In the past we went to our local high-school and some of us to college or university in our region or maybe somewhere else in our country. And then onwards to a job and a career. The schools we attended, as well as the path and curriculum we followed, were all pretty standard and well-know.
Today things are quite different, certainly in higher education. Education has become more flexible and international, with more and students attending courses at different institutions, even in different countries.
Lifelong learning, with additional courses, seminars, workshops and online learning platforms, has become the new standard. Almost every professional has a LinkedIn profile which lists his Education, Courses, Qualifications, Experience and Skills.
But how can we create trust in a person’s education, qualifications, skills or competencies? How can you trust my Dutch diploma, in Dutch and Latin, as a Certified Neurosurgeon? Or my #1 ranking in this month's Fortnite tournament?
The Answer: Creating Trust by implementing connected and verifiable credentials, represented in portable image files, called Badges.
These Factom® Badges are visual tokens of achievement, affiliation, authorization, or other trust relationships, sharable across the web.
Factom Badges are flexible. Badges can be used to prove Diplomas, Certificates, Achievements, but also to set goals, motivate behaviors, connect learning environments, and communicate achievements across many contexts.
As such, they can represent a more detailed picture than a static document such as a CV or résumé as they can be combined and presented in ever-changing combinations, creating a constantly evolving picture of a person’s lifelong learning, depending on the need and context.
Factom Badges are based on an open standard, Open Badges, enabling interoperability. In fact, thousands of organizations across the world already issue Open Badges, from non-profits to major employers and educational institutions at all levels.
Because of this, recipients can combine multiple badges from different Issuers and from different systems to tell the complete story of their verifiable achievements—both online and offline.
One of the major drawbacks of Open Badges system is that currently the organization issuing a badge has to keep the records and issued badges online in their own systems forever, because the validation and verification process relies on this database to be available. And as happens in real life, these companies and institutions change and evolve. And disappear.
There is no guarantee that the database containing your records and badges will be online and available in 5 or 10 years, let alone over your lifetime. In fact, it is more likely they won’t be available over time, rendering your hard-earned badges useless.
Registering these badges on the public Factom Protocol blockchain instead solves that problem: no more depending on separate central databases, no single point of failure.
We expect the Factom Protocol blockchain to be around for a very long time. But even if the Factom Protocol would be phased out, it will be easy to migrate the data to a new system since all the data is public and the data structures are clear.
Request your own Factom Badge
Our work on Factom Badges is progressing and we’re releasing a first part today, as a test, allowing Factom Protocol community members to request Factom Badges for their involvement in the community.
We’re now working on a mobile App that will allow you to receive the badges that were issued to you. You will be in control of your information; you can decide with whom to share this information. The receiving party can then independently verify the validity of the badge using a blockchain registration page.
Try it out and we’ll keep you informed of the next steps.