What Are Digital Badges?

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explainExplanation

At first I thought the concept of digital badging was rather simple.  Militaries have been issuing badges for thousands of years, how much different can digital badges be? Um, well they are different.  Not so much in why we award them, but the process of awarding and accepting them has changed.

Old Way

It went something like this:

  • Individual (student, teacher, parent) accomplishes a goal, meets a requirement, wins a race, etc.
  • Badge is handed to the individual to keep, sew on their jacket, hang on the wall, etc.

So easy!

New Way

  • Individual (student, teacher, parent) accomplishes a goal, meets a requirement, wins a race, etc.
  • Teacher, mentor, supervisor grants the badge to an individual via email or a claim code
  • Individual accepts badge (after they create a Persona account, login in to Mozilla’s OpenBack pack site)
  • Individual displays the badge (after creating a group and making it public; oh and if they are using a WordPress account, after they install and activate a widget to display it)

Anybody confused yet?

Why Bother?

You may be asking yourself that very question, but since you are this far into the first lesson, you must have at least SOME interest in the concept. 😉 Digital badging, versus “analog” badging has many long term benefits.  There just may be a “slight” learning curve to getting there.

Reasons to Digital Badge

  • Enables the ability to quickly send out awards to large groups of people.  For example, 400 individuals who attended a Learning 2.0 conference together.  Allows for scale.
  • Recipients can keep the badge for a lifetime by storing it in their digital backpack
  • Recipients can chose to display their badge on their website, resume, Facebook page, LinkedIn account, etc.
  • Digital Badges contain “meta” data that links back to the awarding institution.  For example, if I picked up a digital badge from my local university for Python programming, I could display the badge on my resume or social networks.  The “meta” data allows a potential employer to verify that I did, indeed, fulfill the requirements to earn that particular badge.

 

assignment_iconAssignment

Complete the assignments below based on the credit provider you selected

Graduate Credit

The Heritage Institute (THI)

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  1. Check out some of the links, info-graphics and videos found in the resource section below.
  2. In the comments section below, make a short post about why you are interested in digital badges.  What brings you to learn more?  What are you hopes for badges for your school or classroom?.
  3. Write a 250 word or more response about what you have learned so far.
    1. What the future of badges will be
    2. Will badges actually work?
    3. The process of creating and adding badges
    4. If you think it is something you would like to use with your students
      1.  If you have not done so already, consider getting your own Gravatar. This will enable a picture of some sort to be next to any comment you make on this website and many, many others around the web. Interested? Try it out here.
  4. Upload this to your THI online response box
    • Check out some of the links, info-graphics and videos found in the resource section below.
    • In the comments section below, make a short post about badges. Feel free to talk about:
      1. What the future of badges will be
      2. Will badges actually work?
      3. The process of creating and adding badges
      4. If you think it is something you would like to use with your students
        1.  If you have not done so already, consider getting your own Gravatar. This will enable a picture of some sort to be next to any comment you make on this website and many, many others around the web. Interested? Try it out here.

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assignment_iconAssignment

Resources

Open-Badges-napkin-sketch

Timeline of the history of badges

 

 

 

 

 

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