Blog Post

Beginnings of a Badge Ecology

At the end of February, we hosted the Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition Finals at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco and hooowhee was it an extravaganza: 200+ people, 94 teams, 8 rooms of judges, and nearly 40,000 live animals gathered under one living roof. Those were extraordinary work conditions that produced 30 exceptional badge system proposals, a good reminder that transformation rarely looks familiar. It was a fascinating place to host a Competition (how often do you get a chance to ride in an elevator with a giraffe skull?) and what better place to seed a badge ecosystem than a museum filled with ecosystems. 

Coming soon: a longer blog post covering some of the highlights and badge conversations overhead during those two action-packed days and the following DML 2012 Conference, but for now, a quick peek at the collaborative work that Barry Joseph of Global Kids initiated: Towards A Comprehensive Understanding of Badging Systems | A Participatory Approach. Pasted below is Barry's intro, which links to the Google doc that others are adding to:


For over four years, Global Kids has developed badging systems within, after and outside of schools. We have followed with great enthusiasm as interest has grown over the past year in the development of badging systems across a wide range of formal and informal learning environments. We have also followed the rise of opposition, and sometimes confusion, about what digital badging looks like or are designed to accomplish.

As I and others participate in the 2012 Digital Media and Learning Conference, it strikes me that it might be useful to break out badges by the various interests aligning themselves with badges, or perhaps the different goals people have for them. I initiated this in the hopes that understanding the different ways people approach badges, the different frames people are using, will help us develop a more comprehensive and informed understanding of our emerging badging ecology. It might turn out that the frames are not mutually exclusive nor is it useful to draw hard lines around them; please view these less as categories then different angles for looking at the same thing.

This is a work in progress. It is subtitled a participatory work-in-progress. As you read below, please add comments that correct facts, clarify idea, and contribute missing information. As such, the final language here will be developed in collaboration between myself and the readers.




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