doug belshaw

doug belshaw

intrigue with ambiguity..

different type of ambiguity

Marc Prensky coined the term “Digital Native” (Presky [sic], 2001) to describe this generation. The moniker communicates clearly that these are not subtle changes to have occurred, but instead this is a generation of students who act – and perhaps even think – differently than those that are educating them – the so-called “Digital Immigrants.” (Gaston, 2006, p.1)

We suggest that further work is required to see whether ‘digital literacy’ follows what may be described as a trajectory similar to that of ‘digital natives’. We also suggest that the model of the continuum of ambiguity may be applicable to other ambiguous terms.

Finally, we note with Empson that ambiguity is itself an ambiguous term:

“Ambiguity itself can mean an indecision as to what you mean, an intention to mean several things, a probability that one or other or both of two things has been meant [or] the fact that a statement has several meanings.” (1930, p.5-6)

Whilst we have sought to make this paper as unambiguous as possible and situate it in the Productive ambiguity part of the continuum, we do not wish to make the reductio ad absurdum claim that all terms are necessarily ambiguous. Ambiguity may surround us in everyday life but an understanding of the continuum we suggest may make the world a little more understandable.

find/follow Doug here:

doug belshaw's site

mooc starting may 2 on how to teach web literacy and code


a new site:

doug belshaw new site



Mozilla needs your help with a final push for the Web Literacy Standard (beta)! (

web literacy belshaw



may 2014:

intro’d to Vinay via Doug here:

oct 2013

Vinay Gupta shares his vision of a rural future

developing countries, africa, leap frogging the track – city to get enough to move back to the country – are just staying rural..

rural life – centered around the bicycle, the solar panel – just

11 min – we took an early branch – to fossil fuel.. failed.. but the rest of the world that hasn’t industrialized.. can learn from all tech/failures.. pull what is what’s best out of culture and go straightforward.. what you’re left with is self-sufficient peasant agriculture.. without having to go to city to get rich first…


from Doug’s words in his post:

What we can do though, I suppose, is make cities nicer places to live. Cities are actually pretty good per square mile in terms of efficiency. Making them nicer places to live, though, would mean jettisoning our rugged individualism and inherent competitiveness with peers. These are the kinds of things that lead to families buying two cars and driving everywhere instead of demanding better public transport. And, you know, if we pooled together we could all work 21 hour weeks while providing a minimum basic income for all. We could end poverty, at least in our own country.

But we don’t do any of this. Why? Because we’re trapped and immobilised by a nostalgic mythology. Instead of demanding and working towards something different and better, we’re spurred on by consumer culture that tells us we ‘deserve’ more of the same. The truth is that most of us aren’t going to attain the dream they’re peddling. All we get to do is silently, seethingly observe in the media other people doing things presented as ‘normal’. The truth for most of us is that those things are increasingly merely a distant dream.

so yes.. let’s leap frog us.. learn from mistakes.. take things that worked.. but let’s re-open (?) our minds.. to the unlikely.. the non-assumed .. the seemingly i’mpossible.

in the city.

as the day.



july 2014 indie summit:


sept 2014:


from Doug’s yearnote 2014 (things that intrigue me most):


web literacy map:

via connected learning web session – teach the web:

web pathways – almost like an amazon recommendation – as you go… @dajbelshaw #TeachTheWeb


feb 11 2016 -2 posts – same day – pearson on open and badges on trust

calling out pearson:

The answer, of course, is to commodify it.

perhaps we subtly/kindly ‘commodify’ – simply by making sure our passion/mission doesn’t become irrelevant.. thinking our perpetuate\ing ness; sinclair perpetuation law; et al

it’s entirely pointless that the badges they issue are Open Badges as users cannot export them from the system elsewhere. Given that Open Badges are portable digital credentials this kind of misses the point.


If Pearson aren’t willing to allow their badges to be portable, then they should have the guts to stop pretending that they’re interested in the success and sustainability of Open Badges. Muddying the waters doesn’t help anyone except Pearson’s profits.

more on muddying below

open badges plus blockchain -> bit of trust:

The great thing about the Open Badges Infrastructure is that it’s a distributed, evidence-based system of credentialing. There are no gatekeepers; anyone can issue, earn, and display badges. Similarly, the blockchain is a distributed, open “ledger” to which anybody can add evidence and information in the form of cryptographic hashes. Long story short, pairing blockchain technology with Open Badges allows for trusted credentialing on a level usually reserved for international banking.


