What Badges Would Isham Have Collected?

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/plural/status/177170929053483008"]

My pal @plural (Jason Gessner)’s funny tweet inspired a second (shorter) post explaining badges in terms of Isham Randolph.  (for those just joining, Isham Randolph was the chief engineer of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, the canal that reversed the flow of the Chicago River, I’m sort of obsessed with him.)

So, Jason, in response to your tweet – Isham Randolph is an excellent example of an entrepreneurial learner who would have benefited a great deal from OpenBadges.  Here, in convenient bullet format, I present my argument:

  • Isham began his career by learning carpentry from a man (whom he owned, sadly, he was a slave owner) on his plantation, he was not formally apprenticed or trained. citations
  • Isham worked his way up from axeman to chief engineer of the Chicago and Western Indiana Railroad, leveraging his on the job learning to advance his career. citations
  • Isham became chief engineer of the Chicago Sanitary district, dug the CS&S canal, then used his achievement to gain an appointment to the Panama Canal Committee. citations

So, in short, he would have had at least three badges, all of which were important to his career, none of which would was considered formal learning at the time: carpentry, surveying (probably engineering management), and canal building.