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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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Life is a Game | Zythepsary

Being rewarded an incentive (in this example a badge) in learning, seems to be clouding the discussion. Some people are looking at it like the incentives are “payment” for learning. I don’t think the idea is that we bribe people to learn, I think it’s about marking their achievements. Badges are “incentives” to an extent, but what the community is really trying to do is to create a bridge between formal and informal learning and show a more personalized map of milestones...Maybe those of us that use the term “gamification” or the concept of game mechanics can stop focusing on the defense of our terminology and go back to focusing on innovative approaches to learning and assessment.

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Of Bitcoin and Badges. | dougbelshaw.com/blog

Of Bitcoin and Badges. | dougbelshaw.com/blog | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer currency system that does away with the need for state-level control of the monetary system. It’s run into some issues but I think it’s promising, even if just as an alternative idea. Badges, or more particularly Mozilla’s Open Badges infrastructure and the result of the DML Badges competition, are (to me) even more interesting. Using badges to support lifelong learning sounds straightforward but it’s actually a fairly nuanced idea that takes some investigation to understand fully. The problem with both Badges and Bitcoin is that adherents get carried away with the rhetoric, talking of their new system ‘destroying’ or ‘revolutionising’ an existing one. Many present it as either/or. On the other hand, critics are never satisfied unless a rigorous, comprehensive alternative to the status quo is presented in toto.*

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Considering the “Badges 101″ Webinar

The Open Badge Infrastructure is one attempt to address learning, skills and competencies that are currently either unrepresented or underrepresented in traditional, formal personal representation on resumes and CVs. Soft skills such as community-mindedness, peer interaction, and mentoring present great assessment opportunities that may result in some of the most important badges to arise from the ecosystem. But as it’s early on in this brand new system, we’ll have to see where value arises. It may surprise us all. And while the academic community has responded mightily to the idea of open badges, the target audience is much broader and consists of organizations, institutions, individuals, groups, etc.—ideally anyone who would like to offer and support representations of learning, achievements, skills, and competencies.

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Making Digital Media Learning Badges Work | Forum One: Drupal and Open Source Development, User Experience, and Digital Communications Strategy.

Making Digital Media Learning Badges Work | Forum One: Drupal and Open Source Development, User Experience, and Digital Communications Strategy. | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

The issues that badges could solve are important. Done well, such a system could make important advancements in how we think about education. The DML initiative has launched some good initial steps, but a great deal of organizational design work—building standards teams, maintaining open access, and keeping focus—needs to be done. Let’s not worry about the extreme views and focus on getting the right middle way in place.

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When Badges Backfire | Bud the Teacher

One of several things that worries me about the DML focus on badges is that it’s entirely possible that a badge will backfire. Badly.  If a badge’s purpose is to motivate folks who are doing interesting work on the fringe of school or teaching and learning, well, that’s very tricky business for a couple of reasons.  It’s possible, likely even, that the folks already doing the work on the fringe don’t need the motivation. They are, of course, already doing the work. And the institutionalization of the fringe work may well kill the work that you were trying to cultivate. It might be that the fringe was what made the work, ahem, work. 

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On education credentials

On education credentials | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Badges offer a trust VS cost trade-off. In a blink you can see all badges but not verify that they’ve properly been earned. Or you can check the proof of each badge at the expense of spending time understanding how the badge got earned. In case the badge issuer is considered as trustworthy, trust can be delegated. This delegation is almost compulsory with diplomas, badges offer the choice.

It has to be noted that neither badges nor diploma are inherently more trustworthy. They just address the trust issue differently.

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TODAY on HASTAC: Badges 101 Webinar | Monday, October 17 2011 @ 2pm EST

TODAY on HASTAC: Badges 101 Webinar | Monday, October 17 2011 @ 2pm EST | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

The Badges for Lifelong Learning Competitionhas launched a broad, open, critical, and constructive conversation about digital badges, visual representations of 21st century skills and achievements. We invite you to learn more about open badges and this Competition during a series of interactive webinars hosted by the Mozilla Foundation and the HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media & Learning Competition.

During our third live Badges 101 webinar, we will address questions about the basics of badges: What are badges? What are open badges? How can badges work for learners? We will also address additional questions about badges as submitted by webinar participants. Questions can be submitted in advance by emailing dml@hri.uci.edu and including "webinar question" in the subject line.

