The variety of organizations represented by the panel illustrates just how excited people are about badges at every level of educational innovation—from the foundation level (where the research and investment happens), to established universities (where online accreditation precedents are getting set), to disruptive startups (who have the freedom to experiment with wildly new educational models).
An-Me started off the conversation by talking about the universal appeal of badges. When the MacArthur Foundation began exploring badges about seven years ago, they were surprised and delighted to discover just how many institutions were hungry for them. After all, if job seekers can display skill sets in a trustworthy way—especially skill sets that aren’t specifically fostered in secondary education but are highly prized in the job world, like creativity and project management—employers and employees both benefit.
Simeon and I then discussed how we are approaching badges from a startup’s point of view. Youtopia is pioneering a way for people to receive public credit for doing good (volunteering, giving blood, contributing to a food drive, etc.), and MentorMob is helping life long learners organize free online content into top notch “Learning Playlists”—so both projects consider themselves prime candidates for badges