Badging: Not Quite the Next Big Thing
While badging and digital credentialing are gaining acceptance in the business world and, to some extent, higher education, K-12 educators — and even students — are slower to see the value.
By Michael Hart 07/20/16
That’s when the MacArthur Foundation highlighted the winning projects of its Badges for Lifelong Learning competition at the Digital Media and Learning Conference in Chicago. The competition, co-sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Mozilla Foundation, had attracted nearly 100 competitors a year earlier. The winners shared $2 million worth of development grants.
Evidence of Lifelong Learning
A digital badge or credential is a validation, via technology, that a person has earned an accomplishment, learned a skill or gained command of specific content. Typically, it is an interactive image posted on a web page and connected to a certain body of information that communicates the badge earner’s competency.
Credly is a company that offers off-the-shelf credentialing and badging for organizations, companies and educational institutions. One of its projects, BadgeStack, which has since been renamed BadgeOS, was a winner in the 2013 MacArthur competition. Virtually any individual or organization can use its platform to determine criteria for digital credentials and then award them, often taking advantage of an open-source tool like WordPress. The credential recipient can then use the BadgeOS platform to manage the use of the credential, choosing to display badges on social media profiles or uploading achievements to a digital resume, for instance.
Finkelstein and others see, with the persistently growing interest in competency-based education (CBE), that badging is a way to assess and document competency.
Colorado Education Initiative, (see webinar report in this IMS blog http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2016/06/20/colorados-digital-badging-initiative/)
There are obstacles, though, to universal acceptance of digital credentialing.
For one, not every community, company or organization sees a badge as something of value.
When a player earns points for his or her success in a game, those points have no value outside of the environment in which the game is played. For points, badges, credentials — however you want to define them — to be perceived as evidence of competency, they have to have portability and be viewed with value outside of their own environment.
More on badges in this IMS blog:
10 Tips For Launching An Inquiry-Based Classroom
1. Don’t teach the content standards; help kids find their own path towards the information they need to know.
2. Don’t tell students what they should know; create the structure for them to experience it on their own.
3. Use class time to make connections between pieces of information.
4. Many kids struggle with reading, so hook them with the non-written word.
5. Stop giving struggling kids the most boring version of the work to repeat over and over again.
6. Surprise students.
7. The traditional model of imparting knowledge isn’t working very well, so don’t be afraid to try out inquiry.
8. Find the “bend” in the outcomes and abandon the prescriptive path.
9. Indulge interesting student questions even if it doesn’t fit the pacing guide.
10. Approach the practice of teaching with inquiry and use that meta-practice to improve.
The Fit Children of Seinäjoen
My note: the Spiegel article is about obesity and fitness, but I see if very congruent with gamification
But what are the Finns doing right? The answer is multifaceted and likely has something to do with the Finnish mentality, which tends to take an uncomplicated, pragmatic approach to problems.
More on the Finland phenomenon in this IMS blog:
Immersive Italy and 6th European Immersive Education Summit Host and Dates Announced
The Immersive Education Initiative today announced that Università degli Studi di Padova (the University of Padua) is the official host of the 6th European Immersive Education Summit (EiED 2016). The prestigious academic and technical conference will run in parallel with the inaugural IMMERSIVE ITALY “general public” conference from June 21 through June 23.
More on immersive practices in this IMS blog:
NASA space apps challenge
For 48-72 hours across the world, problem solvers like you join us for NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge, one of the largest hackathons in the universe. Empowered by open data, you collaborate with strangers, colleagues, friends, and family to solve perplexing challenges in new and unexpected ways — from designing an interactive space glove to natural language processing to clean water mapping.
4 Reasons to Start Class With a Poem Each Day
I get a few sideways glances and furrowed brows when I explain our daily opening routine for class.
1. Poems Are Short
2. Poems Are Intense
3. Poems Connect (to Other Reading)
4. Poems Inspire (Writing)
More on digital storytelling in this IMS blog:
The Persuasion Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to map out their arguments for a persuasive essay or debate. Students begin by determining their goal or thesis. They then identify three reasons to support their argument, and three facts or examples to validate each reason. The map graphic in the upper right-hand corner allows students to move around the map, instead of having to work in a linear fashion. The finished map can be saved, e-mailed, or printed.