Planet Badges

Badger Beats: The Week In Review [78]

Mozilla Open Badges Blog

Sat Feb 28 2015 09:44:41 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Welcome to the Badger Beats! Here’s a quick rundown of what the open badges community did this week:

Thank you to everyone who joined us for calls and discussions this week - we look forward to another badgeriffic week with you starting on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

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BadgeLAB Leeds is testing whether Open Badges can deepen or...

Mozilla Open Badges Blog

Fri Feb 27 2015 15:00:53 GMT+0000 (UTC)



BadgeLAB Leeds is testing whether Open Badges can deepen or diversify young people’s engagement with the arts.

BadgeLAB Leeds is a new initiative led by ArtForms Leeds, Sheffield Hallam University and DigitalMe with the support of the Digital R&D Fund - Nesta, Arts and Humanities Research Council and public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Young people’s learning via arts activities is often informal, taking place through one-off classroom sessions or specially organized local events. Some arts learning provision is designed to function as a complement to traditional classroom teaching, taking place outside formal education entirely.

BadgeLAB Leeds is exploring how Open Badges can act as an incentive to take part in arts based learning experiences, which are not normally recognized with traditional qualifications. To this end, [they] have helped develop badged activities at events such as Light Night Leeds, the March of the Robots Parade and Party as well as MozFest 2014.

One-off classroom sessions have also been supported with Open Badges for activities such as robot making, den building, contributing to a giant, flashing Robo-quilt and making clay pots in the style of the ancient Greeks and Romans.

All of the badges claimed as well as the personal experiences of practitioners are being carefully documented and studied by staff at Sheffield Hallam University as well. [They] hope the research results will reveal how effective an incentive Open Badges can be for young people participating in arts-based activities.

See more at: http://www.digitalme.co.uk/badgelab-leeds

Open Badges Community Call, Feb. 25, 2015

Mozilla Open Badges Blog

Fri Feb 27 2015 08:31:29 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Audio: http://bit.ly/CC15_Feb25_audio

Agenda: http://bit.ly/CC15_Feb25

This week we were joined by Andrew Downes, who has been working on a prototype for an integration of Tin Can API (xAPI) and the Open Badges Infrastructure (OBI) alongside Ryan Smith from HT2, and the Open Badges xAPI Community of Practice

Tin Can was developed at similar time to Open Badges addressing similar areas (recording learner experiences and achievements). While there was some initial concerns about conflict or overlap, it turned out there were actually quite a few differences which made them quite complementary. Open Badges tended to be used more in academics to recognize bigger steps in the learning process, whereas Tin Can statements have been used in workforce to describe more granular steps before and after a badge is earned.

Andrew and the Open Badges xAPI Community of Practice have been working on ways these two technologies can work together, including:

  • sharing awarded badges between systems
  • localizing and sharing badge definitions between systems
  • sharing issuer metadata between systems
  • defining machine readable badge criteria and evidence
  • automatically awarding badges based on Tin Can statements
  • using a learning record store (LRS) as a backpack

Most of their work thus far has focused on using badges and Tin Can with professional bodies, but they are now moving on to organizations and accreditation bodies (see the diagram below). We look forward to hearing more from them in a few months - if you’d like to get involved in github, join xAPI Community of Practice around Open Badges: https://github.com/ht2/BadgesCoP

Other updates

We were also joined on the community call this week by Dan Hickey, who is using BadgeList to issue badges in his Learning and Cognition Course, as well as working with Indiana University to install Badgesafe. His team is also collaborating with edX as part of his new project, Open Badges in edX and Beyond. 

In Louisiana, Carey Hamburg is putting together a focus group study on the use of badges in recruiting and hiring in the local oil + gas industries as part of his doctoral study. At Concentric Sky & the Oregon Center for Digital Learning, Nate Otto and the team are working on software for one user to be able to manage their own earned badges, define and issue badges to others, and understand badges that people show to them, and are making progress toward an initial release.

The Standards Working Group is continuing to make progress with the W3C credentials community group: members are putting together open badges use cases, and drafting a vocabulary that is generalizable across various high and low stakes credentials. This vocabulary will be shared with the general community soon for feedback and comment.

