IT'S THE ITALIAN DIGITAL PLATFORM BASED ON OPEN BADGES. IT AIMS TO VALORIZE ONE'S OWN COMPETENCIES AND CONNECT THEM WITH COMPANIES, UNIVERSITIES AND TRAINING INSTITUTIONS.
Bestr helps to identify each individual's own competencies and to give them the right value: a university acquired industrial design skill could be even more valuable for a home automation company if used in conjunction with a programming skill and a competence in sensors acquired for fun in a FabLab.
Through Bestr the companies themselves can define the competencies they need, the universities and the training institutions can offer the resources to acquire them, and whoever thinks to possess a specific competence, can prove it and certify it undergoing a verification process which is defined and agreed upon by companies and educational institutions. In this way Bestr allows every user to show - through the verified Open Badges - the skills acquired in formal, non formal and informal situations. Bestr is the platform that bridges the gap: between companies' needs, people's skills and training offers.
Bestr was born from the consideration that life-long learning is, by now, a fundamental reality, not only for the ones involved in education, but for all the professionally active individuals: every professional wants to track his/her own training, keeping in mind one's own personal aspirations , talents and inclinations, and what the production context is in need of. From the contamination between personal creativity and market demands arise out-of-the-box paths, unique profiles and specific and valuable job profiles. That's why the focus of Bestr is the Learner, the individual in a constant learning process: life-long, meaning for the entire duration of his/her life, and life-wide - in every context of life.
The importance of considering teaching and learning in terms of acquired skills is nowadays internationally shared amongst all the educators, and, within Europe, it has been introduced also as a guideline to incourage institutions to create study programs based on students' acquired skills (learning outcomes).
The set of a person's skills is what determines his/her professional profile. Italy leads, amongst few other countries, the legal recognition of the value of an individual's competencies, no matter how they have been acquired. In fact, a legal decree establishes that everyone's competencies must be targeted and valorized, not depending by the way in which they've been acquired. They enrich the person even if they have been acquired out of the ordinary study paths that release certifications to the students.
Bestr aims to be a tool able to target and assess these competencies.
Every valuable competence can be described by a company or by a training institution. The assessment modes are published and agreed upon. Learners believing to own this skill, can find it, prove it and certify it on Bestr and show it on their own digital portfolio: the ePortfolio.
Bestr wants to provide the learners with the tools they need to build their own path of growth: which skills the companies are looking for - identified and described by the companies themselves, contextualized on the territory and complete in their way of training and assessment.
Bestr erases the traditional mechanism of advertisment/resume because it comes before the job offer/job application mechanism. It's not an e-learning system, it's not a showcase of new job offerings, it's not a training center, it's not a social network. Bestr is the meeting point for learners, enterprises and educational institutions.
To represent competences, Bestr adopts the Open Badges standard (OBI - Open Badges Intrastructures). It's a technological open standard, defined by Mozilla Foundation, and used by more then 14 thousand organizations throughout the world, to identify, valorize, collect and report people's competencies.
Open Badges look like images, readable by every computer, but those images also contain metadata about the competencies that each specific badge represents and about the person that owns it. Every badge is unique and, if read by a system that supports OBI, tells the story of its owner: name and surname, the date of acquisition, the competency that it represents, in which way this competency has been acquired and assessed, who assessed it and, in case, for how long that competency is valid. All verifiable in real time from every system supporting OBI.
Open Badges are the common language to express competencies. They are, to all effects, digital certificates: safe, portable, information-rich and personal.
By the end of 2014 (source: Badgealliance 2014 timeline), 300.000 badges have been awarded by 14.000 institutions (companies and trainers), and over a thousand more organizations committed to explore the use of Open Badges. Open Badges are the rising standard to manage competencies in a safe and detailed manner. They are the digital tool that is complementary to the traditional certifications of one's study path.
Bestr is the National Contact Point for Italy inside the Open Badges network and it's committed to spreading their use throughout Italy as a digital mode of certifying competences.
Some competencies or titles are particularly relevant and need to be always easily and securely verifiable – even over a long period of time. This is why organizations on Bestr can issue Blockcerts besides Open Badges.
