I have been interested in the Quantified Self for about 3 years now, measuring whatever could be measured in an effort to see how I can improve it. One of the most common things to measure is how many steps you take, using a pedometer. I bought a fancy pedometer that also measures how much you toss and turn at night. Then I got three friends to buy the same thing.
I found that we spurred each other on, in a friendly competition. This social aspect is exploited in many online games, but not enough learning websites.
My tracker broke, and I have been shopping for a new one. Just pre-ordered a brand new one with many more features (measures my cycling too, works as a wristwatch, is water resistant, and measures my heart rate). It even helps me find my lost smartphone.
I agonized over this decision until I found that through an intermediary web site, I could swap data with my friends and their “old” trackers. Now I will be able to have the best of both worlds.
Mozilla’s Open Badges could be considered like that intermediary website, providing a standard that can cross platforms. I can’t think of many others. Is there a place where Moodle and Blackboard and Sakai users can measure themselves against each other? Wouldn’t that be nice?