Opportunities to get involved

The Standards Working Group is putting together development resources to update the Mozilla validator to 1.1 and they’re looking for contributors. The group is willing to work with interns or new JS programmers as a mentorship opportunity, so if you’re interested in a little bit of Node.js contribution, get in touch with Nate Otto

Dan Hickey and his team are looking for additional collaborators on the Open Badges in Higher Ed project. Read more here and get in touch if your organization or institution is working with badges in interesting ways.

Thank you to everyone who joined us this week. Join us next Wednesday for more community project updates and announcements.

How valuable is the Credit Hour?

Mozilla Open Badges Blog

Wed Feb 25 2015 16:33:16 GMT+0000 (UTC)

A recent report from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching concluded that the credit hour, though flawed in many ways as a measurement of learning, is the best option we have in education.

Two years ago, in response to increasing concern over the adequacy of the credit hour, the Carnegie Foundation brought together a committee of 27 experts to look at the history of the credit hour and evaluate whether a competency-based model of learning measurement could replace it. The overarching theme in the report is that it would be risky - and difficult - to try and replace the current system:

"Achieving this goal would require the development of rigorous standards, assessments, and accountability systems—difficult work, especially in the field of higher education, where educational aims are highly varied and faculty autonomy is deeply engrained." (Source)

Inside Higher Ed provided a commentary when the report was released, citing several experts who have both praise and criticism for the report:

"Several experts praised the study for its broad look at the credit hour’s role and history. But some said they wished the foundation had pushed harder to find a way to move beyond the standard. After all, the foundation created the unit, and at times has been a driving force for change in higher education."

Download “The Carnegie Unit: A Century-Old Standard in a Changing Education Landscape” here 

What do you guys think about the report? 

  • Do you agree that the credit hour is an insufficient measure of student learning? 
  • Should more resources be allocated to making competency-based models (or other alternatives) more viable in our formal education systems? 
  • Where do badges fit in? 
  • What are you doing in your own institutions to address the inadequacies of the credit hour?

Let us know by replying to this post or commenting in the Open Badges Community Group: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/openbadges/99S_9fdJ5D0

"However, what really helped me was the day I realised that I wasn’t selling a product, but I was..."

Erin Knight

Wed Feb 25 2015 14:01:02 GMT+0000 (UTC)

“However, what really helped me was the day I realised that I wasn’t selling a product, but I was actually selling change. And change = pain. Those that were incentivised and had the power to drive change made very good customers (they were often early adopters). Those that didn’t or couldn’t, really struggled.”

- Bryan Mathers, wapisasa C.I.C., Consultant for City & Guilds

Badger Beats: The Week In Review [77]

Mozilla Open Badges Blog

Sat Feb 21 2015 11:41:40 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Hey there! Here’s what we got up to this week:

Finally, check out this TEDxProvidence talk on credentials for the 21st century, featuring Achievery’s own Damian Ewens:

Open Badges Community Call, Feb. 18, 2015

Mozilla Open Badges Blog

Fri Feb 20 2015 09:26:00 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Audio: http://bit.ly/CC15_Feb18_audio

Agenda: http://bit.ly/CC15_Feb18

There were more community members than usual on this week’s community call, which made for some great lively discussions - thank you to all those who joined us.

We met Paul Smith-Keitley this week, who is looking to develop badges for 21st century workplace skills - learn more in this video. He’s been meeting with local politicians and raising awareness around his initiative, so we’re looking forward to hearing how that progresses.

Other updates included Don Presant’s preparations for ePIC 2015, to be held in Barcelona in June, where Serge Ravet and other European badgers will discuss badges, e-portfolios and digital identity. James Willis is writing a “philosophy of open badges” with collaborators Kim Flintoff, Erin Fields, Ted Curran, and Bridget McGraw; to be published in Foundations of Digital Badges and Micro-Credentials

Dan Hickey is working on a general narrated slide deck called Open Digitial Badges: What, Why, When, and Where? to market open badges in the edX community and beyond, as well as working to get the Open Badges Design Principles and Documentation Project report out soon and moving forward with other projects. Steve Lonn is preparing for two badging events coming up: an open conversation about the intersection of badges and ePortfolios on Feb. 26 and a local workshop on digital badges for co-curricular learning on March 4.

