Digital Badges

“Wow! Do you have homework too?” asked Sprite. “I thought there wouldn’t be any more homework when you grew up and finished with school”

Sprite is a 2E Twice Exceptional student – she is exceptionally gifted but with learning differences and disabilities which make it hard for her to demonstrate her knowledge and make her studies an exhausting experience for her.
She has a great thirst for knowledge and gathers so much by osmosis and intuition. She loves doing the research but hates writing the essay about it!
And she really hates doing homework! She tries pushing her homework sheets or her computer mouse into the mouse house, convoluted arguments about when the work is due and creative minimalization to get out of doing her homework.

“You don’t stop learning when you leave school” I said “I enjoy attending lectures and webinars and online courses and some of them involve homework. (If you click on the picture you can see an enlargement and read what my homework entails.)
And school is not the only place for you to learn – often you can gain knowledge and learn skills through experience and by contact with wise people.
In this course I am learning about digital badges and how they can be used to accredit and acknowledge learning and experience which might not be part of a regular school curriculum.

It is a two week course Digital Badges with Peter Rawsthorne
The Course overview is found at

http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/User:Peterrawsthorne/PhD/DigitalBadges#Digital_Badges

And there are forums at http://scope.bccampus.ca/mod/forum/view.php?id=9010

There is a Twitter hashtag for discussion at #digitalbadges

Of course the five over excitable Dabrowski Dogs had gathered around to listen to and comment on our conversation.

“I’m very proud of the blue ribbon I won for Dog with the Most Expressive Face!” said Emotional.

“That is an example of a real world badge” I said “We did discuss those as an introduction. But the main emphasis of the course will be on Digital Badges and how to earn them and how to create them.”

“If I book for my Paws for Poise cyber dog grooming parlour appointment online I get a badge after each visit and when I have had five appointments I get a free Lavender Lathers treatment” said Sensual “Is that the sort of thing you mean?”

“And you can go places and record it on Foursquare with your mobile phone and you can get free cups of coffee or become the mayor of the place!” chimed in Psycho Motor between bounces.

Predictably Intellectual was not very impressed with those suggestions.
“More to the point you can earn badges for studying subjects with Purdue University http://www.itap.purdue.edu/studio/passport/   http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2012/Q3/digital-badges-show-students-skills-along-with-degree.html
or Khan Academy http://www.khanacademy.org/badges
or by contributing to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Wikipedia_Awards

Have a look at
Mozilla Open badges http://openbadges.org/en-US/faq.html
Badgestack http://badgestack.com/
http://stackoverflow.com/badges
You can create a collection of your badges which you can then use in your resume or e-portfolio or on your blog.
You can also read about it at Sandbox http://wiki.ubc.ca/Sandbox:Badges
and at Google Groups Open Badges forum https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/openbadges

“I am hoping to earn some badges by participating in this course and completing the exercises and writing blog posts about it” I said.

Imaginational was quick to see the value of the digital badges and the possibility for receiving credit for studies and experiences not usually part of a regular school curriculum.
“Sprite could get credit for her astronomy experiences and study which she could include in an e-portfolio or resume and could help her get into a course or even help her get a job later.”

“Yes, but what about the things I do that nobody would think of as a subject?” asked Sprite “Could I get a badge for organising marches or for giving lectures about De Bono’s 6 Action shoes?”

“I guess we will find out next week during the second webinar” I said.

“Well you need to go and try to get some badges and write up the experience and write about the data structure of the badge and whether it is in an hierarchy” barked Intellectual ” What you have written so far is all very nice but it doesn’t really fit the exercise criteria as set!”

3 thoughts on “Digital Badges

  1. Thanks for this fun and creative post 🙂

    You have written

    Imaginational was quick to see the value of the digital badges and the possibility for receiving credit for studies and experiences not usually part of a regular school curriculum.
    “Sprite could get credit for her astronomy experiences and study which she could include in an e-portfolio or resume and could help her get into a course or even help her get a job later.”

    The problem is that the ‘credit’ has to be valued by the ‘powers that be’ if it is going to be worth anything. Here in the UK (how does it work in Australia?) credit is very carefully caculated and awarded according to the number of hours of study and the associated assessment. I’m talking about Higher Education here.

    Whilst my Brownie and Guide badges were valuable to get me into University (they proved I had other interests), they have been of no use since.

    I suppose it all depends on what these badges will be awarded for and who will value them.

    Jenny 🙂

    • That is so true, Jenny!
      And even getting recognition of prior learning can be very difficult if courses have changed in the interim.
      I guess we will find out more as the course unfolds but certainly the badges would have to be able to be linked to real demonstrated mastery and issued by a respected organisation if they were to be used for resumes.
      I intend to do a couple more posts about this – the Tweet family who are doing NEST Ed are going to look into the possibility of using a badge system.
      Oh and I have to point out that Imaginational Dabrowski is an optimistic future thinker and sometimes at odds with Intellectual Dabrowski who likes to stay with the facts all correctly spelled and referenced!
      eg the whole incident of the Tree Octopus

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