Digital Media & Learning Competition 4

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Over 30 innovative badge systems and 10 research studies received over $5 million in funding between 2012 and 2013 as part of the Badges for Lifelong Learning initiative, the fourth Digital Media and Learning Competition. 

The fourth Competition (2011-2013), the Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition, was supported by the MacArthur Foundation and invited individuals and organizations to create badges—digital tools that identify and validate the rich array of skills, knowledge, accomplishments, and competencies for 21st-Century learners. The Competition, held in collaboration with the Mozilla Foundation, awarded grants ranging from $25,000 to $175,000 to 30 project teams.*

Badging systems were developed not only for learning content but also for teacher learning and feedback. The four winners of the Teacher and Project Mastery Competition, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, were granted awards of varying amounts to develop their proposed badging systems.

There were also two research competitions:

Badges, Trophies, and Achievements: Recognition and Accreditation for Informal and Interest-Driven Learning” was supported by the MacArthur Foundation and awarded research funds to support the gathering and reporting of findings on novel and effective ways to assess learning practices, especially learning facilitated by digital media.

The “Digital Media & Learning Research Competition in Badging and Badge Systems Development” was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and supported research that informs and furthers the design, development, and deployment of digital badges and badge systems.

*Awards based on amount requested.

Learn more about digital badges.


Read badge project Q&A's for insights and lessons learned.


Selected Winning Projects

The Disney-Pixar Wilderness Explorers badging system engages youth in nature-based explorations, offering them a way to learn about and become...
Sweet Water Foundation aims to expand and deepen the impact of aquaponics and urban agriculture as a learning method by creating a replicable model...
Young Adult Library Services Association’s (YALSA) badges program will fill a knowledge gap in the profession. Recent studies from the MacArthur...
Asia Society is creating a badge system that progressively denotes globally competent youth leadership. Global competence is the capacity and...

Recent Posts

Curate, Credential and Carry Forward Digital Learning Evidence & Digital Badges: National Forum, November 13, 2014

November 13 2014
Colleagues in Australia are hosting an exciting forum about badges in higher ed, and educators are invited to follow along during the broadcast. Please check here to convert and confirm time zones for Melbourne, Australia for this event. Information about registration is located below. Mozilla's...
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