Digital Badges for Learning I'm excited to be here to celebrate the launch of the 2011 competition, and its potential to propel a quantum leap forward in education reform. We're on the verge of harnessing education's power to unleash the full measure of human potential. I want to commend the MacArthur Foundation's thoughtful and forward-thinking approach to educational philanthropy. The MacArthur Foundation and its partners – Mozilla and HASTAC, hosted by Duke University and the University of California Humanities Research Institute – are working together to provide venture capital for technology innovations that can dramatically improve educational access and quality, in America and around the globe. This year's efforts will expand the hub of digital media projects and products, and the record of success begun in 2007. President Obama and I see building a world-class public education system as an economic, civic and social imperative. This administration has a systemic, cradle-to-career vision for reform.
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Colleges Use 'Digital Badges' to Replace Traditional Grading Published Online: June 13, 2012 Published in Print: June 13, 2012, as Lessons from Higher Education Features Alex Halavais is an associate professor of interactive communications at Quinnipiac University, in Hamden, Conn., where he teaches a master's program in interactive communications. After hearing about the digital-badge concept, he began using a system of badges instead of a traditional grading scale to evaluate his graduate students starting in the Spring of 2011. "I've been surprised by how effective they've been," he says. Part of what drew Halavais' interest to digital badges was the amount of data each badge contains. "It's an index of your learning biography," he says. And unlike an e-portfolio, badges generally represent one skill, making them easier for prospective employers to peruse, says Halavais. Mark Rossi is a graduate student at Quinnipiac who recently completed one of Halavais' courses using digital badges. Ronald D. "I'm not sure how that would work," he says.
competition winners will use Mozilla software to supercharge learning The Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition winners were announced yesterday at the Digital Media and Learning Conference in San Francisco. The winners—awarded grants ranging from $25,000 to $175,000 —will use Mozilla’s new free and open source “Open Badges” software to issue, manage and display digital badges for learning across the Web. The competition brought together Web developers, designers and technologists with educators, online learning innovators and collaborators that range from NASA, the U.S. Department of Education and the Girl Scouts of America to Intel, Disney-Pixar and Motorola. The goal: explore how digital badges can provide learners of all ages new ways to gain 21st century skills, harness the full educational power of the Internet, and unlock career and learning opportunities in the real world. Why digital badges for learning?
Expressive & Creative Interaction Technologies Center Drexel's Expressive and Creative Interaction Technologies (ExCITe) Center is a University-wide strategic initiative bringing together faculty, students, and entrepreneurs from engineering, fashion design, digital media, performing arts, computer and information science, product design, and many other fields to pursue highly multi-disciplinary collaborative projects. The research and education activities of the ExCITe Center emphasize the arts-integrated approach of STEAM* [vs. traditional STEM]. Additionally, ExCITe serves to connect knowledge and resources across Philadelphia through civic, arts and culture, and industry partnerships with other institutions and organizations in the region. The ExCITe Center is a street-level, highly visible space at the corner of Market and 34th Streets in University City. * STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Design, and Mathematics
World Wide Workshop Digital Badges For Learning in the Classroom and Beyond 6.20.12 | A pair of stories by Education Week reporter Katie Ash provides a big-picture overview of the pros and cons of digital badges and a close-up look at how badges are being used in a graduate course. Alex Halavais, who teaches a master’s program on interactive communications at Quinnipiac University, began implementing digital badges in place of a traditional grading scale last spring. The new system enables him—and his students’ prospective employers—to better gauge the specific skills his students master. “It’s an index of your learning biography,” Halavais told Education Week. In addition to substituting a certain number of badges for letter grades, Halavais also introduces a collaborative element. The badge system Halavais created relied on a peer-review process in which certain students who had achieved a certain level of badge could approve other students’ badges, says Rossi. Those concerns are not uncommon. – Connie Yowell, The MacArthur Foundation
Khan Academy: Learning Habits vs. Content Delivery in STEM Education Email Share March 20, 2012 - by Guest Author 0 Email Share Co-written by David Castillo and Peter McIntosh Most math education analyses in urban high school classrooms focus on delivery of content: What content to deliver, when to deliver it, how to explain it, what textbooks to use, how much home work to assign, and more. Improving content delivery helped, but not enough Oakland Unity High School is a four-year (grades 9-12) public charter high school located in the tough urban neighborhood of East Oakland. In the summer of 2010, we conducted a diagnostic test with all incoming freshman to evaluate basic algebra and arithmetic skills. The number of students scoring below basic (approximately score of 40 percent) decreased from 77 percent to 28 percent. By any reasonable criteria none of the answers to the old questions worked. Poor learning habits revealed the core problem We concluded that the real problem was making those poor habits an excuse for the wrong initiatives.
Neighborhow: from Code for America and the City of Philadelphia Augmented Stories Why Badges Work Better Than Grades When the distinguished visitor asked Tim, my very intelligent and media-savvy student, why he was taking my class "This Is Your Brain on the Internet," Tim answered, "Because it suddenly makes sense of all the things I like to do and that don't count anywhere else." He is on his way to a solid A in this peer-driven, peer-evaluated, media-heavy, and collaboratively organized class, but that grade does not begin to comprehend the leadership role he has assumed, the eloquence of his media skills, his dexterity at collaborative project management, or his innovative "fire starter" personality. I wish I could give him badges for all of these things! What are badges? Second, there is some equally visual symbolic representation of the knowledge, skill, goal, or feat for which the badge denotes mastery, accomplishment, service, or authority (such as when taking an oath to become a fire fighter). Fourth, the badge has to not just credentialize or certify learning but should also motivate it.