Mozilla Works on Draft for Web Literacy Standard

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 23, 2013

Back in March, Mozilla announced Open Badges 1.0, which it billed as "an exciting new online standard to recognize and verify learning." Immediately, the program picked up some enthusiastic backing from former U.S. President Bill Clinton, and then, the folks behind Blackboard's free, hosted CourseSites platform for massive open online courses (MOOCs) backed Open Badges.

Open Badges is a proposal for giving people the equivalent of certification at various types of web skills, which they can present to employers and others. Now, Mozilla is working on a beta version of a web literacy standard, which has some similarities to Open Badges in terms of classifying which web skills people have actually mastered.

The first draft of the web literacy standard is available now.  According to Mozilla:

"Mozilla is working with the community to define a new open learning standard for Web Literacy. A standard helps with consistency of approach. We need a standard for three reasons: to mark the area as important, to co-ordinate efforts, and to improve the experience for the learner...Mozilla isn’t interested in becoming a regulatory body. This standard is something to which organisations may voluntarily align. However, there is scope through Mozilla’s Open Badges Infrastructure (OBI) for endorsement to provide some kind of enhanced social proof."

As we've reported often here on OStatic, online learning and obtaining credentials online are trends that directly affect a lot of people involved with technology and open source. Likewise, oDesk and other sites online have communities teeming with tech workers who want ad-hoc, contract work. How does one verify the skills of these people?  Open Badges is an effort to encourage detailed certification of their skills, and a web literacy standard would have the same effect for many people, giving employers and others more of a sense of how an individual fares when it comes to technology. 

Mozilla is calling for feedback on its web literacy proposal, and you can find out more here