ERIC Number: EJ1017836
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Career/College Readiness: Digital Badges
Waters, John K.
T.H.E. Journal, v40 n5 p14-19 May 2013
March was a big month in the world of digital badging. The MacArthur Foundation showcased winners of its Badges of Lifelong Learning competition at the Digital Media and Learning Conference in Chicago--one year after awarding those winners $2 million worth of development grants. The city of Chicago itself announced that badging would be a key component of its Summer of Learning program, which is being called the largest citywide learning campaign in the country.After 18 months of development and testing, the Mozilla Foundation, maker of the Firefox web browser, unveiled version 1.0 of its Open Badges Infrastructure (OBI) specification. These developments signal the fast approach of a tipping point for digital badging in K-12 education. On its Summer of Learning website, the city of Chicago defines a digital badge as "a validated indicator of accomplishment, skill, quality, or interest that can be earned in any learning environment." The badge, itself, is an interactive image posted on a web page and connected to a rich source of information such as criteria, evidence, issuer information, time of issue, and expiration date. In this article the author describes how badges are currently being used in K-12 schools, assesses the impact of Mozilla creating an open standard for digital badging, and questions whether a method of acknowledging extracurricular learning and creating an alternative pathway can find a place in the traditional K-12 merit system--a system that measures its progress by seat time rather than competency.
Descriptors: College Readiness, Technology Uses in Education, Metadata, Academic Records, Recognition (Achievement), Certification, Museums, Employment Qualifications, Standard Setting, Portfolios (Background Materials), Competence, Experience
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A