What are Badges/Micro Credits?

Badges are seen as a way to grant certification for informal learning in the form of micro-credits. A key aspect of gamification is to build in easy to reach incentives, and badges are a simple way to bring that idea to learning. The concept behind badging draws on longstanding ways learning has been documented in other settings, such as the personal skills and achievement when a Boy or Girl Scout earns a merit badge. The approach is being used in learning environments like the Khan Academy, with promising results. People watch videos on specific subjects and earn new badges by doing so. Mozilla has published an open specification for badging — the Open Badge Initiative (OBI) — that enables providers and users alike to easily display their achievements on the web. Badges can be used as a way to incorporate some of the advantages of game mechanics as participants work through various levels or stages to achieve credentials. While badges are not by any means pervasive in education systems, they appeal to many educators because they are considered to be more authentic signs of knowledge comprehension and skill acquisition than standard tests, grades, or course credits.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Not only are digital badges very effective in K-12 instruction (especially K-8, but even 9-12, but also for professional development)- shorr shorr Mar 31, 2016 - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 26, 2016
  • Digital badges and Micro-Credits can generate a mini-revolution in schooling and learning. We know that today the school is only one space for learning, the entire city can be learning spaces and digital badges is the best way to accumulate the learners' achievements. LRNG is the beginning (https://www.lrng.org/) and in the next few years we will see more and more Cities of Learning. - guyl guyl Apr 17, 2016

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Themes that are missing relate to the new learning spaces emerged in the last few years, which extend the learning environmemt outside school; also the abilty to learn 24/7 is crucial for this generation and need to elaborate more; lastly is the micro credit in teachers' PD which can personlized and really bring a dramatic change to the field. - guyl guyl Apr 17, 2016
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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • I dream of a district that would let me develop a badging system that replaced both automatic steps AND graduate-degree based pay raises through a series of microbadges, badges, and endorsements. Benefit to teachers: no more expensive grade school for raises, raises are free. Benefit to schools: teachers are learning what the district needs them to learn. Everyone hates this idea except me :) - shorr shorr Mar 31, 2016 Totally agree. We must change our mindset of what is learning today. - guyl guyl Apr 17, 2016
  • The potential is enormous. First, it will generate intrinsic motivation for learning as students will be able to choose what they wish to learn; second, it will enable schools to change the organization of learning and focus on collaborative work, team work, problem solving, decision making and on creativity; third, it will make learning anytime and anywhere for real. - guyl guyl Apr 17, 2016

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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