Digital badges unify the learning that happens in these diverse contexts—often at a relatively granular level—with a common and portable representation of achievement.
include a consistent set of metadata or information about the nature of the assessment, experience, or criteria that led to the skills or competency-based outcomes represented;
incorporate authentic evidence of the outcome being certified;
can be shared, displayed, or pulled into different kinds of platforms and environments in both human-readable and machine-readable formats;
can be distributed in a simple, consistent format, fostering relationship building, networking, and just-in-time career development opportunities;
are searchable and discoverable in a range of settings; and
offer data and insights about how and where they are used, valued, and consumed.
As a marker of achievement, a digital badge looks both backward and forward at the same time: backward to the experience or assessment that was completed to qualify for it, and forward to the benefits, rewards, or new opportunities available to those who have earned it.
Some of the possibilities you might consider include:
Serving as an alternate qualification for lifelong learning. Degrees and licenses certify summative achievements often following formal education programs or courses of study; do your digital badges provide official certification recognizing learning that is more granular, formative, or incremental?
Surfacing, verifying, or sharing evidence of achievement. How can we surface discrete evidence that certifies a skill or accomplishment, and by doing so arm learners with official recognition they can use toward new opportunities? Does validating and making a specific success or outcome more visible, portable, and sharable help a learner move successfully from one learning experience to the next?
Democratizing the process of issuing credit. How can we empower anyone who can observe or assess meaningful achievements to issue digital recognition of those accomplishments, even if that means that credential issuing becomes less centralized?
Exposing pathways and providing scaffolding. How can we better suggest or illuminate a path forward for learners while also enabling that pathway and progress to be shared with an external audience of peers or potential employers?
Supporting ongoing engagement. How can digital badges support learners incrementally as they progress through a learning experience? Can we enhance motivation before and after the experience?
The process for developing an effective badge system can be broken into steps:
Create a badge constellation. A constellation is a master plan or blueprint that shows all of the badges you intend to offer and how they relate to core themes or to each other.
Map meaning to each badge and to the overall badge system. Ensure that each part of your constellation has a value to the earner, to your organization, and to those who would reward or offer opportunities to bearers of each badge.
Identify or develop an assessment strategy. How will you know when an earner is ready to receive a badge? Are existing assessments, observation opportunities, or measures already in place, or does your system require new ways to determine when an individual has qualified for a digital badge or credential? What activities or work will be assessed, and what evidence can accompany each issued badge?
Determine relationships within the system and how learners progress. Is your plan one that shows progress, where components build on one another? How does one badge relate to another or stack to support ongoing personal or professional development?
Incorporate benefits, opportunities, and rewards into the system. Work backwards from the benefits that will be available to those who earn badges in your system. Does each badge serve a greater purpose than itself? What doors does it unlock for earners? How will you communicate and promote the value of your badges to all constituents?
Address technology considerations. How will you create and issue badges? Where and how will the badges be displayed or consumed by other systems and platforms in which they realize their potential value?
Develop an appropriate graphic design. While the visual design is but one element of a badge rich with data, how an achievement is visually represented communicates a great deal of additional information. Digital badges offer a unique and powerful opportunity to market the skills and capabilities of those who complete your programs, and badges promote your initiatives as well as your organization and what it values.
between 15 percent and 45 percent of students enter elementary classrooms each fall learning above grade level. The result is that they’re not challenged enough in school, and teacher time and school resources are wasted in trying to teach them stuff they already know.
The majority of the participants were female. All of the participants were junior and senior students enrolled in elementary teacher education programs. Specifically, this study compared pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy, outcome expectations, intentions (internal factors) and perceived school climate (external factor) for technology integration in education in these countries.
Unlike Turkey and the US, self-efficacy predicted technology integration intention to a smaller degree than school climate in the Spanish sample. Interestingly, outcome expectations scores did not make a statistically significant contribution to predicting pre-service teachers’ intention to use technology in the US sample.