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Girl Scout merit badges get a 21st century facelift, focus on science and technology

Girl Scout merit badges get a 21st century facelift, focus on science and technology | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

The Girl Scouts of America are giving their merit badges a 21st century makeover, adding high-tech accomplishments like Computer Expert and Digital Movie Maker, as well as more esoteric points of pride like Locavore. Even old standbys are being reinvented for the modern age like the Fashion, Fitness and Makeup badge, which is now known as the Science of Style and focuses on how things like sunscreen work and making your own perfume.

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Why Are You Addicted To Achievements?

Why Are You Addicted To Achievements? | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Interesting perspective on the role of achievements in life and games (+1 for mentioning Minecraft). "Achievements might evoke a natural psychological response, but they don't force themselves upon you.

Actually, that's a good word to keep in mind when thinking about achievements: natural. Achievements cater to a natural human need, the desire for a feeling of accomplishment, no matter how arbitrary or superficial that accomplishment may be. As a species we like to set challenges for ourselves to overcome. It happens in sports, in business, even in our daily routines...Ultimately, achievements supply a demand, and because of the way we're psychologically constructed, it's a demand that will never truly be fulfilled."

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From Grades to Badges: Tracking Lifelong Learning | GETIdeas.orgGETideas.org

From Grades to Badges: Tracking Lifelong Learning | GETIdeas.orgGETideas.org | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

That is a simple explanation of a badge and early badge adopters, like myself, began to see the importance of badges in the construction of one’s digital footprint. That is, if you are trying to use new media, like a blog, to construct a digital identity for yourself, then it’s important to convey your credibility to your audience. Really, the concept isn’t much different from a sheriff’s badge! But badges have evolved! And, with support from the MacArthur Foundation (a generous funder of HASTAC), the Mozilla Open Badge project will transform not only the nature of a badge but open doors for how they are used in formal and informal learning environments.

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Badges 101 Webinar Follow-up - World of E's

Badges 101 Webinar Follow-up - World of E's | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

A driving principle behind the badge work is that we will use badges to capture a wide, granular range of learning so that the skill, competency, achievement, etc. is explicitly expressed through the badge, and of course that badge carries with it all of the information needed to understand the badge, including the criteria/assessment behind the badge and potentially even a link to the learner’s work as evidence (an optional piece of metadata). Thus badges move us away from a standardized, artificial system and start to lay the foundation for an authentic, personalized system that captures and continues to communicate the learning and skill development that occurred.

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Badges to help tell our stories...

Badges to help tell our stories... | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

I maintain that students need to be engaged in writing their own learning stories. What if badges were used to highlight interesting and engaging elements of each of our learning stories? Further to this, what if badges could be awarded by any member of the school family who notices something interesting and engaging about another's learning story? Administrators, teachers, para-professionals, parents, community members and the students themselves... all of these people could be badge givers- all they would have to do is notice something about another; a specific talent (realized or not by the person possessing it,) a exemplary act; a feat of kindness... anything that allows us to say "good on ya!" to members of the school family that we notice and want to engage by complementing them with a badge.

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New Thinking: Will “Digital Badges” Take the Place of College Degrees? — Straight Talk: College Education Blog

New Thinking: Will “Digital Badges” Take the Place of College Degrees? — Straight Talk: College Education Blog | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Why shouldn’t there be an educational credential that does most of what a college degree does, but which costs a lot less to acquire? That, more or less, is the idea behind something called a “digital badge.”

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#MobilityShifts – 5 key trends for the future of education [guest post] | Dangerously Irrelevant

#MobilityShifts – 5 key trends for the future of education [guest post] | Dangerously Irrelevant | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Doug Belshaw blogs about key trends for the future of education, including alternative forms of assessment. "Because assessment often drives the structure of learning, this is key," writes Belshaw.

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Ruminate | Open Badge Brouhaha

Ruminate | Open Badge Brouhaha | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

I am surprised that those who so often rail against the standardized recognition of the institution in the form of diplomas and certificates are immediately hostile toward what I see as essentially a blank space in which to experiment with something that is far more flexible in terms of recognizing a learner’s achievement and skill. I’m surprised that so many who self-identify as part of groups that have (or might as well have) badges or t-shirts or some other emblem of their membership would object to a project that is effectively capturing the same spirit.

 

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On education credentials | Long-term Laziness

On education credentials | Long-term Laziness | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

In plenty of occasions i try to engage people to make them think about education, skills, degrees and I discuss about badges. I would like to take an occasion to write about the common questions and comments I receive on these topics. In this article, I will try to state the problem that badges are trying to address (focused only on hiring while i’m aware, badges are of interest beyond this single aspect), the current existing solution, its downfalls and try to explain how badges are not worse as some may think.

