Urbino and Bestr/L3: together for a new digital renaissance
A new perspective between education and the world of work
In the Star Wars film "The Empire Strikes Back", there is a famous scene in which the Jedi master Yoda, with great patience and impalpable levity, transmits his wisdom to the young Jedi Luke Skywalker. This scene represents the platonic ideal of personal and personalised education. It is a teaching approach based on an understanding of strengths and weaknesses and of the goals of each student. An approach aimed at creating a unique, inimitable learning path.
Yet aside from the fantasy of science fiction, this model is also possible in reality. In Italy. Indeed, a system of this kind, which completely changes the perspective with which we look at learning, where it becomes a life path and not a separate moment, was presented in Urbino on the 24th February 2015 during a meeting between the University of Urbino and CINECA, the university consortium in charge of digitalization and innovation.
It is no coincidence that Cineca chose Urbino to present its revolution on perspective as the city has long been a symbol of innovation. It was back in the Renaissance, when the “perspective” theory developed by Piero della Francesca gave life to the celebrated painting “The Ideal City”; and it is so today, with the opening of a reflection on an innovative and surprising “perspective” with which to look at education and at the world of work.
Open Badges for lifelong learning
In the meeting, which was held with applied computer science researchers and students from the University, CINECA presented the L3 project (Lifelong & Lifewide Learning) - which will give life to the Bestr platform: a digital platform based on Open Badges by Mozilla Foundation. A platform with the purpose of establishing connections among all the individuals who want to acquire valuable skills, the organisations that perform educational activities and issue relative certifications, and the companies that are looking for personnel with specific skills. Beyond establishing connections between these players and entities, the platform also encourages them to talk to each other and grow together. L3/Bestr is a lifelong learning path: through Open Badges, it certifies the accomplishments achieved in life, helps to identify those accomplishments that are missing in becoming the dream professional, and makes them visible to the companies that are looking for quality individuals. With a safe, verified digital standard, unique paths are created which together constitute a personal Portfolio that is quick to read, search and assess.
Collaboration between CINECA and the University of Urbino
The proposal made by Cineca to the University of Urbino consists of testing a model to verify the quality and accuracy of the lifelong learning software. A challenge not only as regards the technical aspects but also in relation to its concept; innovation refers to the process, the product and, above all, to the thought behind it. A dual approach is called for: on one side, the testing of a system based on a free and innovative software – the Mozilla Open Badges software – which enables anyone to read or create Open Badges, platform-independent, rich in information and safe; on the other, the interaction with a new cognitive, learning and relational system able to understand and make the most of the skills, abilities and accomplishments achieved over a lifetime, especially those that cannot be expressed by traditional educational qualifications and degrees.
In short, the collaboration between Cineca and the University of Urbino could be a concrete way of giving life to a new Renaissance: a digital, innovative, educational Renaissance. As is exactly the philosophy behind L3/Bestr, which, to paraphrase Star Wars, can be summed up in the maxim: May the “Knowledge” be with you...