We heard from Megan Cole that there is movement building around the Cities of Learning for 2015. The team is gearing up for a May / June launch again with three exemplar cities from previous years, Chicago, LA and Pittsburgh, with potentially a few others getting on board as well. Digital Youth Network is leading the technology platform for the individual cities this year. Also in Chicago, MOUSE is working with Hive Chicago to do a youth gamejam in May, aiming to get the participants to tap into MOUSE’s serious game design badge and curriculum after the jam. They’re looking for partner organizations in Chicago to do activities at the event, so if you’re interested, reach out to Meredith via Twitter.

Badges at ELI 2015

Indiana University’s Dan Hickey and University of Michigan’s Steve Lonn were joined by Penn State’s Chris Gamrat at the Educause Learning Initiative meeting last week in California to lead a panel on digital badges in higher education. Their slides are available here, and the video will be available after 90 days if you didn’t register for the virtual event beforehand. 

Steve told the group on the call that more than half the room had at least a basic or fair amount of knowledge about badges, which was great to hear; the group still did a brief introduction to address specific terminology (micro-credentials, badges, etc.) as well as the continuing discussion of digital vs open badges, aided by the Badge Alliance’s Why Badges? page. Using Twitter, Steve also shared this quotable quote from Dan Hickey during their presentation:

.@dthickey: if your badges don’t have evidence, don’t bother #eli2015

It’s always interesting for us as a community to track our progress at these kinds of events, seeing which issues attendees get stuck on, what questions are most often asked, what the ‘aha!’ moments are. If you’re attending or giving badges presentations at conferences, let us know what your experiences are.

Thank you to everyone who joined us this week. You can review the full discussion in the notes and audio linked above. Join us next Wednesday for more community project updates and announcements!

Badges come to OpenLearnWe’re really excited to share this...

Mozilla Open Badges Blog

Thu Feb 19 2015 20:47:40 GMT+0000 (UTC)



Badges come to OpenLearn

We’re really excited to share this piece of news from across the pond: the Open University is introducing Badged Open Courses! 

Check it out:

The Open University is building on years of knowledge, experience and research into Open Educational Resources (OER) with its release of innovative new badged open courses (BOCs). These have been developed in response to the needs of informal learners who are seeking access to study skills and to have their learning recognised.
'We have listened to the changing needs and requirements of our informal learners using our open platforms' says The OU’s Open Media Unit Director, Andrew Law. 'Badged open courses will complement The OU’s extensive and growing portfolio of OER on OpenLearn and provide learners recognition for their achievements through assessment – for free.' The team at The OU who produced the courses were finalists in The Learning Awards 2015 for ‘Innovation in Learning’.

Read this article in full here.

OERu, Open Education, and Digital Badges

Re-mediating Assessment

Wed Feb 18 2015 22:05:00 GMT+0000 (UTC)

by James Willis

Open Educational Resources (OERu) is a network of schools dedicated to the goals of educating anyone with internet access and a desire to learn. Bringing together institutions from around the world, OERu offers free educational opportunities and low-cost assessments for potential academic credit. A recent news release by the Open University promotes Badged Open Courses.

Read more »

Badger Beats: The Week In Review [76]

Mozilla Open Badges Blog

Sat Feb 14 2015 12:26:34 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Hello there Badgers! Here’s your chance to catch up on the week’s events, articles and project updates:

Thank you to everyone who contributed to calls, chats and articles this week - we’ll see you all on Monday. Have a great weekend!

Open Badges Community Call, February 11, 2015

Mozilla Open Badges Blog

Thu Feb 12 2015 16:48:09 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Agenda: http://bit.ly/CC15_Feb11

This week the team and community looked at the recent progress of the Standards Working Group, which has been focused on a variety of important issues, including an endorsement extensions proposal. The open badges community discussion on endorsement sparked a discussion around what kinds of issuing organizations, individuals and technical platforms will make use of endorsement. A number of community members indicated that their organizations will be interested in endorsement as a way to add value to badges in the ecosystem, including Nate Otto of the Oregon Badge Alliance

The endorsement issue also raises concerns within our existing community that giving organizations the ability to endorse badges will open the door for those already in power within education and workforce standards bodies to take control within the badging ecosystem. Both Serge Ravet and Carla Casilli commented on the difficulty of creating new environments for existing power structures and the importance of ensuring the ethos of the badging work is maintained moving forward.

To take a look at the endorsement extensions proposal, click the agenda link above or join the conversation in the Working Group at bit.ly/BA-Standard-WG

Thank you to those who participated on this week’s call. Join us next Wednesday at 12pm ET to learn more about our community’s badging projects and share updates from your own.

