Memory Elephants Day 30 December

“The Origami Secretary Bird has declared 30 December to be Memory Elephant Day’ Sprite announced. “It is not going to be on 31 December because everyone wants Memory Elephants to work on New Year’s Eve to make up compilations of all the events of this year”

“That’s nice dear” I mumbled

I was completely engrossed in putting photos of our Christmas into the album with assistance from the Memory Elephant. As I inserted pictures of the cards we had received the Memory Elephant reminded me of the kind people who had sent them and the messages they had written to us.
As I placed the pictures of the decorations the Memory Elephant reminded me who had made them or who had given them to us and where they had been placed for previous Christmas seasons.

And when we came to the 12 Days of Christmas quilt and Rainer’s star the Memory Elephant whispered to me about our homeschooling days when we made the quilt and 3D geometric shape paper craft decorations and the children calculated the cost of the gifts for the 12 Days of Christmas at the current prices.

This year there was a theme of stars, angels, birds and shells and two birds had landed on Rainer’s star.

This year we hung the quilt on the bookshelf but it was not all visible in the photo so the Memory Elephant found an old photo which showed the whole quilt.

“I’m just saying …” said Sprite “…that you better finish doing that by tomorrow because the Memory Elephant has a holiday on 30 December”

“The Origami Secretary Bird says it is in the Memory Elephant Manifesto and should be observed by all owners of Memory Elephants.”

“I found out because I was enjoying being on holiday and going down to the beach at Rosebud” said Sprite. “And I said I love the colour of the sky and the water and I wish I could take home a bottle of sky colour and the smell of the sea.
And the Memory Elephant said in a really huffy tone ‘I suppose you want to remember that! Memory Elephants don’t even get a holiday!’
So I asked the Origami Secretary Bird about it.”

Digital Badges 5

The Memory Elephant   has become quite accustomed to visiting The Pool of Collected Reflections
after conferences, webinars and online courses to help me compose my thoughts, clarify my understanding and gather the reflections of other participants.

Some reflections on the recent Digital Badges course with Peter Rawsthorne
overview at forums at can be read at

My own reflections on the course:
I enjoyed participating in the course very much. I can see interesting possible uses for badges and intend to investigate them further. I also enjoyed using Khan Academy and can imagine undertaking more learning there if time permits and also hope to investigate other providers of free open access online learning.

The beauty of badges is that they can be utilized for recognition of achievements or mastery in varying fields many of which are not covered in regular classroom type learning. The badges would have to be able to be linked to real demonstrated mastery and issued by a respected organization if they were to be used for resumes.

Thank you ETUG, SCoPe and Peter Rawsthorne for a very enjoyable and thought provoking course!

Digital Badges 4

These are the badges I received as a result of the recent Digital Badges course with Peter Rawsthorne
overview at and forums at

The Participant Badge
Participant introduced themselves to the group via the discussion forum and actively contributes to 7 of the 12 primary discussion threads, also participates in one of the two lunch-and-learn sessions.

The Contributor Badge
Contributor does everything the participant does with the addition of contributing;
1. by designing badge images
2. creating a badge system design for another curriculum
3. blogs about their participation in this seminar series
4. other creative endeavours regarding digital badges

“Are you going to display them in the sidebar of the blog?” asked Sprite.

“Maybe, if I can work out how to embed them” I said. “But more likely I will leave them here in this post about Digital Badges.”

“We need a display case” said Sprite “We have the badges for Nomination for the Sydney Writers’ Centre Best Australian Blogs in the blog sidebar to remind us of the posts about our campaigns in 2011 and 2012.”

Best Australian Blogs 2012

Best Australian Blogs 2011

“And I think we have other badges that are included with posts but are not in the sidebar. The Memory Elephant would know!”

The Memory Elephant searched through the archives of the blog and found several badges with posts which were part of a blog tour or reflections on global conferences. Tweetil brought his newly earned Little Drummer Boy Badge and Tweetelle brought her Peacock Preening Badge to show us.

