(Skills Label) What is the Brand Name?

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Skills Label™ is a standardized display to express learning expectations and outcomes in any task (experience, activity, or resource). It solves a big problem:

There is no way to compare learning from traditional learning media (books, game, course, activities, etc.) with emerging learning media (games, virtual reality, and IoT). This disarray gets worse when comparing media targeting different education, higher education, and career stages.

Skills Label™ is a patent pending process / method to create a standardized display, catalog, and database for learning resources. Skills Label™ differs from what currently exists. There is not a process for game designers, educational publishers, providers of online learning platform, practitioners of traditional high school and college programs, and other producers of educational experiences to publish the learning expectations of their resources.

Been working on coming up with a ‘brand name’ for this concept. Here are four potential names for the brand:

Skills Label™. This is the brand name we have invested all our marketing efforts in. Clearly, the prime space on the label is used to emphasize skills and elements related to skills. (Using the analogy of a nutritional label, skills are like vitamins – the essence, goodness of the resource.) In addition, putting ‘skills’ in the brand name strongly associates it with two other core apps: Skills Based Approach and Skill Syllabi. Finally, it coincides with the Skills Culture mindset.

Skills Emblem. Badging and stacking credentials has gained a significant following in education and professional development. This might emphasize what you get after consuming a label. One part of the process and utility of the label is to assign credentials. This ties skill to learning achievements.

Working with skills, competencies, and their related underlying methods is an ideal medium to express learning expectations. The database of skills is robust, representing technical and transferable skills, soft skills, and behaviors and constantly growing to accept new technologies and applications; an advantage in working in skills is they are evolving. New elements like focus values and context have been added to the label. Standards, like Common Core, are linked to skills and anchor the level of difficulty or required competency.

Education Label. The advantage in this name is it directly links the intent to reach a target audience of students in K-12 education and higher education. The lion’s share of labels might be created by teachers and professors for tasking in their courses.

Learning Label. Summarizing learning is the objective of the labels. It does not matter if the learning takes place in the classroom or out of the classroom. It does not matter if the learning is required or self-directed. The purpose is to capture learning.

Not expecting to get a response to decide on a brand name with this article, so clearly the intent is to put marketing spins on this exciting new concept. But if you have something to say, please share. Join the community: www.skillslabel.com and www.twitter.com/skillslabel

 

 

Survey: Skills Based Approach, How To Learn Skills

There are many ways to learn and build an expertise with skills in your skill set; this is what I call the building stage in a skills based approach. In the survey, Skills Based Approach, I posed a question regarding the effectiveness of learning a skill with various methods: taking a class; joining an organization; volunteering; reading a book; and taking on a project at work. My objective is to understand the best ways to learn a skill, so a professional can properly plan, learn, and build an expertise with a desired skill set.

Learning Skills
Learning Skills

Taking on a project at work is by far the best way to build a skill according to the survey; in fact, only one respondent reported it ineffective and 87.18% reported it as “very effective”.  This has two implications. First, if you are currently looking for employment, you should consider seeking a job that can build your desired skills and perhaps your only objective is to learn skills so the job is a “stepping stone” to a more long term job in the future. Second, if you are already employed, you may want to be assertive and take a role on a project that can help you build your desired skills; talk to your supervisors and tell them why you want to make a presentation or be the lead developer on a project, for example.

The effectiveness of taking a class and volunteering also elicited a strong favorable response; only a few respondents thought taking a class or volunteering were ineffective (1.71% and 5.08% respectively). An advantage with these methods is that they can often be addressed with few prerequisites; you do not have to get hired for a job or be accepted to take on a project.  Although the disadvantages are both require a commitment of time outside of your paying job, and you usually have to pay for classes.

Most of the respondents thought joining an organization or reading a book are “somewhat effective”. Personally, I can think of many times where I have used a book to learn a new skill – especially learning a new programming language or technology. I also think about the famous series of books, “… For Dummies”, which has become a staple for learning a skill with no prior experience.

Thankfully some of the respondents pointed out that I missed a very important way to build an expertise with a skill: finding a mentor. And, drawing from my own experiences, this is a very powerful way to learn skills. I had an excellent mentor in my second job, and the things I learned from him have had a lasting impact throughout my career. I strongly suggest seeking out a mentor to help build your skill set.