“I see you are writing a blog post about Digital Badges for your homework assignment” said the Origami Secretary Bird, popping up like the Help File Paper Clip. “Would you like assistance from me?”
Just to see what would happen I answered “Tell me what I am required to do’’
“To answer Part 1: You are required to earn digital badges from at least two sources and write a blog post which critically evaluates the experience” replied the Origami Secretary Bird.
As part of the two week Digital Badges course with Peter Rawsthorne
overview at http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/User:Peterrawsthorne/PhD/DigitalBadges#Digital_Badges and forums at http://scope.bccampus.ca/mod/forum/view.php?id=9010
I completed activities to earn badges on Khan Academy http://www.khanacademy.org/ and Open Badges http://openbadges.org/en-US/faq.html
The badges earned at Khan Academy were all Meteorite badges which are common badges, easy to earn when just getting started. They were gained in the Drawing section in the subject area of Computer Science. Their titles were Mad Scientist, CS Scholar and Tinkerer. The CS Scholar was gained simply by watching the tutorial video and the Tinkerer by altering some code as directed. Gaining the badge was announced by the appearance of a pop-up message and the badges were delivered to my Achievements page without me having to do it. I enjoyed using Khan Academy and will probably return for more learning opportunities as time permits.
Earning the first badge Badges 101 at Mozilla Open Badges was easy – only a matter of answering True or False to three questions – but I had difficulty in transferring the badge to the Mozilla backpack. After trying numerous times and receiving error messages I tried using Firefox rather than Internet Explorer and was successful.
I then gained the Open Badges Hackasaurus badge also. I nearly did not attempt this badge, as when I moused over the link on the word ‘address’ in ‘change your address here’ it appeared to lead to a site which could have caused problems. However after rereading the instructions I just added the words to the address bar and it worked for me. During this challenge there were pop up box rewards for each task incorporated in gaining the badge.
The next part of the course entailed designing, creating and issuing badges.
I decided to create a set of badges for my 10 week Church School program Bird Watching with Biblical Binoculars http://jofrei.edublogs.org/
The program was conducted face to face but using Internet programs. We had hoped to connect with a group from Queensland; however the aftermath of the floods prevented that from happening.
This program was discussed during one of Jo Hart’s Edublogs Fine Focus webinars at http://johart1.edublogs.org/2012/02/29/edublogs-webinar-overview-birdwatching-with-biblical-binoculars/
I created a set of 10 attendance badges using Badg.us http://badg.us/en-US/ – one for each week. At this stage I have not made the attendance badges available for others to nominate themselves for – as it related to IRL attendance. However this did lead me to think that maybe the program could be extended to online without the face to face contact and, if that happened, it would be easy enough to edit the badge accordingly.
I also created a set of Biblical Binoculars Badges which were to certify that the recipient had completed the Bible reference chart activity at the given Blog URL. I left this section open for others to nominate for this badge but at the moment I would not be able to verify that they had actually done the task.
I need to learn a way of stating in the criteria that they must e-mail the answers to me in order to receive the badge.
To design my badges I used clip art pictures available in PowerPoint of a sparrow and a pair of binoculars and adapted them using Paint and then saved them as png files. The sparrow which I used on the attendance badges was the image which represented the Bird watching with Biblical Binoculars program and the image of the binoculars which was included on the Bible reference badges was part of the Biblical binoculars chart.
Some of the traditional badge systems, such as the martial arts belt levels, have a single low level entry badge and badges are awarded sequentially as the skill level of the candidate increases until the ultimate level is reached.
Other traditional badge systems such as the scouting organisations’ badges have multiple starting levels and the badges can be gained in the order desired by the candidate. However some of the badges are at a higher level than others and can only be attained if particular lower level badges have already been gained.
In a similar way some of the digital badge systems are arranged in a linear progression manner with a single low level of entry and sequential task badges leading to a final badge and other systems are more like the scouting model and badges can be attained in many different areas without a rigid predetermined order.
At present the Bird watching with Biblical binoculars badges reward attendance and completion of specific tasks. I would like to design an overall badge for completion of the program but have not yet determined what the criteria for the badge would be.
I notice that the Tweet family have also started to earn some badges Tweetelle has gained the Mona Tweeter badge for painting and Tweetil has gained the Smelly Science badge.