Digital Badges

All About That Badge

Monday, October 27, 2014 Comment 5 badges illustration triangles representing hands school magnifying glass space computers

I often hear people say, “It’s not about the badge. It’s about the learning.” Well, yes. It is always good to bring the focus back to what we value. But, what if it really is about the badge? What if, by insisting on the learning, we miss something even more social, more fundamental than what is being learned. Before I get booed off the stage for saying this, let me explain. In 2013, each of the 30 Badges for Lifelong Learning projects responded to a series of questions about their first year of badge system design.

Badges Series, Part 4: The Emergence of the BadgeAlliance

Thursday, July 03, 2014 Comment female student smiling working at computer in classroom

Do you think you can pass the supreme BadgeGeek test? If so, good luck. Your challenge: make it through this interview. To appease my inner BadgeGeek, I reached out to Erin Knight, executive director of the Badge Alliance. To conclude my four-part DMLcentral series on badges, I needed her help. I wanted to gain a better understanding into her fascinating new organization but, more importantly, how it might just have solved a major problem with badge design I explored in my last post: the conflict between local versus network-wide badges. (Note: this is an abridged version

Badges For Learning Series, Part 3: A Case Against Standardized Badges

Thursday, June 05, 2014 Comment group of students working together on ipad in classroom

In my first two posts in this series (“My Beef With Badges” and “Getting the Full Picture”), I called on the emerging badging community to stop conflating our aspirations with our achievements and then modeled one way to share a more accurate picture of the challenges we all face. In this post, I would like to address my challenges with a vision often shared for digital badges, namely the creation of a broad badging ecosystem. Amongst those like me who aspire to see the flourishing of robust badging systems, to capture and reflect the rich learning

Why I Still Believe in Badges

Monday, March 31, 2014 Comment picture of stop sign with graffiti saying don't stop

“Badges are plots by for-profit institutions to disrupt state-funded higher education. It’s all about money and trying to turn a public good into a privatized for-profit revenue stream. You need to get your critical theory books out and read Marx.” — Anonymous philosophy professor   I have sympathy for those who see certain developments in technology as being fueled by dark, hidden forces aiming at nothing less than to overturn life as we know it. We certainly need to be cognisant of those seeking to enclose public good for private profit, and never more so than

My Beef With Badges

Thursday, March 13, 2014 Comment barry-blog-photo.jpg

Don’t get me wrong. I love badges, digital badges for learning. And I don’t mean just for some hoped-for potential to transform the learning landscape. I mean I love them for what I’ve seen them actually achieve: new literacies amongst youth to describe their learning within a Brooklyn after-school program; new motivation within an Atlanta private school; pride in portfolios within a Bronx library; a new understanding of how to use learning technology in a New Orleans day school; the emergence of formative assessment within a New York museum. I am informed by the theoretical but

On Digital Badging, Edge Work, 12 Lessons After 12 Years

Thursday, December 06, 2012 Comment 4 black students working on an ipad outside

For two years I have worked with my team at Global Kids to highlight some of the best online resources that inspire digital media and learning projects. It has been some time, however, since I made a new post. I am excited to share the reason why: I am now working at the American Museum of Natural History as the new Associate Director For Digital Learning, focusing on on-site, youth-oriented programs. I look forward to shifting the focus of these posts to highlight the most inspiring online resources I can find about digital media and museum-based

Can Badging Be the Zipcar of Testing and Assessment?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 Comment drawing of lightbulbs on craft paper

I’m excited that next week the judges will be listening to the “pitches” and then determining the winners of the Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition.  Immediately after, will be the opening of what promises to be the best Digital Media and Learning Conference yet, “Beyond Educational Technology: Learning Innovations in a Connected World” (to be held in San Francisco, March 1-3, 2012).  I’m thrilled about both of these showcases for new learning innovation.  But I have a confession to make: when I first began learning about badges, I was skeptical.  I was afraid that, rather than

On Digital Badges, Participatory Learning, Flipped Classrooms

Friday, February 17, 2012 Comment 5 students working on laptops together in classroom

If you read this blog, you have undoubtedly heard about the new interest in digital badging systems. The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Chronicle of Higher Education have all covered the topic in recent weeks (and most more than once). But to prepare for the level of attention sure to ratchet up come March, when HASTAC announces the winners of the $2M “badges for lifelong learning” grants, we thought it worth taking a look back at the talk that launched a thousand badges: Eva L. Baker’s “The End(s) of Testing.” Back in