Using the blockchain for mere digital certificates is like strapping a rocket onto a Model T Ford. It may allow you to go faster in a straight line, but doesn’t afford you any new options. It is perhaps what is usually called a “sustaining innovation.” Using Open Badges with the blockchain is a much more disruptive proposition. What if everyone had the keys to the kingdom?


perhaps more useful keys to kingdom… an un need for solid proof of learning..

perhaps rna ness.. io dance et al – focus on interoperability rather than proof

blockchain plus badges equals rocket fuel for verified, trusted credentials. Everyone gets to point to a rock-solid “proof of learning” that they can use anywhere.

so glad ie: einstein didn’t wait for proof of learning… no?

yrs of relativity… w/o supposed proof we now have.
less about ‘verifiable sightings’ of gravitational waves… more about gut intuition to trust

did Einstein just get a badge from us…?

how silly are we

as with many developments in technology and society, some of the most interesting things happen behind the scenes.

perhaps.. even more so…behind/ beyond human proof/verification

so .. my wondering.. on same day calling out pearson for muddying waters of open.. perhaps.. muddying waters of trust w/badges..

on open… seems silly w/o interoperability
on trust.. seems silly w/need for proof

perhaps one major problem is our thinking about trust . ie: i don’t think it comes in bits… otherwise.. it’s really just degrees of judgment .. no?

to me trust is….. ie: if you’re human..  we assume good.. we assume i know you ness and every actor has a reason ness.. and we believe there is danger in single story.. and that we just need to look closer.. (or again – save a ton of energy and just trust).. because bottom line – none of this/us will work unless it’s all of us.. www – all of us

next read was this:

the presence of TFA allows the state to avoid systemic change ..

thinking – presence of badges allows us to avoid systemic change – we’re not being brave enough to grab your x-d glasses.. and we’re missing it –  ie: energy\ness

let’s do this firstfree art-ists.

100% free…for (blank)’s sake

a nother way  via self talk as data as the day..


open badges evidence via Doug:

badge evidence via Alan:

perhaps our deeper issue is more in letting go
disengaging from irrelevant s (v gupta)

a call to end our love affair with evidence (rupert read & nn taleb) ..with credentialing

perhaps we simplyleave a trailself talk as data – in whatever form we choose that day. as the day.

hosting life bits ness


[notes – mostly stuff unsettling to me – also like how he uses liking bitting up that chip would do from self talk]

best practices.. will be outdated…
better to not distract from abandon to curiosity… which perhaps means… no measuring/validating.. no raised eyebrow ing….

oh my
esp paired w shading on chart…
1/ learners (aka:alive people).. need/beg to e liberated from incentives…if you’re alive.. you’re curious… and you can’t not learn

2/ was thinking this the only one… maybe… because thinking trail… augmented brain… et al.. but shading calls it critical for issuers..
poof and ugh

3/ validation is poison from the get go

As instructional designers, the authors note (quite rightly) that “the pedagogy and learning theories behind the design of the badges are more important than the technology itself.

then so to… more important than people…?
because that’s where our time s going… ie:more research… so more grants… et al

rather… let’s do 7 bill researchers everyday… as the day… guided by 7 bill whimsical hearts…
leave a trail/augmented memory… but nothing for proof



a space into which I can project my inner life, rather than confirming a way of being that went before. In other words, minimalism can be a conscious way of bringing in the new. It can lend some ‘breathing room’


we are open planning:


share via Yanis on brexit ness
Σlavoj Žižek, a DiEM25 early signatory, casts his critical eye on the ‘disorder’ of the EU in the light of…
disorder under the heaven –
So what does Europe want? Basically, Europe is caught into a vicious cycle, oscillating between the Bruxelles technocracy unable to drag it out of inertia, and the popular rage against this inertia, a rage appropriated by new more radical Leftist movements but primarily by Rightist populism. The Brexit referendum moved along the lines of this new opposition, which is why there was something terribly wrong with it. To see this, one should only look at the strange bedfellows that found themselves together in the Brexit camp: right-wing “patriots,” populist nationalists fuelled by the fear of immigrants, mixed with desperate working class rage… is such a mixture of patriotic racism with the rage of “ordinary people” not the ideal ground for a new form of Fascism?