"What badges can do is provide an avenue to create the next generation of assessments."

Erin Knight

Mon Feb 09 2015 22:43:15 GMT+0000 (UTC)

“What badges can do is provide an avenue to create the next generation of assessments.””

- http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2015/02/011.html#sthash.mQFKUiiY.dpuf

Webinar: Digital Badges to curate, credential and carry forward...

Mozilla Open Badges Blog

Mon Feb 09 2015 10:00:46 GMT+0000 (UTC)



Webinar: Digital Badges to curate, credential and carry forward digital learning evidence

In case you missed the February 4th webinar hosted by Transforming Assessment, here is the recording of David Gibson (Curtin University, Australia) and Kate Coleman (Deakin University, Australia) discussing badges for recognition and motivation within higher learning environments.

Badger Beats: The Week In Review [75]

Mozilla Open Badges Blog

Fri Feb 06 2015 13:32:00 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Welcome to the Badger Beats, your weekly summary of the news, project updates and events happening in the open badges universe.

Here’s what we got up to this week:

What a jam-packed week!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the community call and online discussions - we look forward to another productive and badgeriffic week with you all. Have a great weekend!

Opportunity for UK-based badgers [DEADLINE TODAY, FRIDAY 6 FEB.]

Jorum are currently investigating the implementation of Open Badges with the depositing, repurposing and remixing of OERs and are forming a focus group of representatives from further education and skills sectors in the UK. 

Get in touch with the organizers here.

Chris Berdik | What can we learn from the badging movement?

Mozilla Open Badges Blog

Fri Feb 06 2015 13:04:51 GMT+0000 (UTC)

The following is an excerpt from a thoughtful column by Chris Berdik, recently published by the Hechinger Report (bold = our emphasis). 

Read the piece in full here.

**********************************************************************************

While the badge universe has grown exponentially — about 300,000 badges have been issued using an open-sourced software developed by Mozilla, one of MacArthur’s partners in the “Badge Alliance” — those first 30 pilot projects [from the 2012 DML Competition] are the most thoroughly scrutinized badges around. Their fates will be instructive. As this ambitious, multi-million effort draws to a close, I spoke to researchers who have followed it from day one. Those conversations suggest that badges will need at least two essential ingredients if they are to be more than a gold star sticker for the digital age — rigor and relationships.

“Badges are like a new currency,” says Sheryl Grant, director of badge research for the academic consortium known as HASTAC (the Humanities, Arts, Technology and Science Alliance and Collaboratory), another Badge Alliance partner, and the one that administered the pilot competition. “Currencies depend on a collective belief that something has value.”

And that value cannot be from mere participation, says Daniel Hickey, an education professor at Indiana University who tracked the badge pilots. For badges to be meaningful, they need to make specific claims about the learning they represent and link to evidence that backs them up. Some pilot programs, he says, took a year or more just to figure out what they wanted their badges to say.

“They had never thought, specifically, about what learning they provided,” Hickey says. What’s more, Hickey adds, badges should go beyond what’s already covered by grades, tests, blue ribbons or other marks of distinction. For example, finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search, a rigorous and prestigious high-school science competition, win thousands of dollars and a week in Washington, D.C., where they meet dignitaries and present their research to top scientists. In 2012, when the competition gave finalists digital badges as well, few bothered to claim them.

So the competition added badges for research papers judged to be college-level, and “initiative” badges, for students who had overcome hurdles such as a lack of advanced science courses or lab space in their schools. In 2014, 39 percent of the finalists claimed their badges, but the claim rates for research and initiative badges were 51 and 59 percent, respectively.

Ideally, of course, a badge won’t mean something just to the earner. It will also impress college admissions officials or potential employers. By that measure, badges have a long way to go. None of the college accreditation agencies yet recognize badges as course credit. While several universities award digital badges in select courses, most are still “considering” whether to work them into the admissions process. Most online human resources platforms can’t process them. People do post badges to their LinkedIn profiles, but it’s not common enough to track, says a spokesperson for the company — whose business depends on tracking everything subscribers do.

That brings us to the second key ingredient for badge value: relationships. Simply put, most badges will only be valued by organizations that already know and trust the issuer or that had a hand in developing them. The rigor behind a badge rarely speaks for itself.

