LECs) and the Transnational Education Mentoring Partnerships (TEMPs), which are set up as part of PHERECLOS. Both the initiatives and the inspiring practices can be accessed through the list and detailed view as well as through a dedicated map provided on the platform.
Finally, the Community Module aims at connecting stakeholders, organisations and individuals that are active in promoting Open Schooling and science education through dedicated communication and sharing functionalities. In addition to providing a virtual space for general networking, this section of the platform is especially relevant for the organization of the clustering activities.
Open badges ecosystem
Open Badges are a rather new approach for supporting digital citizenship through digital certificates or micro-credentials, which can be displayed and shared through online (social media) profiles. PHERECLOS is building on the idea and the benefits of Open Badges particularly to highlight the engagement of institutions and individual stakeholders towards Open Schooling Culture.
The PHERECLOS Open Badges are generic digital badges with multi-purpose cases of application. The Open Badges are blueprints for diverse user scenarios to demonstrate and highlight various types and stages of engagement within Open Schooling programs. Generally, Open Badges are awarded along different criteria depending on the application and issuing institution. This can be the participation at a single event, a training or organization of a whole program. While the Open Badge icon itself reflects the overall engagement, the detailed information on the actual activity and contribution is provided in the meta-data that is included during the process of creating a badge.
The project does not intent to create a hierarchical system of competition and rankings but rather designed a structure of tokens of appreciation to meet the objectives of the PHERECLOS project in an empowering and fun way. Open Badges are therefore supposed to be stepping stones in a journey to Open Schooling Culture in our society.
The PHERECLOS Open Badges ecosystem aims to:
- Highlight engagement
- Recognize learnings
- Motivate further activities
- Foster know-how transfer
- Boost the visibility
The information about the actual activity as well as context information are digitally included in every badge and can be displayed according to the users and issuers needs. Therefore, while there is only one specific type of badges that reflects a particular for of engagement (e.g. all Sailor Badges look the same), the digital data behind each badge provide details on the actual achievement and are therefore specific. PHERECLOS has launched five different types of badges, which highlight various forms of engagement and contribution to Open Schooling programs.
PHERECLOS Open Badges
A PHERECLOS Sailor is a person showing interest and basic knowledge in the concept of Open Schooling. The Sailor Open Badge is a sign of involvement and participation. It is the first sign of being part of an Open Schooling Culture. The criteria to earn this badge is mainly related to any kind of participation in activities, events and trainings related to the PHERECLOS project.
A PHERECLOS Rigger is a person who is taking initiative and playing an active part in Open Schooling Culture. The Rigger Open Badges are earned by contributing and practicing in Open Schooling activities. This might be collaborating in a project as trainer or providing elements in didactical material.
A PHERECLOS Machinist is a person who takes care and feels responsible that Open Schooling programs are running well and without major hiccups. The Machinist Open Badges can be earned by facilitating and initiating concrete steps in Open Schooling projects. Machinists are involved in the programs in a more thorough level and provide a secure framework for other participants of Open Schooling programs to contribute with their presence and knowledge.
A PHERECLOS Navigator is a person who sets the course and realizes the concept of an Open Schooling program and keeps it on track. The Navigator Open Badge is awarded for organizing and managing an Open Schooling program. This involves navigating the program through different phases of the project and the keeping an eye on the big picture.
The PHERECLOS Builder is a person who creates and propagates the ideas of Open Schooling in a wider context and supports the design of new programs. The Builder Open Badge is earned by blueprinting and multiplying the culture of Open Schooling for a wider context. Builders foster the concept of Open Schooling the PHERECLOS project results and learnings from LECs and TEMPs within their networks and other activities related to education and science engagement.
The PHERECLOS Open Badges are issued by the project consortium in collaboration with the organizers of activities within the PHERECLOS project. In addition to the consortium partners, this could be leaders of the LECs (Local Education Clusters) or the TEMPs (Transnational Education Mentoring Partnerships). For facilitating the Open Badges, the project provides a dedicated handbook for the users.
Open schooling, science education, online platform, open badges