Devavrat Ravetkar, a user of Accredible, introduces the platform to us after reading our piece "How Do You Signal Your Learning?" Accredible is a fantastic way to showcase your knowledge.
Hackademics are adept at learning anything, anywhere. They do not limit their learning to just the traditional institutions. The Degree is not the de facto method of signalling learning, but just one of several alternatives. MOOCs, hackademic camps, hackerspaces, internships and projects are some of the ways in which they pursue their self-directed learning and gain real world skills. Building portfolios and getting endorsements from the community is a popular way to signal this kind of learning and experience - and now there’s an easy way to do this.
Accredible is a new platform to showcase your knowledge and experience. It lets you create a collection of 'Certs' for your skills, areas of knowledge, interests and courses. You attach all the evidence of your abilities and work onto the Cert itself for all to see; anyone who needs convincing can simply take a look. Anyone who is impressed by your Cert can endorse it right there on the Cert itself. You can also request endorsements from your mentors and friends. Adding more evidence and getting more recommendations increases the credibility of your Certs, denoted by its caliber rating displayed at the top.
We at Accredible look at where education is headed and we see a huge gap in the infrastructure: credentials. We think they need to be completely reimagined to make sense in the learning environment that is evolving around us. Education has evolved dramatically in the last few decades but certificates haven't changed for hundreds of years; they are still flat documents with a name, grade and institution printed on them and say almost nothing about what students actually know or can do.
Our dream is to make all learning, skills or expertise matter professionally, regardless of where or how they were obtained. By shifting the emphasis away from where you learned something and towards what you learned people can start to self-certify any learning they do, regardless of whether it happened inside a school or a home.
By attaching all the work that went into a course onto the certificate itself, a credential's credibility can be derived from the learning and not an institution. You can also get a much 'higher resolution' image of who a student is and what they can do. We have students that attach all their notes, assignments, exams (recorded) and even videos of themselves explaining key concepts in a course. For recruiters that are too busy to look in depth at this evidence, we summarize each certificate into a credibility score based on community feedback and on the evidence you have uploaded. Our users have made some wonderful examples at http://www.accredible.com/
The transparent/open nature of our Certs has an interesting impact on online examination credibility too: you can now self-proctor. If you record your screen and your webcam as you sit an online exam, and that video is embedded onto the certificate, anyone can check that it was really you that did the exam. We are building tools to help you do this easily in our next update, in a few months' time.
By moving away from standardized, one-size-fits-all model to an open-ended one where you can customize your learning and the credentials according to your personality, we are helping people to explore their true selves and depict their uniqueness. All the work you do throughout your educational journey can now be showcased with pride on your certificates in a credible manner. You need not limit your work to what is prescribed or demanded by someone else. You set your own standards and challenge yourself. We shape our life by the choices we take at every step and the only way one can become good at making decisions is by being independent and taking control of one’s own journey.
Narrow-mindedness and rigidness have always been adverse to human culture and growth. Freedom to explore and access to resources are the fundamental needs for progress. One who can take control of one’s learning can take control of one’s life. The only way forward is through openness, collaboration, open-mindedness combined with independent thinking. If you want to have a strong and positive impact on the world, you need to embrace these values and be a hackademic. We are glad to be a part of this amazing hackademic culture and would love to hear from you. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.