Digital badges are the “connectors” in a connected learning environment, helping to create opportunities for youth to follow their passions through academic learning within a peer community. (Image inspired from a slide from the Reconnect Learning 2014 Open Badges Summit.)
From tuning into the livestream from the Summit, I had the opportunity to hear MacArthur Foundation’s Connie Yowell speak about the power of badge learning. She reminded us that digital badge learning is grounded in current research that portrays how youth interact with digital media. Principles of Connected Learning support youth in”hanging out,” “messing around,” and “geeking out” or (HOMAGO). Badges serve as feedback in the learning journey, mark milestones and provide multiple pathways. Powerful learner/mentor relationships are a cornerstone of the badge learning experience, where adults coach learners in their quests to learn. Badge learning supports multiple purposes, but the connected learning framework is at the heart of the design, which provides highly engaging, purposeful and accessible learning opportunities for youth. To explore some of the livestream sessions from the Summit , go to the Moziliarian Blog.
News on How Badge Learning is Scaling Nationally
A few weeks ago leaders at the Reconnect Learning 2014 Open Badges Summit shared exciting news and developments around advancing an open badges global ecosystem. Take a look at the Case Studies from the Reconnect Learning site to explore a variety of badge learning models and initiatives, as well as the Knowledge Bank to learn more about badge learning developments and trends in the field. Pearson, ETS, and edX are just a few organizations who are adopting the open badges standard. In addition, Mozilla launched Badgekit, an “out-of-the-box” tool to issue, create and assess badges, and Mozilla announced the formation of the Badge Alliance, a “network of organizations and individuals building and enhancing an open badges ecosystem”. (Learn more about the purpose of the Badge Alliance here.) And finally, take a look at the “2M Better Futures” site to learn about the campaign to scale up the open badges ecosystem to a national level, benefitting 1 million workers and 1 million students by 2016.
Setting Goals: Work plan, deadlines, monthly check-ins/webinars and ongoing coaching
Launching Badge Learning Programs
The Moriah School’s Badge Learning Advisory Team
Training Kicks Off Online First…
Schools enter the badge learning design program after an intensive professional development, badge-based course, “Digital Age Teaching.” The Digital Age Teaching course levels up the badge learning advisory teams’ skill sets in modern learning literacies; pedagogoical practices; and tools that naturally support learning in the Grades 5-8 classroom. Digital Age Teaching also provides an introduction to open badges, and a safe community of practice for educators to play, tinker and learn through new media. Through this immersive experience, teachers begin to understand the multiple layers and components that a badge learning experience might include. Read more
This guest post is by Elizabeth Ebersole, Language Arts Teacher, Seattle Hebrew Academy. She participated in this summer’s TAMRITZ badge-based professional development Digital Age Teaching course, which kicked off her synergy for transforming how learning happens in her classroom this year. In this post, she reflected at the start of the school year on how she plans on approaching learning with her students. Tweet Liz @LizTekkie to find out what has transpired in her classroom since this reflection.
In past years, I spent the first days/weeks of school talking about Learning Styles and Project-Based Learning. I would have my students take a Learning Styles Quiz on paper and then we would discuss the results and the project choices they would be able to make in order to show what they know. We would also set up their Readers’ Journals, which were marble composition books. I would distribute the workbooks we would use for Language Arts and the textbooks we would use for Social Studies. I would make copies of countless worksheets. I would introduce (or reintroduce) them to the “black bin” at the front of the room, which was the collection spot for all of their assignments. Read more
There is a great deal to consider when designing your own badge learning program and system. Here at TAMRITZ, we take these matters seriously, considering elements of instructional design, student agency over the learning, project-based learning, core content, elements of gamification, connected learning principles and digital media literacies.
Connected Learning TV is hosting a series of webinars on digital badge learning, and the latest from this series focuses on “Do It Yourself Badges.” Whether you are interested in exploring badge learning tools or just want to learn more about how badge learning works, approaches to design and lessons from the field, this webinar features multiple perspectives.
Here are some of the highlights from the webinar… Read more
This short video will help you wrap your head around the concept of open badges and badge-empowered learning. Imagine the possibilities for your own students and for demonstrating what learners know and can do!
“A Short Story About Open Badges” from the folks at Mozilla (3:39)