The intensity of the emotional investment into the referendum should not deceive us, the choice offered obfuscated the true questions: how to fight “agreements” like TIFF which present a real threat to popular sovereignty, how to confront ecological catastrophes and economic imbalances which breed new poverty and migrations, etc. The choice of Brexit means a serious setback for these true struggles – suffice it to bear in mind what an important argument for Brexit was the “refugee threat.” The Brexit referendum is the ultimate proof that ideology (in the good old Marxist sense of “false consciousness”) is well and alive in our societies. For example, the case of Brexit exemplifies perfectly the falsity of the calls to restore national sovereignty (the “British people themselves, not some anonymous and non-elected Brussels bureaucrats, should decide the fate of the UK” motif):

At the heart of the Brexit is a paradox worth articulating! England wants to withdraw from the bureaucratic, administrative control of Brussels, control seen as compromising its sovereignty, in order to be better able to organize the dismantling of its sovereignty (by way of more radical submission to the logic of global capital) on its own. Does this not have the markings of the death drive? The organism wants to die in its own way, on its own terms. This is the paradox at the heart of American Republican thinking: we want to ‘take back our country’ in order to be better able to submit it and pretty much all of life to the logic of the market.”(Eric Santner, personal communication)

unless you have a nother way set up… goes w Doug‘s post-it pre iste activity…

why so complicated…?

teachers may go ahead with it.. though pensive and overloaded…but kids who haven’t yet sold out to blind allegiance.. see the hidden control strings… they smell the spinach.. feel the rock

ie: bend your earweb ing ness


city and guilds

(video) – also on open badges page

we need ways to present selves to world..

do we..?

what if credentials worked like the web..

thinking credentials are more about permission.. and web more about permission\less ness

evidence based..

evidence ness

instead of meaningless worlds.. turbo charged profiles pointing to real world skills/evidence

assure credibility


on the 5 step overview: 1\ prep 2\ input 3\ scribbling 4\ grouping 5\ classification

wondering why it has to be so complicated.. overseen..

teachers may be all in (because used to making things complicated).. but students most likely not (unless they are already intoxicated with the way we do things)

ie: a nother way (where tech facilitates the chaos so that we don’t feel steered.. or spend our days figuring out )… 3 min self-talk as data.. 30 min w/family ness.. rest of day via whimsy.. as the day


loomio co op handbook:


ebook on essential elements of digital literacies

*by Doug Belshaw

notes/highlights.. (realizing that many of my questions/quandaries may be answered as i go through book)

literacy as reading and writing…
scaling it…?
what about Ron Suskind‘s disney language.. et al..
chron age.. because of school..
quote: (so I have to learn …from Doug… how to quote/cite him – now added *above)…
and quote is something like:
and literacy is something we learn in school…
literacy as reading writing via given/assumed language….
great potential for exclusion here… ie: Cristian.. believing he doesn’t do either
and in Owen‘s ( Hamza‘s….et al s) case.. oppression..not free enough to pursue other options
online dictionary defines literacy.. as ability to read and write.. w synonyms..?… schooled, educated
and Doug saying in that last sentence..
school is where learn to be literate..
and compromised.. and manufactured.. and asleep
because we re assuming learning only comes by prof/given method… Illich
and because we re assuming can’t trust each individual s idiosyncraties.. Holt
and because no mech to facil 7 bill idiosyncratic jargons.. mech simple enough (ie:no prep/citing/plan/rules/et al needed)
tons embedded in short sentence of second to last para…
then too last para
(which one.., not hamza ness.. not cristian ness.. not owen ness….)
so.. this limited society.. calls him literate because he can regurgitate/translate… to this select/elitist/et al language (idiosyncratic jargon per rote/citation/et al)..
and roof of his sad literacy.. so he can do the above…. w ease
perhaps we turn tables.. and focus on mech (/chip).. that makes all the jargons dance w ease…
then no walls in our said.. open ness
no rules/borders/exlusions.. in our global/digital society ness