Here are the badges the Memory Elephant found

Fine Focus webinars

Calling all Bloggers: Sir Ken Robinson blogathon

New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week

International Week of Giftedness 2012/International Year of Giftedness and Creativity 2013 blogtour at

Global Education Conference

Reform Symposium

The Sketchbook Challenge

Digital Badges 3

“I see you are writing a blog post about Digital Badges for your homework assignment” said the Origami Secretary Bird, popping up like the Help File Paper Clip. “Would you like assistance from me?”
Just to see what would happen I answered “Tell me what I am required to do’’

“To answer Part 1: You are required to earn digital badges from at least two sources and write a blog post which critically evaluates the experience” replied the Origami Secretary Bird.

As part of the two week Digital Badges course with Peter Rawsthorne
overview at and forums at
I completed activities to earn badges on Khan Academy  and Open Badges

The badges earned at Khan Academy were all Meteorite badges which are common badges, easy to earn when just getting started. They were gained in the Drawing section in the subject area of Computer Science. Their titles were Mad Scientist, CS Scholar and Tinkerer. The CS Scholar was gained simply by watching the tutorial video and the Tinkerer by altering some code as directed. Gaining the badge was announced by the appearance of a pop-up message and the badges were delivered to my Achievements page without me having to do it. I enjoyed using Khan Academy and will probably return for more learning opportunities as time permits.

Earning the first badge Badges 101 at Mozilla Open Badges was easy – only a matter of answering True or False to three questions – but I had difficulty in transferring the badge to the Mozilla backpack. After trying numerous times and receiving error messages I tried using Firefox rather than Internet Explorer and was successful.
I then gained the Open Badges Hackasaurus badge also. I nearly did not attempt this badge, as when I moused over the link on the word ‘address’ in ‘change your address here’ it appeared to lead to a site which could have caused problems. However after rereading the instructions I just added the words to the address bar and it worked for me. During this challenge there were pop up box rewards for each task incorporated in gaining the badge.

The next part of the course entailed designing, creating and issuing badges.

I decided to create a set of badges for my 10 week Church School program Bird Watching with Biblical Binoculars
The program was conducted face to face but using Internet programs. We had hoped to connect with a group from Queensland; however the aftermath of the floods prevented that from happening.
This program was discussed during one of Jo Hart’s Edublogs Fine Focus webinars at  
I created a set of 10 attendance badges using  – one for each week. At this stage I have not made the attendance badges available for others to nominate themselves for – as it related to IRL attendance. However this did lead me to think that maybe the program could be extended to online without the face to face contact and, if that happened, it would be easy enough to edit the badge accordingly.
I also created a set of Biblical Binoculars Badges which were to certify that the recipient had completed the Bible reference chart activity at the given Blog URL. I left this section open for others to nominate for this badge but at the moment I would not be able to verify that they had actually done the task.
I need to learn a way of stating in the criteria that they must e-mail the answers to me in order to receive the badge.

To design my badges I used clip art pictures available in PowerPoint of a sparrow and a pair of binoculars and adapted them using Paint and then saved them as png files. The sparrow which I used on the attendance badges was the image which represented the Bird watching with Biblical Binoculars program and the image of the binoculars which was included on the Bible reference badges was part of the Biblical binoculars chart.

Some of the traditional badge systems, such as the martial arts belt levels, have a single low level entry badge and badges are awarded sequentially as the skill level of the candidate increases until the ultimate level is reached.
Other traditional badge systems such as the scouting organisations’ badges have multiple starting levels and the badges can be gained in the order desired by the candidate. However some of the badges are at a higher level than others and can only be attained if particular lower level badges have already been gained.

In a similar way some of the digital badge systems are arranged in a linear progression manner with a single low level of entry and sequential task badges leading to a final badge and other systems are more like the scouting model and badges can be attained in many different areas without a rigid predetermined order.

At present the Bird watching with Biblical binoculars badges reward attendance and completion of specific tasks. I would like to design an overall badge for completion of the program but have not yet determined what the criteria for the badge would be.

I notice that the Tweet family have also started to earn some badges Tweetelle has gained the Mona Tweeter badge   for painting and Tweetil has gained the Smelly Science badge.