Badges for Lifelong Learning
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Badges for Lifelong Learning
Supported by the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Initiative
Curated by HASTAC
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re-mediating assessment: Digital Badges Meeting at the NSF Headquarters Hosted by NYSCI

Monday April 1st we travelled to the NSF headquarters in Arlington, VA. There, Michelle Riconscente and Margaret Honey from the New York Hall of Science hosted a meeting with an impressive list of attendees. STEM educators, members from after school programs, researchers, professors from all different disciplines (computer science, educational psychology, learning sciences) among others met to discuss the current and future research surrounding badges.Rebecca Itow, Cathy Tran, and I were invited to attend as members of the Badge Design Principles Documentation project and had been asked to serve as official note takers of the meeting. We ended up doing Dan Hickey’s presentation on the project and about digital badges research because Dan instead had to attend to a death in his family. Our presentation went over well and the audience was very interested in the initial set of design principles emerging across the 30 projects funded by the Gates/MacArthur Badges for Lifelong Learning initiativeAlong with discussions about the logistical concerns about the use badges such as how to manage these various systems (Erin Knight from Mozilla), on-the-ground depictions of badge systems (Alejandro Molina from the Providence After School Alliance, Marc Lesser from MOUSE, Inc, and Akili Lee from the DigitalYouth Network, just to name a few), and the potential for badges to optimize student learning (Barry Fishman). We candidly spoke about some concerns about badging such as “what is the life expectancy of a badge” (Avi Kaplan), and “what are some of the challenges and what are some of the insights as a result of this work?” (Michelle Riconscente).
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Sweet Water AQUAPONS Badge System | Sweet Water Organics - Urban Fish and Vegetable Farm

Sweet Water AQUAPONS builds upon the curricular-based focus of the USDA-funded Midwest Aquaponics Expertise Development Initiative (MAEDI) and the Urban Schools Aquaponics (USA) projectsupported by a grant through the NEA Foundation and AT&T Foundation Partnership (2009-2012). Each of these initiatives have laid the groundwork for both an innovative teacher training and educational pilot program and the development of a support network advancing a hands-on, interdisciplinary curriculum to improve students’ interest and achievement within the Science Technology Engineering Art and Math (STEAM) disciplines. The  Sweet Water AQUAPONS program also builds upon the recent success of the The Growing Networks Wisconsin – Kerala Aquaponics Connection,  a collaborative partnership between Sweet Water, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Mahattil LLC, which introduced aquaponic farming to communities in Kerala, India this past summer.

 

This 12-month grant from the Digital Media and Learning Competition will allow SWF to contribute to a robust badge ecosystem, where traditional and 21st century skills and achievements are inspired, recognized, translated across contexts, and displayed and managed across the web using Mozilla’s Open Badge Infrastructure. 

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