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Opening the Door for More: Digital Merit Badges in Education

Opening the Door for More: Digital Merit Badges in Education | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

I think there is great potential for innovation when we think outside of the box schoolroom. I really believe that we are on the cusp of disruptive innovation within the education world in many aspects. Does Secretary Duncan really mean what he says? Or are there conditions and limitations? For example, Ann Obrien in her blog post about digital badges posted "Consider an outstanding high school student who is very interested in architecture, and who is working her way through some of the courses available on MITOpenCourseWare. Or a student who struggles in traditional classes but is interested in video game development, has taken Peer to Peer University courses in programming and game development, and has successfully created his own game."

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Badges and the Role They May Play

Questions abounded about the significance of several existing “badge” type systems in education including things like Google Certified Teachers, Apple Distinguished Educators, or DEN Stars. Did these qualify as badges under the model that Mozilla, et al, are working on? It’s a wait and see now with the project being in the early stages, but my guess is that you’ll see much more of this discussion, especially within progressive education circles. I know I am going to play with this idea as well.

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Digital Media and Learning Competition Process and Application | THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2011 @ 3pm EST

Digital Media and Learning Competition Process and Application | THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2011 @ 3pm EST | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

During this webinar, the fourth in our series, we will walk prospective applicants through this year’s Competition process–reviewing each of the three stages and their requirements, the newly extended timeline, and the application requirements. We will also respond to specific application/process related questions from applicants.

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The Social Psychology of Badges

For “Badges in Social Media: A Social Psychological Perspective” social psychologist/research scientist Judd Antin and Principal Research Scientist, Elizabeth Churchill collaborated to summarize what badges are in specific terms, and how they work in what they call the “5 Primary Functions for Achievements”. These include Goal Setting, Instruction, Reputation, Status/Affirmation and Group identification. They make mention that while badges strongly influence some users, some others are indifferent and in some cases even demotivated by the implementation of badges. The paper ends by concluding that more research needs to be done in different contexts to explore the circumstances in which badges are the most effective.

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Steve Hargadon interview with Mark Surman on Open Badges: Thursday October 20th

Steve Hargadon interview with Mark Surman on Open Badges: Thursday October 20th | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Mark Surman is in the business of connecting things: people, ideas, everything. A community technology activist for almost 20 years, Mark is currently the executive director of the Mozilla Foundation, with a focus on inventing new ways to promote openness and opportunity on the Internet.

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Coding Horror: The Gamification

Coding Horror: The Gamification | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

For programmers, everything we know is pretty much guaranteed to be obsolete in 10 years if we're lucky, and 5 years if we aren't. It's changing all the time. The field of programming is almost by definition one of constant learning. Programming is supposed to be fun – and it is, if you're doing it right. Nobody taught me that better than the Beagle Bros on my Apple II. Why can't learning in every other subject matter be just as enjoyable?

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Could Digital Badges Replace Traditional Degrees for DIY Learners? - Education - GOOD

Could Digital Badges Replace Traditional Degrees for DIY Learners? - Education - GOOD | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

The DIY learning movement is on the rise, but alternative-minded lifelong learners—unlike traditional students who receive a degree to show for their work—don't have an easy way to show prospective employers that they've gained skills and knowledge. That could all change thanks to "Badges for Lifelong Learning," a new competition seeking to make it easier for people to acquire badges from online learning ventures as evidence of what they've learned.

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Institution, Know Thyself! How Members Can Decide What Counts #dmlbadges | HASTAC

Institution, Know Thyself! How Members Can Decide What Counts #dmlbadges | HASTAC | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

The activity of inventing a badging system means thinking through credentials and credit in a new way that, in and of itself (even if one decides not to adopt such a system), affords us a rare opportunity, as a collective, to think together about what we think counts and how we count what everyone contributes to the learning experience.

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Showcase your Skills with Digital Badges | Online College Tips – Online Colleges

Showcase your Skills with Digital Badges  | Online College Tips – Online Colleges | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

There's still a lot to figure out. The concept of learning badges at this point is still fairly new, and while not intended to take the place of certification or degree programs, there are details to iron out if there is to be a formally recognized structure. Some of the questions still unanswered include: How will evaluation of a learner's achievements take place? Will there be a central monitoring and guidance system to validate the process? Is there a potential for "counterfeit" badges to emerge?

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