Podcast: Peter Janzow on the Digital Credential Revolution

Peter Janzow (@pjanzow) started his education career as a textbook salesman 35 years ago. When it looked like the digital revolution would bring print to an end, Janzow built an auto-grading platform and licensed it to publishers. He sold the company and then got laid off. He found himself with lots of skills and great experiences but no credentials.

Peter’s predicament fueled a passion for life long learning and ways to communicate new capabilities. In 2014, Janzow helped Pearson launch Acclaim, a credentialing platform based on the Open Badge standard. A year ago, venture-backed Credly  (@Credly) acquired Acclaim making the combined entity and global leader in digital credentialing.

Janzow leads business and partnership development including businesses like Dell, IBM, and Oracle which use Credly to turn knowledge, skills, and abilities into a common, verified language. They enable colleges and industry associations to help learners connect with employers. Credly at the forefront of the global movement toward lifelong learning and skill-based hiring.

Digital badges and microcredentials probably won’t completely replace courses and grades as the primary way to communicate capabilities but they are expanding learning options for lifelong learners and helping them communicate their capabilities.

Data is the next revolution. Badges often come with metadata about the experience, evidence, and issuer. When learners make that data public, it makes it easier for employers to find them. In the near future, jobs will find capable people.

Key Takeaways:

[1:37] How did a history major become a textbook salesman 35 years ago?
[2:24] Peter reflects on his experience building Brownstone Learning.
[5:23] When did Peter first start thinking about and learning about badges and micro-credentials?
[8:27] Peter talks about his experience with helping Pearson launch a claim around 2014.
[9:00] With Credly being around since 2012, did Peter have any visibility to them at the time?
[11:55] Peter provides some evidence and examples that micro-credentials and badges are really catching on in both corporate and education.
[18:23] Peter speaks about the importance of badges for work-readiness skills that can be added to a transcript and the projects they are working on to help push them forward.
[20:08] Does Peter see micro-credentials and badges replacing courses and grades as the primary way that we communicate capabilities or are they complementary?
[21:19] Peter gives his take on the perspective by critics that micro-credentials and badges are inherently reductionist; that they work for a few technical skills but they don’t work well for deeper learning and critical thinking.
[23:17] When Peter thinks about designing learning experiences and creating digital credentials around those, what does he think would be the right grain size?
[26:06] About ACE and Credly’s Working Transcript Project and how it can be applied.
[27:06] What’s next for Credly? What is Peter working on?

Mentioned in This Episode:
Peter Janzow
Winterlake Press
Pearson VUE
ACE/Credly Working Transcript Project
Twitter @Credly
Twitter @PJanzow

For more see:

Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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