Blockcerts is an open standard designed by MIT Media Lab to digitally express a certificate and record it on a blockchain, so that it is always verifiable without any need to call for the issuing organization or platform.
The Blockcerts standard builds on the Open Badge 2.0 standard and connects it to blockchain technologies. Bestr writes its Blockcerts on the public Ethereum blockchain, using hashing and merkle-tree systems to ensure the lowest number of transactions and the highest level of privacy.
Bestr is the first italian platform implementing the Blockcerts standard. Thus Bestr becomes a Digital Credentialing System, where titles and competencies can be represented with the most apt digital tool. Blockcerts are available on Bestr since 2019.
One of the possible usage of Open Badges is inside a company's organization. Through Open Badges, it is possible to reward and show appreciation to employees, but also to verify competencies that are acquirable only working in a specific company or institution. We can use them to engage students by associating badges with daily life learning, extracurriculary activities and specific goals.
Companies and institutions that are aiming to enhance their own peculiar competencies may start a special project with Bestr and issue Open Badges to their employees or students.
Within a special project it is possible to issue one or more badges to specific users recommended by the organization - even throughout time. Only those designated by the organization can receive such Badges, as they are strongly connected with the identity of the organization issuing them. The owners of these Badges can use them on Bestr or on other Open Badges platforms, in order to prove the competencies acquired and, at the same time, let everybody know that that particular institution is able to provide that competency - maybe excels in that.
In order to start a partnership and realize an Open Badge special project, companies can fill in this form: Join Bestr.
Cineca is the main Italian interuniversity Consortium. It has been established in 1969 in order to be able to access to exceptional supercomputing resources inaccessible to the individual institution.
Cineca's mission is to provide the technological tools needed by the research and the structural development of Italy. Cineca now speaks to univerisities, research centers, business companies - and million of students, researchers, teachers and administrative assistants that are daily users of Cineca systems.
International studies underline the huge skill gap between the competencies required by the job market and the ones proved by the educational institutions. This is a main problem in many countries - especially Europe. Cineca took this into high consideration and identified in the Open Badges system the key to facilitate the dialogue between business companies, citizens and educational institutions through the creation of a meeting-point where companies can express their needs, where learners can consult them and find coherent training opportunities: Bestr was born.
Valorize and promote your competencies through Open Badges; find companies and trainers related to your professional path.
Express the competencies you need, find existing badges you might endorse, meet learning providers.
Enhance the value of your courses by matching them with competencies required by companies.
A learner is always learning, always growing, always going forward on a professional path.
The life-long & life-wide learner is the core of Bestr: at the university or on the job, at school or for fun, the learner gets competencies continuously - on Bestr they can be valorized and certified, independently from the learning context, as the learner meets companies and trainers who value them.
Get found by companies supporting and looking for your competencies through Open Badges.
Describe your professional profile as a set of competencies and evidences.
Prove and verify your competencies, by taking tests to get the Badge.
Find new competencies, related to your professional path - and find the learning resources to get them.
Bestr helps you creating your personal paths of growth, based on your profile and goals.
Follow users with your same goals or similar competencies.
Bestr is for companies needing and building valuable competencies.
By expressing working needs as competencies, you are supporting learners and trainers: they can now build those unique professional profiles which are the greatest value in today's ever-changing job market.
Define the competencies you need by creating a Badge.
To your employees or to learners in your academy.
Find Badges describing the competences you need - and endorse them.
Start a special project to highlight those competencies that only your company can provide.
Bestr is for those who provide real learning - not just transcripts.
Because they can create courses tailored to what companies need - competitive and useful. Universities, training centers, companies' academies: each one has its role in the lifelong learning path of today's and tomorrow's citizens and workers.
Highlight which skills are provided by training programs, and how they are requested by companies.
Connect your course offer to competencies required by companies - or create new ad-hoccourses.
Provide your students with digital certification: safe, portable, modern, detailed.
Suggest your courses to students to whom they are most meaningful.
Offer not only courses but also assessments of competencies acquired elsewhere.
Be proactive in starting up productivity for your territory.