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Badges for Lifelong Learning
Supported by the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Initiative
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Ditch the resume and pick up a badge, they're not just for Boy Scouts

Ditch the resume and pick up a badge, they're not just for Boy Scouts | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

From tuition fees to transfer credits, higher education issues provoke strong opinions and it’s rare to find an area of consensus. But one issue where there seems to be agreement is the need for students to acquire a diverse mix of skills and capabilities – not just academic training, but also a variety of interpersonal, professional and workplace skills – to prosper in a challenging labour market and contribute to Canada’s future. Unfortunately, even when students acquire such skills, it can prove difficult to turn them into credentials that are recognized in the job market.

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Shawn Simpson's curator insight, May 3, 2013 4:20 PM

How to promote your "other" learning experiences.

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Harvard Business Review: Four Innovation Trends to Watch in 2013 (including Digital Badges)

From Khan Academy to Coursera to edX to the O'Reilly School of Technology, badges increasingly enjoy consideration as human capital's coin of the the realm for online education. Valid and verifiable accreditation is an exponentially growing challenge for virtual educators — and their students — worldwide. What should it mean to employers that someone has successfully completed a core course in Machine Learning or Hadoop? What does an executive education badge from an Instituto de Empresa, an Insead or Hitotusbashi say about the curricular competences of its holder? What badges will dramatically increase a job candidate's hireability or promotability?


Linked-In endorsements are lovely, but the demand for meaningful and measurable affirmation and accreditation will have profound effects on both higher and executive education. Badging bandwidth will further expand as the IBMs, Accentures, Schlumbergers and professional societies decide that they, too, want to brand the expertise of their training programs and people. Craft unions and other skilled labor organizations also seem destined to bring badging to their memberships. Will badges require successful course completion? Or will be badges be won by passing a demanding array of standardized virtual tests?

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Why Get a Pricey Diploma When Badges Tell Employers More? - Forbes

Why Get a Pricey Diploma When Badges Tell Employers More? - Forbes | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it
Against the backdrop of a student loan bubble, the high cost of four-year college, and an extremely difficult job market, alternate forms of skill certification are gaining steam. Chief among these is the digital badge.
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Merit Badges for the Job Market | The Wall Street Journal

Merit Badges for the Job Market | The Wall Street Journal | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

From a recruiter's comments to Jeff Young's article, "As a recruiter responsible for separating the lies on a resume from actual accomplishments, I'd welcome a chance to verify skills through badges."

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'Badges' Earned Online Pose Challenge to Traditional College Diplomas - College 2.0 - The Chronicle of Higher Education

'Badges' Earned Online Pose Challenge to Traditional College Diplomas - College 2.0 - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Far from replacing university degrees, [Preetha Ram's] goal is to fill a gap by recognizing soft skills that traditional grades and diplomas often miss. Students who help out other students in face-to-face study groups have no way to show the effort they invested there, she contends. "We all know that teaching someone is the best way to deepen your understanding of the concept," she argues. And she says that crafting a clear answer to explain tough material to a peer is a the kind of soft skill that employers say they increasingly value.

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Credentials, the Next Generation

Credentials, the Next Generation | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

The “digital badge” aims to provide a platform for lifelong learners to present their story. “We really believe,” Ms. Yowell said, “that we’re launching a national conversation about what skills matter and how those skills get assessed.”

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Think Different? Not on College Campuses

Think Different? Not on College Campuses | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

What if higher ed lost its grip on the credential business? Perhaps then administrators and professors would be forced to think that there is more than one way to provide a college education.

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The Quiet Revolution in Open Learning - Commentary - The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Quiet Revolution in Open Learning - Commentary - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

The latest and most sophisticated open educational resources have tests embedded within them because assessment is a fundamental element of learning. Feedback-based, assessment-driven "cognitive tutors" developed by learning scientists at Carnegie Mellon are woven into science, engineering, and philosophy courses produced by the university's Open Learning Initiative.