Just ask Hillary Salmons, executive director of the Providence After-School Alliance (PASA), which offers workshops in subjects ranging from debate to dance to designing smartphone apps. When PASA started digital badges, students could find no use for them, so PASA dropped them after two years. Now PASA is planning to re-launch badges this spring.

This time, Salmons says, PASA is reaching out to local business and universities to find out how badges can be useful to them. “We’re asking them, do these skills we plan to measure seem right to you. Do you value them?”

Open Badges Community Call, February 4, 2015

Mozilla Open Badges Blog

Thu Feb 05 2015 14:07:16 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Agenda: http://bit.ly/CC15_Feb4

We were joined by two new community members this week: Russell Okamoto of Cel.ly, where they have been developing a mobile app for showcasing badges via GPS, built with OBI compatibility in mind:

"We have built a digital badge app that lets you "carry" and "beacon out" your badges to people around you. You can also slap your badges like stickers anywhere you go sort of like digital graffiti. We think this app would be great for edtech badges to let people showcase their credentials. if you want to try it please let me know. The app is called Wave. We think for professional development, Wave might be a good way to advertise what interests and skills people have as they move around at events or in daily life.”

We were also joined for the first time by Bohdan Andriyiv, founder of ThankOut.com, where users can send thanks to others as recommendations and endorsements. Welcome, newcomers!

The Standards Working Group has been moving forward with numerous extension proposals - read more and contribute to the discussions on Endorsement and Identity in the mailing list. We’ll be hearing more from Working Group members next week, so join us next week if you’d like to hear more about what they’re working on.

This week we asked those who attended the Digital Promise Educator and Workforce Micro-credentials Summit on January 30 to join us and share their thoughts on the conversations and presentations they participated in during the Summit, which brought together around 100 teachers, administrators, entrepreneurs and non-profit representatives to discuss the value of micro-credentials for professional development. It was a small summit full of intense conversations, according to Carla Casilli, who said the term ”micro-credentials” was a “door-opener” that opened up conversations about badges to an audience of teachers discussing professional development credentials. Accreditrust’s Mary Bold said there were quite a few attendees starting from the beginning with badges and micro-credentials, using the phrase “eternal September” to describe the rolling on-boarding of those new to the badging conversation. Mary also noted the summit was largely California-centric, and spoke to the need for more global connections in the coming months, when asynchronous collaboration will become increasingly important. Nate Otto said there were lots of questions and conversations about how “recognizers of micro-credentials” (consumers of badges) can determine whether to trust or value certain badges and “convert them into opportunities for earners.”

A few people have written about the summit already:

If you attended the summit, share your thoughts on Twitter with the #openbadges and #MC4PD hashtags.

See you all next Wednesday for a deep dive on the Standards extensions work and more community updates!

Open Badges in Higher Education project is seeking collaborators

Mozilla Open Badges Blog

Thu Feb 05 2015 12:25:18 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Indiana University’s Dan Hickey is looking for new platforms and partners for his latest project, Open Badges in Open edX and Beyond:

"my team is funded for two years to support people who are getting innovative badge systems operational in higher education. We can offer quite a bit in terms of getting systems up and running, and documenting progress and projects in our open case library. The official name of this new project is Open Badges in Open edX and Beyond. Now that we have succeeding in getting open badges up and running in Open edX, we are looking for new collaborators and new platforms. We now know our way around Open edX, Canvas, and Google CourseBuilder, and are quickly expanding beyond that.

Get in touch with Dan or his research associate James Willis to discuss your projects - even if you don’t need help, your work may be included in the open case library the team is building.

Email Dan: dthickey@indiana.edu 

Email James: jaedwill@indiana.edu

Badger Beats: The Week In Review [74]

Mozilla Open Badges Blog

Fri Jan 30 2015 17:13:08 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Happy Friday, badgers! Here’s the rundown of what happened this week:

The Digital Promise Micro-credential Summit is happening right now in Redwood City, CA, which we’ll hear more about on next week’s community call. Follow @DigitalPromise for ongoing updates, and take a look at this neat vine which captures some of the discussion topics below:

Open Badges Community Call, Jan. 28, 2015

Mozilla Open Badges Blog

Fri Jan 30 2015 09:21:00 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Audio: http://bit.ly/CC_Jan28_audio

Agenda: http://bit.ly/CC_Jan28

This week we met a new community member, Angela Fulcher, who is looking into options for developing a badge system for Harlem schools and is based at Columbia University. We also heard from longtime badgers Serge Ravet, who has made some updates to the Badge Europe site, and Nate Otto, who dialed in from the Digital Promise Micro-credential Summit (more on that next week). 

