Digital Badges

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What are Digital Badges?

Digital Badges allow us to:

  1. Get recognition for skills learned in a wide variety of settings, including afterschool and summer learning programs. 
  2. Collect badges from multiple sources and display their skills & achievements in profiles, job sites, websites, etc.
  3. Demonstrate skills that employers, community organizations, schools, and higher education are looking for.

For youth to thrive in the today’s rapidly evolving economy they must have opportunities to demonstrate a wide array of skills and abilities. Digital Badges and platforms such as Badgr allow youth to share their credentials anywhere they go. While the rise of competency-based learning is certainly promising, measuring these skills and showing how students meet specific competencies has remained a challenge. Oregon is one of five states to officially adopt policies that allow for public schools to employ competency-based models and OregonASK is excited to be a part of the digital badges movement as we work with partners from around the state, networks across the country and some of the worlds foremost badge experts to develop and implement open badges in Oregon. Check out how Digital Badges can be used and why they are the future of afterschool.

Digital Badges in Oregon

After a year long parternship working on our second Mozilla Digital Badges grant, OregonASK took a team to the Competency Based Education & Digital Credentials Design Convening in Denver in July 2016. The team of industry, education and community based partners enjoyed going through a two-day Facilitated Design Process with IDEO.  Several new ideas were discussed and multiple plans were put into action, including a burgeoning relationship with Business Education Compact (BEC) and efforts they had to put together workshops around the state on The ABCs to Increase Student-Centered Learning. The training reached district administrators, staff  and after school programs from across the state, sharing how to develop quality alternative credit models. The training was based on Diane Smiths extensive work on profiency-based credit, including the creation of It’s About Time: A framework for proficiency-based teaching & learning.

Our digital badges work continues through a year-long web literacy pilot for educators and STEM Educator Micro-Credentially partnership with Click2Science.


Digital Badge Pilots

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During our first pilot project, OregonASK worked with 8 different programs to build demonstrative digital badges. One of the projects was our own Oregon Afterschool Conference that awarded badges based on the Oregon Registry Core Knowledge Categories. After our first pilot of digital badge projects with local programs, Oregon was included in this report as a case study highlighting the digital badge pilots we facilitated in partnership with Concentric Sky and the Oregon Center for Digital Learning; Digital Badges in Afterschool: Connecting Learning in a Connected World.

In 2015-16, we worked with Umatilla School District utilizing the Mozilla Web Literacy tools to complete a proficiency-based digital badges project, specifically creating digital literacy pathways that intentionally connect school day and afterschool opportunities.. In this pilot, high school students led middle school students through a Mozilla Web Club, being able to demonstrate and document their learning and skills as they went.