San Francisco— March 1
The Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition winners were announced March 1 at the Digital Media and Learning Conference. The competition links designers, entrepreneurs, technologists and educators with leading business and industry organizations to build digital badge systems and explore the ways badges can be used to help people learn, demonstrate skills and knowledge, and unlock job, educational and civic opportunities.
The competition is held in collaboration with Mozilla and is part of the 4th Digital Media and Learning Competition supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and administered by HASTAC.
Badges are a simple, visible representation of accomplishment that can be earned through a variety of formal and informal learning environments. They can present a more nuanced picture of what an individual knows and can do. These competencies can then be demonstrated and marketed to employers, academic institutions and peer communities.
The winners — awarded grants ranging from $25,000 to $175,000 — demonstrate the wide range of approaches to, and uses for, digital badges and badge systems. They illustrate the potential of new technologies to improve academic achievement, economic opportunity and civic engagement. Thirty winners were selected from a pool of 91 finalists.
• The Disney-Pixar Wilderness Explorers Badge System engages youth in nature-based explorations, offering them a way to learn about and become advocates for wildlife and wild places.
• The Manufacturing Institute’s National Manufacturing Badge System will recognize the wide range of skills, competencies and achievements that students and workers need to be competitive in today’s Advanced Manufacturing workplace.
• NASA’s Robotics and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) System will engage learners in exploring new STEM topics and will create a unique collection of digital badges for learners of all ages.
• The Young Adult Library Services Association’s Badge Program will help librarians develop the skills and knowledge they need in order to meet the needs of 21st Century teens.
To accelerate and support the creation of a badge ecosystem, Mozilla is currently developing an open source platform that will offer a “digital badge backpack” for learners to collect and display their badge credentials from youth through adulthood. The platform, called the Open Badge Infrastructure, was inaugurated in September to coincide with the competition’s launch.
In conjunction with the Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition, Badges for Vets — sponsored jointly by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Departments of Education, Energy and Labor — awards were granted to three badge systems that aim to help veterans translate their military skills into civilian jobs or to receive advance credit in higher education.
Applicants were also invited to propose badging systems not only for learning content, but also for teacher learning and feedback. The four winners of the Teacher and Project Mastery Competitions, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, were granted awards of varying amounts to develop their proposed badging system.
This announcement concludes the final stage in the three-stage competition. The badge systems awarded were judged on their overall technical and pedagogical quality, the effectiveness of the badges’ assessment process, the system’s aesthetic and design quality and the likelihood of acceptance and adoption by learners, institutions, employers and the general public.
Winners will have one year to complete their work. Throughout the year, awardees and other applicants will receive ongoing support and training and will work together to form a robust community that will focus on developing and testing a thriving badge ecosystem.
Source: the MacArthur FoundationFiled under: Learning Delivery