Our main presentation this week was from Ian O’Byrne, who spoke to the group about the work the Badge Alliance Working Group on Digital and Web Literacies did during Cycle 1 in 2014. This group used Mozilla’s Web Literacy Map as a starting point for drafting recommendations for creating a privacy badge pathway. The Web Literacy community has spent the last two years scripting out the Web Literacy pathways and really think about what it means to be a web-literate individual. The goal of Cycle 1 of the Badge Alliance Working Group was to aim for a descriptive approach, avoiding being prescriptive about what these literacies should be. They began developing pathways, trying to be transparent about the individual skills/competencies incorporated, and what they would look like with badges built around them. The result was this paper: “Considerations when creating a ‘Privacy’ badge pathway.”

The discussion that followed touched on endorsement, federated badge systems, and badge currency, which the open badges community has been grappling with on the mailing list. Carla Casilli suggested this work might be a good use case for endorsement, with the Web Literacy community endorsing badges that align with the mapped pathways developed in recent years. James Willis argued that a certain degree of generalization is important in work this like, to increase accessibility for those who are new to the concept. As organizations start to explore badges, they look for use cases to find out what worked and what didn’t. Being able to generalize these lessons learned makes them more easily applicable to new members of the badge issuing community.

Meredith Summs from MOUSE shared this fun ‘privacy’ activity for youth on Mozilla Webmaker, focusing on users choosing privacy levels based on which digital identities it relates to. Check it out here.

What a great call this week - thank you to those who participated. Join us next Wednesday at 12pm ET to learn more about our community’s badging projects and share updates from your own.

Erin Knight | Emerging Themes & Approaches for 2015

Mozilla Open Badges Blog

Tue Jan 27 2015 16:29:40 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Read the original post here.

**********************************************************************************

Welcome to a new year of badging! In my last post, I detailed issues and topics that I think need to be a priority this year, and this one builds on that focusing more on new approaches for this year and beyond…

It’s hard to believe that January is almost over, but I’ve been impressed and excited by the energy and excitement that folks have had in just these first few weeks of the new year. Last week I attended an event at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston exploring ‘soft skill’ badges for Workforce in the Boston area and beyond. And Digital Promise is hosting an event this week in Redwood City to also dig into badges for Workforce, as well as Educators. It’s so fantastic and inspiring to see the initiative from the network organizations and these types of meetings occurring. 

In general, I think there are some important themes around new approaches already emerging this year:

1) Empowered network and distributed leadership - We are seeing increased initiative and leadership from across the network, where organizations are driving key conversations, not waiting around for permission or for a centralized effort to kick it off, and organizing around specific goals. This is so exciting and will be critical to our success and scale as a network. Of course, it will be important to make sure that we’re ensuring findings and outcomes of these initiatives get fed back into the broader network as we go so that we’re minimizing duplication and learning from each other’s efforts. This is a clear area in which the BA can help.

2) Regional momentum Conversations, projects and leadership are starting to have a regional focus, which creates more awareness beyond the early-ish adopters and further builds the network, focuses and speeds up policy considerations and conversations, creates relevant and strong partnerships, and even opens up more opportunities for funding. We’ve already seen many examples of this emerging, including the Boston event I mentioned, work in Oregon, Pennsylvania and Maine, and much of the current interest globally. Perhaps the strongest role for a centralized BA is to create any necessary support structures for these regional ‘alliances’ and then work to connect key leaders or representatives across each to share experiences and leverage one another further. This won’t work for every issue and project out there, but I think is an obvious and needed piece of how we optimize our collaborative work and productivity and scale well.

3) Specific projects versus general conversation - As I’ve written before, last year was great for building foundations, but this year needs to be focused on delivering specific work and projects that provide models and examples to learn from and point to. The Boston event was positioned around not badges generally, but how we could use badges to support ‘soft’ skill development and communication for workforce. It was a specific set of problems, with the right partners at the table, and is exactly what we need to see more of this year.

