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ERIC Number: ED557908
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Aug
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Expanding Education and Workforce Opportunities through Digital Badges
Alliance for Excellent Education
In the twenty-first century, learning takes place almost everywhere, at all times, on all kinds of paths and at all kinds of paces. With the click of a mouse or the touch of a screen, young people and adults can access a wealth of information, analyze it, and produce new knowledge at any time. These learning opportunities break wide open the traditional confines of school walls and school days, and provide more options and opportunities for lifelong learning. Individuals have the ability to develop content knowledge as well as skills such as critical thinking, communication, and collaboration that are essential for productive employment and effective citizenship in the twenty-first century. Students also have the ability to develop specific workforce skills and build on their own interests. These new learning opportunities raise some important questions: How can young people and adults demonstrate the skills and competencies they have developed? How can teachers and school officials--as well as college admissions officers and employers--ascertain that individuals have developed the knowledge or abilities they consider necessary? How can learners forge their own pathways to further learning? Digital technology offers one promising solution: "digital badges". A badge is a digital credential that represents an individual's skills, interests, and achievements. Among other uses, badges can convey an individual student's core academic content knowledge, as well as other twenty-first-century competencies that cannot be measured by traditional assessments. This issue brief provides a description of digital badges, including how a badge can be used in K-12 public education, higher education, and the workforce. It also provides examples of how badges are currently being used as well as plans for future opportunities.
Alliance for Excellent Education. 1201 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 901, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-828-0828; Fax: 202-828-0821; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Authoring Institution: Alliance for Excellent Education; Mozilla Foundation