A typical Finnish teacher teaches just under 600 hours a year, whereas the average American teacher teaches students over 1,600 hours annually.
Our teachers in Seattle meet about two hours a week for common planning, like you do in Finland, but the big difference is that in our two hours we are supposed to receive professional development, but teachers in your country get to create their own professional development to further their school.
The Fulbright Scholar Program offers teaching, research or combination teaching and research awards in over 125 countries for the 2017-2018 academic year. Opportunities are available for college and university faculty and administrators as well as for professionals, independent scholars and many others.
This year, the Fulbright Scholar Program is offering over 95 awards in the field of Education. Opportunities include:
For additional awards in the field of education, please visit our discipline highlights webpage. There you will find award highlights and examples of successful projects in education, as well as scholar testimonials which highlight the outcomes and benefits associated with completing a Fulbright Scholar grant.
For eligibility factors, detailed application guidelines and review criteria, please follow this link: http://cies.org/program/core-fulbright-us-scholar-program. You may also wish to explore our webinars or register with My Fulbright to receive exclusive program updates and application tips. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and the current competition will close on August 1, 2016.
The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world.
Diverse learners with exceptional needs require a specialized curriculum that will help them to develop socially and intellectually in a way that traditional pedagogical practice is unable to fulfill. As educational technologies and theoretical approaches to learning continue to advance, so do the opportunities for exceptional children.
Special and Gifted Education: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications is an exhaustive compilation of emerging research, theoretical concepts, and real-world examples of the ways in which the education of special needs and exceptional children is evolving. Emphasizing pedagogical innovation and new ways of looking at contemporary educational practice, this multi-volume reference work is ideal for inclusion in academic libraries for use by pre-service and in-service teachers, graduate-level students, researchers, and educational software designers and developers.
Humanities need convincing data to demonstrate their value, says expert
Humanities scholars have always been good at conveying the importance of their work through stories, writes Paula Krebs for Inside Higher Ed, but they have been less successful at using data to do so. This need not be the case, adds Krebs, who recounts a meeting with faculty members, local employers, and public humanities representatives to discuss how to better measure the impact of a humanities education on graduates. Krebs offers a list of recommendations and concrete program changes, such as interviewing employers about their experiences with hiring graduates, that might help humanities programs better prepare students for postgraduate life.
a list of the skills that we think graduates have cultivated in their humanities education:
Writing skills, with style
Cultural competencies, intercultural sensitivity and an understanding of cultural and historical context, including on global topics
As part of our list, we also agreed that graduates should have the ability to:
Construct complex arguments
Provide attention to detail and nuance (close reading)
Ask the big questions about meaning, purpose, the human condition
Communicate in more than one language
Understand differences in genre (mode of communication)
Identify and communicate appropriate to each audience
Be comfortable dealing with gray areas
Think abstractly beyond an immediate case
Appreciate differences and conflicting perspectives
Identify problems as well as solving them
Read between the lines
Receive and respond to feedback
Then we asked what we think our graduates should be able to do but perhaps can’t — or not as a result of anything we’ve taught them, anyway. The employers were especially valuable here, highlighting the ability to:
Use new media, technologies and social media
Work with the aesthetics of communication, such as design
Perform a visual presentation and analysis
Identify, translate and apply skills from course work
Perform data analysis and quantitative research
Be comfortable with numbers
Work well in groups, as leader and as collaborator
Identify processes and structures
Write and speak from a variety of rhetorical positions or voices
Support an argument
Identify an audience, research it and know how to address it
Know how to locate one’s own values in relation to a task one has been asked to perform
Rubrics provide the criteria for assessing students’ work. Giving students the rubric along with the assignment can clarify the instructor’s expectations. A rubric allows for much quicker, fairer, and more transparent grading. After an instructor grades 30 essays, fairness can become secondary to exhaustion. Following the rubric takes less time, and doing so allows grading the first essay to look exactly like grading the last essay. Students will be less likely to say, for example, “She got a 3 on this section, and I got a 2 for almost the same content.”