Mozilla is seeking designers and developers to participate in the $2 million “Badges for Learning” competition. Participants will have the chance to design digital badges for more than 60 different leading organizations, all aimed at providing recognition for learning that happens on the web or outside of school.
Winners will receive funding from the MacArthur Foundation to make their designs a reality, plus the opportunity to collaborate with Mozilla and other leading organizations in education, industry and government.
The goal: supercharge 21st century learning by building a free, open source badge system that helps people around the world use the web to gain new skills and level up in their life and work.
Why digital badges for learning?
The web provides revolutionary new ways for people to learn, but it’s often difficult to get recognition for learning that happens outside of school.
Mozilla’s Open Badges project aims to help solve this problem, providing software that makes it easy for any organization to award digital badges for learning and achievements that happen online, outside the classroom, or just about anywhere.
Organized by the MacArthur Foundation and HASTAC, the “Badges for Learning” competition provides an ideal opportunity to test this software and approach in the wild, gathering leading organizations, designers and technologists to build badge systems together, all using Mozilla’s free and open source Open Badges Infrastructure.
From robotics and digital literacy to botany and the environment
As part of the competition, more than 60 badges for learning projects are now open for your design and technical ideas on the competition web site. For example:
- NASA is seeking design and web development expertise for its new “NASA Robotics Badges.”
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wants help with “Planet Stewards” badges that drive youth awareness around local environmental issues.
- The National Association of Manufacturers will issue badges to help learners gain the skills they need to find jobs in today’s high-tech workplace.
- Disney-Pixar is creating “Wilderness Explorers” badges that help youth become advocates for wildlife and nature-based exploration.
- The American Museum of Natural History will offer badges for science literacy.
- 4-H will award badges for youth around science, engineering, technology and applied math.
- Plus many, many more badge projects on the competition web site, all seeking design and web development expertise.
Who should enter?
Anyone with an interest in design. Graphic designers, web designers, product or industrial designers, educational technologists, digital humanities majors. What’s important at this stage of the competition is visual and conceptual creativity.
All of the badge projects will ultimately plug into Mozilla’s Open Badges Infrastructure, but it’s not necessary to possess the technical chops to implement at this stage.
All you need is to provide some early visual designs, plus a written description of how your badges will help participating organizations meet their requirements. Visual representations can include a video, diagram, screenshots, napkin sketches or anything that helps get your ideas across. (See the competition web site for complete details.)
How to get involved
- Choose a badge project from this list on the competition web site. (These are “Stage 1″ winners and collaborators seeking your ideas for the “Stage 2″ design and tech portion of the competition.)
- Then submit your proposal here, with early visual ideas and a written description of how you’d tackle it.
You’re free to enter as many proposals as you’d like — but act quickly. The deadline for submissions is January 17, 2012. Winners will be announced March 2, 2012. Good luck!