4) Face-to-face events - We are a distributed network, and growing even more distributed as global interest takes off, and virtual meetings and methods will always be a critical part of how we interact. But we can’t also discount the value of being in the same room every now and then. I think face-to-face events will need to be an important part of our collective strategies. Ideally we have an opportunity to get together as a network at least once, with more regional or project-based meetings in the meantime. And again, a lot of those specific events are already underway in the first few weeks of 2015. More thoughts on this to come on this shortly, but expanding our toolkit for how we work together is definitely an important theme.

To get even more meta on you, the theme across these themes is one of decentralized work, initiative and progress, with a strong BA role in connecting those efforts and people. More to come in my next post.

Here’s to an exciting year. Looking forward to working with you (and maybe seeing you) soon!

-E

Emerging Themes / Approaches for 2015

Erin Knight

Mon Jan 26 2015 14:08:00 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Welcome to a new year of badging! In my last post, I detailed issues and topics that I think need to be a priority this year, and this one builds on that focusing more on new approaches for this year and beyond…

It’s hard to believe that January is almost over, but I’ve been impressed and excited by the energy and excitement that folks have had in just these first few weeks of the new year. Last week I attended an event at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston exploring ‘soft skill’ badges for Workforce in the Boston area and beyond. And Digital Promise is hosting an event this week in Redwood City to also dig into badges for Workforce, as well as Educators. It’s so fantastic and inspiring to see the initiative from the network organizations and these types of meetings occurring. 

In general, I think there are some important themes around new approaches already emerging this year:

1) Empowered network and distributed leadership - We are seeing increased initiative and leadership from across the network, where organizations are driving key conversations, not waiting around for permission or for a centralized effort to kick it off, and organizing around specific goals. This is so exciting and will be critical to our success and scale as a network. Of course, it will be important to make sure that we’re ensuring findings and outcomes of these initiatives get fed back into the broader network as we go so that we’re minimizing duplication and learning from each other’s efforts. This is a clear area in which the BA can help.

2) Regional momentum Conversations, projects and leadership are starting to have a regional focus, which creates more awareness beyond the early-ish adopters and further builds the network, focuses and speeds up policy considerations and conversations, creates relevant and strong partnerships, and even opens up more opportunities for funding. We’ve already seen many examples of this emerging, including the Boston event I mentioned, work in Oregon, Pennsylvania and Maine, and much of the current interest globally. Perhaps the strongest role for a centralized BA is to create any necessary support structures for these regional ‘alliances’ and then work to connect key leaders or representatives across each to share experiences and leverage one another further. This won’t work for every issue and project out there, but I think is an obvious and needed piece of how we optimize our collaborative work and productivity and scale well.

3) Specific projects versus general conversation - As I’ve written before, last year was great for building foundations, but this year needs to be focused on delivering specific work and projects that provide models and examples to learn from and point to. The Boston event was positioned around not badges generally, but how we could use badges to support ‘soft’ skill development and communication for workforce. It was a specific set of problems, with the right partners at the table, and is exactly what we need to see more of this year.

4) Face-to-face events - We are a distributed network, and growing even more distributed as global interest takes off, and virtual meetings and methods will always be a critical part of how we interact. But we can’t also discount the value of being in the same room every now and then. I think face-to-face events will need to be an important part of our collective strategies. Ideally we have an opportunity to get together as a network at least once, with more regional or project-based meetings in the meantime. And again, a lot of those specific events are already underway in the first few weeks of 2015. More thoughts on this to come on this shortly, but expanding our toolkit for how we work together is definitely an important theme.

To get even more meta on you, the theme across these themes is one of decentralized work, initiative and progress, with a strong BA role in connecting those efforts and people. More to come in my next post.

Here’s to an exciting year. Looking forward to working with you (and maybe seeing you) soon!

-E

Taken Charge Honored as First Online Game to Earn ISTE Seal of Alignment

Mozilla Open Badges Blog

Mon Jan 26 2015 10:59:39 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Taken Charge Honored as First Online Game to Earn ISTE Seal of Alignment:

This is a pretty big deal:

For the first time, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) has awarded a Seal of Alignment to an online educational game. Taken Charge, created by Galvanize Labs, focuses on helping students learn how to use technology and build foundational technology skills, and is recognized with a Seal of Alignment for “Readiness” for its contribution to building foundational technology skills needed to support the ISTE Standards for Students.

