news and events

We Have Seen the Future: Open Pathways Will Allow Learners to Build Skills Using Multiple Providers


Our president, Kathleen deLaski, and Concentric Sky’s CEO, Wayne Skipper, presenting at the Summit on Digital Badging.

This year’s Summit on Digital Badging was well curated by IMSGlobal at Arizona State University, the impressive standards group that is forging consensus to fuel the promise of micro-credentialing across learning institutions, businesses and nations. Our president, Kathleen deLaski, previewed the public rollout of the Lab’s 21st century skills badges we’ve prototyped over 3 years. (Sign up for the Innovator Network to get first word of an announcement later this spring.)  She presented alongside Concentric Sky’s CEO Wayne Skipper, who previewed Open Pathways, a platform that helped everyone peer into the near future of micro-credential curation and interoperability.

The demos and tone of the whole conference suggested that we are much closer to The Learner Revolution than we thought, with active participation from platform providers, employers like IBM and Microsoft, and early adopter learning institutions (all types).  What’s the Learner Revolution? We started writing about it four years ago. It’s the coming of a day when learners will not be tethered to a single institution to get the “degree.” They may choose that route, but will have significant optionality to earn stacks of competency-based credentials and experiences to meet near term or long term professional or personal goals.  If you are worried about what happens to student formation or general liberal arts education in that world, so are we. One of the Lab’s goals is to foster portable, assessable credentials that address liberal arts in the same way that certifications currently verify skills such as coding or project management.