(screenshot from Peter Rawsthorne’s presentation)
During this two-week seminar we will explore digital badges from concept through to implementation. The seminar will focus on the possible pedagogies and technology required for implementing digital badges. We will also take a critical look at the current state of digital badges with discussion of the required and possible futures. If you have a few hours to read and discuss focused topics and participate in two mid-day webinars then please join is this lively learning experience focused on digital badges.
As well as the discussion forums there are two web conferences – the first took place last night. Details of the seminar and conferences can be found here – http://scope.bccampus.ca/mod/forum/view.php?id=9010
The seminar has been designed to be task driven and with the intention of awarding badges on completion, based on a 3 badge system design
- Learner badge – person introduces themselves to the group via the discussion forum and contributes to a couple of discussion threads. Mostly, they could be considered lurkers (much can be learned through lurking)
- Participant badge – person introduces themselves to the group via the discussion forum and actively contributes to 7 of the 12 primary discussion threads, also participates in one of the two lunch-and-learn sessions.
- Contributor badge – does everything the participant does with the addition of contributing;
- by designing badge images
- creating a badge system design for another curriculum
- blogs about their participation in this seminar series
- other creative endeavours regarding digital badges
The daily tasks that have been posted so far are
- Identify a merit badge you earned during your lifetim
- Describe how you displayed the merit badges
- Identify the digital and internet technologies best suited to create a digital merit badge
- Describe the technologies that could be used to attach (reference or link) the learning to the digital badge
- Identify the completion criteria for any badge you have earned (traditional or digital)
- Describe the hierarchy or network of badges
- Identify a variety of sites that issue badge
- Describe the skills, knowledge and curriculum the badges represent
Some sites that reference badges that have been mentioned in the forums…
- Khan Academy – http://www.khanacademy.org/badges
- FourSquare – http://www.4squarebadges.com/foursquare-badge-list/
- BadgeStack – http://badgestack.com/
- Mozilla Open Badges – http://openbadges.org
- Stackoverflow – http://stackoverflow.com/badges
- Wikipedia Barnstars – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Barnstars
- David Wiley – http://openeducation.us/
From the synchronous webinar last night Peter Rawsthorne made the point that there are 4-5 billion people on the planet who are not attending school. How will their achievements/accomplishments be recognized? I think the idea is that learning that happens outside traditional settings should be honoured and recognized.
(Screenshot from Peter Rawsthorne’s presentation)
At this point I feel a bit skeptical about the whole thing, but it is very early days. Three questions I have at this time are:
- Will badges promote quality learning or will they simply encourage people to ‘jump through hoops’?
For example – I notice in the discussion forums that there is in fact, very little discussion. The tasks are being completed but there is little discussion about them. Completing tasks does not necessarily lead to quality learning.
- Will badges be ‘recognised/valued’ by employers – will they need to be?
Verena Roberts in last night’s webinar wrote ‘Do badges need to lead to something, or identify a person’s passion?’ For me, I don’t need a badge to identify a personal passion, but I might need one for my CV, depending on the context and my personal circumstances.
- Will badges stifle creativity and emergent learning?
There has been discussion about how badges fit together and Gina Bennett (in the webinar) thought that the ‘Scouts’ have the badge thing really figured out. But for me that model is based on a very ‘linear’ way of thinking about learning, whereas research has shown that even small children (for example when learning mathematics), don’t learn in a linear way – they go backwards, forwards and sideways. Frogmarching children (and adults) through a curriculum has always been a problem for curriculum design and the award of badges based on a linear approach might just reinforce this.