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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Insurgent Credentials: A Challenge to Established Institutions of Higher Education? | Michael Olneck on HASTAC

Insurgent Credentials: A Challenge to Established Institutions of Higher Education? | Michael Olneck on HASTAC | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

Michael frames badges as a disruptive force within higher education, provoking his readers (initially directed towards sociologists) to evaluate the assumptions and norms of traditional institutions to legitimize and certify knowledge and skills. As Michael writes, his paper "establishes the need to develop sociological explanations for recent developments of certification of skill and knowledge mastery as possible substitutes for, or supplements to, conventional college and university degrees."

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Initial Consequences of the DML 2012 Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition

Initial Consequences of the DML 2012 Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition | Badges for Lifelong Learning | Scoop.it

The parade of directors and department heads from DOE, NASA, Veterans Affairs, and elsewhere at the September 2011 launch event suggested that this initiative was going to have some impact. Given that other education funding agencies routinely spend far more on a single project, this level of attention for a $2M competition must have raised some eyebrows in DC (more at http://bit.ly/w3Jxc0).

 

On one hand, it is simple to add open badges to an existing educational ecosystem. With the Open Badges Interface (OBI) being developed by Stage 3 awardee Philipp Schmidt and Peer 2 Peer University, virtually anybody should be able to easily offer digital badges for accomplishments. By structuring and simplifying the peer reviewing process, communities will be able to negotiate criteria and establish validity and value.

 

But there is more to it. Barry Joseph of Global Kids put it perfectly at the end of the meeting: "Introducing badges into an educational ecosystem is like developing a new website within a company or an organization.” Barry explained how the seemly simple process of creating a website often reveals unexamined sources of power and information, and forces communities to explicate reams of previously tacit information. Introducing badges forces learning organizations to do the same thing.

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