BYOD4L 2018 starts tomorrow …

I’m looking forward to facilitating on BYOD4L this week (15th to 19th January 2018).

BYOD4L is a bite-size facilitated open course offered over 5 days for educators and students in HE but also anybody else who would like to learn with us as to how we can utilise our digital media and devices for professional, lifelong and lifewide learning.

Judging by the organisation team hangout that we had on Friday it’s going to such a giggle. (Sheila MacNeill, Alex Spiers, Neil Withnell and Suzanne Faulkner) I already know the lovely Sheila, Alex and Neil of course but haven’t met Suzanne yet in person so it was a real pleasure to get to talk with her virtually… I am already in awe of her juggling skills and have found a kindred spirit in our love of bitmoji ….

I managed to do my little introduction video yesterday which I did on my iPad and edited with I Movie. I also popped some quick google slide images as some title cards. I must admit I had to eventually ask for help from my 13year old when it came to some of the more whizzy bits for editing … wish I had asked him earlier actually … he was flying around the iMovie app so much quicker than me …I knew he could use it but I just didn’t know how well … I’ll know for next time !


I’ve been involved with BYOD4L now for the last four years and every year I always learn something new and meet some more amazing people.  I’m looking forward to seeing how things turn out with the extension of the original 5c Framework (as created by the BYOD4L Creators the lovely duo Chrissi Nerantzi and Sue Beckingham) this time around as we now have 10 c’s for the price of 5 (as it were !)….

Connecting and Confidence
Communicating and (Digital) Capabilities
Curation and Copyright
Collaborating and Community
Creating and Celebrating

there will be a tweetchat each night at 8pm (follow hashtag #BYOD4Lchat ) and look out for live periscopes too !

I’ll also be using padlet to keep a record my contributions together in one place for the week so if you would like to take a look at that please feel free.

I’m also hoping to get a few more people involved at Swansea this time around, I know there are definitely one or two that might be on board so we will see how that goes …

I’ve made another quick padlet for that in anticipation !

Hoping to see you all on line as from Monday … do let me know if you are joining in the fun and games …

link to BYOD4L






Open Badges in Support of Employability

I went to sunny Milton Keynes a couple of weeks ago as I had the pleasure of being invited to talk at the Open University as part of Employability Week.

My talk was about Open Digital Badges in relation to what we have been doing at Swansea.

My Slides are below and the session was recorded so the link to the recording can be found here.


Deb definitely loves a badge …

Well I have been sprucing up my blog and have added the fab new digital badge available for Association for Learning Technology members. Now all I need is to get my CMALT badge and I will be a happy bunny ….

You can download yours here


Deb’s Been Making Badges …

We have used Open Digital Badges for the #SUSALT17 Reaching for Teaching Excellence Learning and Teaching Conference again this year. We have some new designs and a new issuing platform.

I did some research in relation to the badges that we used last year and although people liked them, one of the key things that people wanted was a badge image that more accurately reflected what they got it for in the first place. So instead of having just an icon (which is what we had last year), I thought we would go for an image that people were already familiar with and then use the ribbon text to indicate specific badge types.

We used this fab image of the microphone from Pixabay ( as found by Mandy ! ) for the branding of our conference ( its CC0 Public Domain by so it seemed logical to go with that !

Its probably perfectly obvious to people who are really clever and use various design packages or stuff like photo shop etc but to me it was all new , so I had a bit of a moment when I was trying to work out how to get a decent image to show as a full image rather than just a little image in the centre !

With a bit of googling I came across a great blog post that told me how to get a rounded frame and transparent edges onto my image by using Pic Monkey … then with a great tip from the awesome Matt from Digital Me I was pointed towards

That meant I could play around with the various borders / shapes and text ribbons to my hearts content and get my image to fill the shape.

I also used this handy website to check my colours which is simply fab. You can basically just upload an image and click on a particular bit of it and then it magically tells you the code to use! How cool is that ?  I discovered that the goldee looking colour below is #545249 and the black is #020202 ( that will help my ageing memory when I come to make some more ! )

Now,  I have created various badges before but I’ve never been able to get them looking like I want them to look … I think ( I hope) I’m getting there with these…

This is what I came up with originally … I tried to make them similar but different if you see what I mean … I think though having reflected on it that I thought that I would rather them all to be round but to have a slightly different border …


So having played around again this is what I came up with …




I also created a Student Intern badge and decided to use the SALT purple for the ribbon … still not sure about that one though …






Great Blog Post on the ALT Site  from the lovely Teresa Mackinnon 


#OpenbadgesHE Conference

2016-02-24_1000_Open_Badges_in_HE_ConferenceOk so it has taken me a little while to finish my blog post on this …. (From Last Month ! ) I’m still in awe of all these brilliant people out there that are sooo organised that they manage to get their blog posts up really quickly  ….

