Badges: The Way the New Learner Learns | Digital Learning Environments | Badges for Lifelong Learning |

We all do it to some degree or another, that’s why you are reading this article. Some call it professional development, others call it work. I call it my passion. Whatever you call it, more than likely you are using a free social network to help hone your professional skills on a semi-regular basis. More frequently than ever, people are continuing their education outside of the traditional classroom. Whether too busy or too broke, or both, young professionals are skipping school to attend webinars, workshops, and other types of online learning groups to upgrade their skills for a specific job.


This trend of self-directed, laissez faire learning is particularly popular in the technology industry, where skills can become outdated quickly and specialization is necessary. Now, employers are looking for new ways to recognize the valuable ad hoc skill set that a potential new hire may have in their repertoire. Enter Mozilla and the Badge Project. Adopted by Microsoft and now endorsed by the MacArthur Foundation, as their website explains, “Mozilla's Open Badges project is working to solve that problem, making it easy for anyone to issue, earn and display badges across the web -- through a shared infrastructure that's free and open to all. The result: helping learners everywhere display 21st century skills, unlock career and educational opportunities, and level up in their life and work.”