As John Seely Brown pointed out in his keynote at DML 2012, the lifetime of skills is getting shorter all the time. Rather than just recognizing skills, digital badges create new opportunities to come up with creative ways to support learners in reflecting on their learning experiences and planning new ones. Skills will become obsolete, but learning experiences will continue to be valuable. Digital badges can provide an open resource for collecting and sharing authentic work samples that demonstrate to employers the experiences and qualities that make an applicant a great hire. An ePortfolio for an engineering job that includes a video of the applicant at 14 years old presenting their science fair project could say much more than 1,000 words.
In the current version of the Mozilla Open Badge Infrastructure (OBI), the badge issuer is given full responsibility for hosting and managing: (1) the description of the badge and criteria for earning the badge and (2) the evidence with information about how the specific user earned the badge. I am concerned that this approach is going to weaken the usefulness of badges. A longer version of this post with ny reasons for concern and some ideas to add to the conversation are on this blog.
(sorry for not including the whole post here, but transferring the info was tricky)