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J. Philipp Schmidt

Academic credentials, opportunity, and equity

What are academic credentials and why are they key in turning learning and education into opportunities? Some say that the university's quasi monopoly on issuing credentials protects it from real competition and innovation. Others point out that market-based approaches can be problematic when applied to social or public goods like education. Recent technological developments make it possible for individuals to manage their credentials in ways that are secure, verifiable, and digital. But are these solutions desirable? In this short talk we will explore the history and possible future of academic credentials.


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Philipp Schmidt
MIT Media Labs

Philipp Schmidt leads the Digital Learning + Collaboration Studio at the MIT Media Lab where he develops new ways for communities to learn and collaborate. He is an open education advocate who tries to use technology in the service of creating opportunities for more people. Philipp co-founded Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU), a non-profit that provides access to online higher education through public libraries. He was a founding board member of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, co-authored the Cape Town Open Education Declaration, and serves on the board of College Unbound. His work on digital credential systems includes significant contributions to Mozilla open badges, Blockcerts, and the Digital Credentials Consortium.

[Translate to Englisch:] Mann ©Diana Levin (CC-BY-SA)