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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Newspaper article of the future

1 millionth digital badge awarded by OERu

14, Nov. 2017; Sydney Morning Herald

Sexagenarian and teen grandchild awarded digital badge for “Safe Surfing” module.

Today a representative from Open Educational Resources University stated that it crossed the 1 millionth digital badge milestone. The 1 millionth digital badge was awarded to 65 year old grandfather William Levin of Sydney and another was awarded to his teenage grandson, Sean Davies of Noosa in Queensland. On 13, November 2017,  the retiree grandfather and his 12 year old grandson who is being home-schooled both successfully completed a surfing safely short course combined with a cyber bullying online module and received a digital badge called Safe Surfing: the Internet and the sea.
With the aim of becoming a professional surfer and life saver, Sean started taking surfing lessons at the local Noosa surf club. His grandfather who also happens to be his best friend wanted to introduce him to the advantages of safety on Australian beaches and decided to do it in a fun way. He searched the internet for interesting interactive resources and chanced upon one offered as a collaborated effort by Surf Life Saving Queensland and Surfing Australia. A pop up led him to a new window that was sponsored by OERu which allowed him a whole range of activities as a progressive course offered by the two Australian organisations. He registered and sent the link to his son James who showed it to Sean, the 12 year old grandson. William and Sean accessed the online resource and discussed it on the phone and via Skype. There were videos and online tasks, surveys, recordings of webinars by real-life surfers and evena mOOC which they attended together. They worked on the module and progressed from stage to stage.
One day when William searched the OERu website for ‘surfing’, an interesting link led him to another website sponsored by the Australian National Cyber National Cyber Security Alliance (NCNCSA), co-sponsored by Symantec Corporation and endorsed by UNESCO. As Sean was at a crucial point in his life having been introduced to the internet, William decided to make him aware of the dangers of cyberspace, as well. So he sent a link to the cyber bullying module to James who registered and permitted Sean to access it, online.
The next day, William received an email from OERu offering him a free registration to a combination of the two courses called Safe surfing: the Internet and the sea, under Creative Commons (CC) licensing and the auspices of Commonwealth of Learning (COL). This was a wonderful opportunity for two learners from different parts of Australia to be trained in a rare combination of two different skills which are very essential to every Australian kid. William signed up and so did James (on behalf of Sean). 
After a period of 3 months, learning and discussing things at their own pace, William and Sean successfully completed every online and extension activity to be awarded their digital badges – Two happy chappies with one philanthropic institution and a whole host of other organizations to be thanked for the dive and the ride. Happy Surfing Sean!!
                                                                                               BL - reporter                                           
PS: Not sure whether the date of the event is too soon, but with the rapid growth OERu and the popularity of online learning it seems alright.