traditionally literacy has been a great leveler..
whoa … for who…?
whole para this from previous page too
do you count as your own audience…
imagine we focus on that audience…
and stop controlling/schooling/educating/ manufacturing consent
ie: self-talk as data.. for a yr or ?… let’s just see
he quotes – as 21st cent meaning of tool and content knowledge: tomorrow’s illiterate will not be the man who can’t read; he will be the man who has not learned how to learn
how is that 21st cent.. and how is that tomorrow’s..? hasn’t it always been that way..?
could facilitate curiosity.. and that’s it.. making us all antifragile
bottom of page – goes into jargon as..
language define explicitly in relation to a particular activity….. a normal part of human life.. sometimes takes form of acronym, sometimes ….. most important use of jargon, however, is when it helps explain something in one word or phrase that would otherwise take a paragraph or two..
so link our jargon.. to explain.. to connect.. (via ie: buckets similar to iconspeak ness)
then to ..
zeugmas – figures of speech that join two or more parts of a sentence into a single noun or verb. these figures of speech, these zeugmas, involve the omission of words and leave the reader (or listener) to fill in the gaps
like democracy, language isn’t perfect, but it’s the best system we’ve got at the moment..
perhaps not.. perhaps that’s the issue.. and though it seems kinder more civilized.. perhaps crux of perpetuate\ing not us ness..
time to boldly leap.. for (blank)’s sake
let web ness.. mech simple enough ness.. link up all/most our mis understandings.. underneath it all..
begs we let go..
the problem.. when we need to refer to things that can’t be seen. (can’t point to it)
Heppell set up the isle of portland aldridge community academy.. this is a 3-19, ‘stage not age’ a school where students are grouped according to interest and ability rather than when they emerged from their mother’s womb.
so..imagine world set up that way.. takes care of elders.. and brexits and..
imagine we mix it all up.. in the city. as the day. for everyone…
on learning through
indeed.. again.. immerse us all.. into everyday life. everyday. as the day.
diff between sequentially and progressively encoded image loading…
progressively more systemic.. – all ness
Freire – 68 – to wash one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means, in effect, siding with the powerful
there’s plenty of rhetoric about learning and jobs being available to all through the internet.. what is often missing .. recognition of multiple literacies needed to not only turn desire into action, but even to know what is obtainable…
a nother way – host life bits.. everything obtainable..
..if definitions or models don’t provide enough detail, then it’s extremely difficult to put them to work. they remain an academic and intellectual curiosity; something to be marvelled at and discussed, perhaps, but of little value in the classroom
8 essential elements of digital literacies: cultural, cognitive, constructive, communicative, confident, creative, critical, civic

being constructive, therefore, does not necessarily need to be from scratch, but can be building upon someone else’s work, giving them credit for what they contributed to the project

how is anything from scratch..?

how do you credit..  ?
we’d be spending out days doing just that.
which we pretty much are.. ie: crediting.. fighting about giving/getting credit.. seeking ways/moneys to protect credit.. et al..
big problem here.. no?
on interest driven learning.. and on why do we need – a course
newsletter today left me burningly unsettled (why can’t we hear each other.. as we trample on ourselves) .. luckily i got to watch the hunters/supermoon set before coming here just now..
I helped set up, but then withdrew from, a group of people looking at ways in which we could use blockchain technology with badges. The trouble is, as Audrey Watters so eloquently pointed out in The ideology of the blockchain, that the prevailing logic when both technologies are used together is be to double-down on high-stakes testing. I’d rather find a way that recognises and fits human flourishing, rather than reductively retro-fitting our experiences to suit The Machine.
same prob as coupling blockchain w bitcoin…et al… doesn’t mean we just go w bitcoin..or w badges…
perhaps we see potential of blockchain to simply…tech ly (ie:w/o agenda/raised-eye-brow).. host life bits
that allows individuals to display the badges they have
perhaps… it’s this act/assumption of … displaying ness..that is killing/compromising us
Open Badges is an open metadata standard that connects everyone together.
no matter how nice you are…. this is via meritocracy… no..?
and yes.. just read that postprevious para on use of internet archive for freezing ness..
so…again for blockchain ness – thinking as server to internet archive ness
These three suggestions will allow the Open Badges ecosystem become an even more flourishing *marketplace of digital credentials
whoa… *exactly the problem…
as your solution..?
For employers, it means they are not forced to use chunky ‘proxies’ such as degrees or high school diplomas when they’re looking for a particular combination of skillsets/mindsets. Educational institutions can return to being places of learning rather than examination factories. And, perhaps most importantly, individuals can show what they know and can do, in a flexible, holistic, *market-responsive way.
*market responsive way…
we have this tech at our fingertips… and we’re choosing to always…save first.. the ones in their-made car that one too
With my We Are Open colleagues, we’ve already got one City Council exploring this, and we’d like to talk to more *forward-thinking people.
whoa…what a pitch.. ie:if you don’t buy what i’m selling… you’re .. um..*backward thinking..?
better make sure you’re building.. for your children..( which means for everyone)
We need to make online advertising – and its destructive click-and-share drive – less central to how we live, work and communicate. At the same time, *we need to delegate more decision-making power to citizens – rather than the easily corruptible experts and venal corporations. – Evgeny Morozov
*redefine decision making .. be\cause public consensus always oppresses someone.. ie: host-life-bits via self-talk as data