Anyhow, I had the best time ever helping to organise the first Open Digital Badges in HE Conference on the 8th March 2016 at the University of Southampton !

Warm and Fuzzy Feelings

Along with Fiona Harvey, Teresa Mackinnon, Patrina Law, Jane Roberts , Anne Hole and myself , we formed a committee with a mission to host an Open Digital Badges conference !  I had the absolute pleasure to attend the pre conference dinner the night before where I got to meet some amazing people … lovely food … great company … what an awesome start to the Conference !

It all started with a very quick conversation during ALT-C in September 2015, when we thought it sounded like a good idea to set a conference up to showcase what was happening with Open Digital Badges  ! ( It was a very good idea as it turned out, and we soon hatched a cunning plan which was made all the more easier by having the very able assistance of the amazing Katie Eason at Southampton University and some superb chairing by the lovely Sadly I seem to have managed to mistype the hashtag in my scrambled  hasty effort to tweet her photo … so here it is below !

This really fab compilation of video interviews from the day by the lovely Stephan captures what I thought was the warm fuzzy feeling of the day …

 Keynotes and Conference Happenings …

We were so lucky to have two brilliant key note speakers in Doug Belshaw and Carla Carsilli.  Doug opened the day with his talk ‘Open Digital Badges: Disruptive, Desirable and Democratic‘.

Doug has written about his experience of the day in his blog and even proudly displays his participant badge! I spent most of Doug’s talk trying to periscope it and realising that I really should have thought more about how I was going to do that ! Still some people appeared to have watched it and persevered through my occasional phone dropping … at least it was live streamed ..phew …

Open Badges for HE - Participant

Doug’s presentation contained several illustrations by the fabulous Bryan Mathers (Visual Thinkery) – I love Bryan’s work –  see one of Bryan’s fab drawings below.

There were so many great presentations that it is difficult to pick favourites although some of the key highlights of the day for me include the lovely Serge Ravet‘s presentation Beyond Micro-Credentials: Micro-Credentials! and Rosin Cassidy  from York St John . Check out Rosin’s Powerpoint outlining great stuff they have been doing there. I also enjoyed hearing all about Anne Hole‘s experience at Sussex  and using badges for CPD , which was particularly inspiring for me,  as I hope to do the same sort of thing at Swansea ! ( See below )

The brilliant Martin Hawksey also sprinkled several bits of magic Hawksey dust everywhere with his presentation about and the badges issued with the ALT OcTEL course . We were also delighted to have one of his ‘wibbly wobbly timey wimey’  diagrams showing the social media twitter engagement during the conference…


I was also delighted to catch the presentation by the Digital Me folks as we hope to use their Open Badge Academy to issue badges in the Swansea  pilot that I refer to below.

Sadly however ( due to my attempts at timekeeping and at one point, some chairing duties in the other room  ) I missed the presentation from the Southampton student i-Champs  ( which I hear was amazing ) and  my lovely committee colleagues Patrina Law and Teresa Mackinnon but I hear that their presentations were fabulous too

Finally Carla Cassili closed the day with‘ Badges + microcredentials + nanodegrees, oh my!’ 


All slides from the day are available here and both of the Keynote Sessions were live streamed and recordings are also available here.


Badges, Badges Everywhere …

CC-BY-ND @bryanMmathers
CC-BY-ND @bryanMmathers

We developed four open digital badges overall ,participant, presenter, media champion and an organiser badge…..  the clever design was all sorted by Patrina and her team at the OU but you just know that I was going to get pink in there somewhere, so Yes I take full responsibility for the pinkness of the organiser badge)  …you can see these in all their glory on my backpack here.

We even had fancy metal ones as modeled below !

Open Digital Badges Pilot at Swansea

I was also fortunate enough to be able to present my digital poster outlining the Pilot Open Digital Badges project that I am implementing at Swansea University.

All the digital poster sessions can be seen here


Teresa Mackinnon has put together a fab storify here