...These disparate elements are beginning to form an entire ecosystem for teaching and crediting human knowledge and skill, one that exists entirely outside the traditional colleges and universities that use their present monopoly on the credentialing franchise to extract increasingly large sums of money from students.

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Beyond School - Education Week

Beyond School - Education Week | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

High school students in Providence, R.I., will now receive school credit for learning experiences outside the classroom through a new digital badging initiative launched by the Providence After School Alliance (PASA) and the Mozilla Foundation


According to the alliance, the Providence district is the first in the country to give academic credit for digital badges, which can be earned by completing out-of-school work ranging from participating in an urban debate league to taking a studio-arts course at a local museum, it reports.
For those unfamiliar, "digital badges" are virtual commemorative patches that recognize work, activities, or tasks, much like Girl and Boy Scout badges, only digitized. The idea is to encourage connections between in- and out-of-school learning and get students more engaged in school by recognizing how their interests and pastimes can be academically enriching.


In the new project, PASA's expanded learning initiative for high school students, called the HUB, will award students digital badges for out-of-school academic work that can then be approved for credit by the local school system. The learning experiences are evaluated by PASA to ensure they align well with school day content and are academically beneficial.
"Digital badges allow our students to get recognition for their learning that happens anytime, anywhere. Badges provide a way for students to manage and connect their skills that can potentially open up new opportunities," said Damian Ewens, PASA's director of high school initiatives, in a press release.

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Show Me Your Badge

Show Me Your Badge | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

At the end of “Fundamentals of Atomic Force Microscopy,” a short online course offered by Purdue University, students who score at least 60 percent on the final exam will receive an e-mail with a file attached. It will contain a picture of a blue-and-white circle, roughly one inch in diameter, embossed with the stylized image of an atomic force microscope bouncing a laser beam off a cantilever into a photodiode, which is how scientists take photographs and measure the size of very small (nanoscale) things.

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Beyond the College Degree, Online Educational Badges

Beyond the College Degree, Online Educational Badges | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Who needs a university anymore?” asked David Wiley, a Brigham Young University professor who is an expert on the new courses, known as MOOCs. “Employers look at degrees because it’s a quick way to evaluate all 300 people who apply for a job. But as soon as there’s some other mechanism that can play that role as well as a degree, the jig is up on the monopoly of degrees.”

 

By the end of this year, Mr. Wiley predicted, it will become familiar to hear of people who earned alternative credentials online and got high-paying jobs at Google or other high-visibility companies.

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Digital Badges Threaten Colleges' Monopoly on Credentials - US News and World Report

If digital badges gain employers' respect, colleges and universities will face significant competition, writes Kevin Carey, policy director of Education Sector. "Traditional colleges and universities use their present monopoly on the credentialing franchise to extract increasingly large sums of money from students," writes Carey. That will change—if badges prove their validity as credentials.

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Digital Badges May Highlight Job Seekers’ Skills

Digital Badges May Highlight Job Seekers’ Skills | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

“The badges are another way to tell the story of who you are and what you know,” Dr. Yowell said.

“What people are learning in school is often not connected to the world of work,” she said. “Badges can fill that gap. They can be a kind of glue to connect informal and formal learning in and out of school.” If valued, they might also inspire students to accomplish new tasks.

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Forget the College Degree: Earn Digital Badges Instead - CBS MoneyWatch.com

Forget the College Degree: Earn Digital Badges Instead - CBS MoneyWatch.com | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

The digital badgeconcept is an intriguing attempt to allow Americans to show what they know without relying on degrees. It can also be a boost for Americans with college degrees who want to change jobs, but don’t have the requisite degree to back up what they know or have learned informally.

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We Do, In Fact, Need Some (Non-Stinking) Badges | Brainstorm - The Chronicle of Higher Education

We Do, In Fact, Need Some (Non-Stinking) Badges | Brainstorm - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

The utility and propriety of systems that revolve around open education resources and open credentials is obviously going to vary a lot depending on the field in question. Journalism, for example, has a wary relationship with higher education in part because journalists don’t need academic credentials to prove their value in the marketplace. Their work is their credential...In other fields it will be more important to have a credentialing process in place.

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