“To truly realize the power of technology to transform learning, it is crucial that students develop tech skills as well as the attributes of good digital citizens, outlined in the ISTE Standards. Taken Charge provides learners with an engaging and rewarding online environment that gets them ready to learn, create and thrive in a technology-infused world,” said Wendy Drexler, Ph.D., ISTE’s Chief Innovation Officer. “We are proud to award the first ISTE Seal of Alignment for an educational game to Taken Charge.”

We’re really excited to see educational games issuing digital badges for tech skills, and even more thrilled to see standards bodies recognizing those skills acquired through game-based learning.

Read the press release by clicking the link in the title, or find out more about the ISTE Seal of Alignment here: http://www.iste.org/standards/seal-of-alignment.

Badger Beats: The Week In Review [73]

Mozilla Open Badges Blog

Mon Jan 26 2015 10:49:00 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Welcome to the Badger Beats, your weekly summary of the badging projects, events and activities that happened over the past week:

  • On the Digital Me blog is a feature on BadgeLAB Leeds and one of the participating organizations, Buzz Creative Arts;
  • Over on the Yardstick blog, a piece on the benefits of digital badges looked at badge badge and impact as they launch their badges on their T2 LMS;

What a busy, productive week our community has had! We look forward to seeing what you all accomplish this year. See you on Monday, folks!

Open Badges Community Call, January 21, 2015

Mozilla Open Badges Blog

Fri Jan 23 2015 18:08:51 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Open Badges Community Call, January 21, 2015:

Agenda: http://bit.ly/CC_Jan21

This year it’s all about making these calls more about you, our wonderful community. With our revived “open mic” approach, everyone who wants to give updates on their badging projects can have time to share and gather feedback from their fellow badgers.

This week we were introduced to newcomer Keesa Johnson, an instructional designer who is working on creating a framework for open badges at Michigan State University based on the badge system developed at Seton Hall University. Welcome, Keesa! We hope to see you sharing more on a future call.

A question from another newcomer, IBM’s Laurie Miller, sparked an interesting discussion about badge value. This is a conversation that’s been ongoing since badges first started gaining traction, but has gotten more attention recently, with more people writing, writing (and writing!) about the potential and challenges of creating value around digital and open badges. We’ll be using one of the upcoming calls to dive deeper, so get your thinking (and writing) caps on!

Sunny Lee brought up a recent discussion thread from the community mailing list on badges and image / content licensing, raising the question of whether folks would be interested in digging into the points raised on a community call. Catch up with the thread here and stay tuned for more movement on that conversation.

Andrew Downes is working on a prototype for issuing open badges through the Tin Can API; follow the Gitter chat here: https://gitter.im/ht2/BadgesCoP. Nate Otto posted “minor updates” to the Badgr mobile apps for iOS and Android - if you find any bugs, report them to Nate directly via email. These updates should make them compatible with more issuers of open badges (how exciting!)

Speaking of exciting projects, Don Present is working on building a badge-enabled personal learning environment (PLE) for international humanitarian workers, starting with Doctors Without Borders. We definitely look forward to hearing more about this as it progresses - and if you’re going to the 2015 ePIC Conference in Barcelona in June, look out for Don’s presentation on this project.

We were also joined by more of our European friends, Nerijus Kriauciunas and Robertas Visinkis, who have developed BadgeCraft, which offers tools for organizations to design, manage and issue open badges. Their project made it through to the finals of hte DML Competition, and although voting has now ended, you can read more about their proposal here: http://bit.ly/DML_BadgeCraft

Thank you to everyone who participated this week - join us next Wednesday at 12pm ET to share and give feedback on more community badging projects!

The OBHE Project is Seeking Collaborators

Re-mediating Assessment

Tue Jan 20 2015 17:59:00 GMT+0000 (UTC)

By Daniel Hickey
I am on my way to the Summit for Online Leadership and Strategy in San Antonio.  This event is hosted by UPCEA (University Professional and Continuing Education Association) and the American Council on Education.  Lawrence Ragan is chairing a panel discussion on open digital badges.  Mike Palmquist from Colorado State and Jason Fish from Purdue are on the panel and that should be a big draw as they are doing really interesting stuff.

I was happy to be invited because I think that the Summit will be a good place to find potential collaborators for the new Open Badges in Higher Education project.  As I elaborate below, my team is funded for two years to support people who are getting innovative badge systems operational in higher education.  We can offer quite a bit in terms of getting systems up and running, and documenting progress and projects in our open case library.
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