Digital badges are just like the badges that boy or girl scouts can earn as a reward for completing a set of goals associated with a specific topic. The digital badge represents an achievement or attainment of a skill just like a physical badge does, except that a digital is rewarded and displayed differently. Instead of presenting a badge in person, a digital badge is awarded virtually. The recipient of a digital badge can display it in a variety of ways. They can exhibit this badge on websites and through social media. They can also link a digital badge to an online resume or portfolio. This ability to share learning accomplishments helps badge earners connect with careers, education opportunities and join like minded individuals and organizations on developing learning projects. This can all be done on a very large, even a global level.
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Another key aspect of digital badges is the ability to show the unique skills gained through a learning activity. Digital badges offer earners the ability to showcase their individuals strengths. This allows them to separate themselves from other earners and really define their individual skills to potential employers or instructors.
Schools, after school organizations and professionals alike are using digital badges to acknowledge how learning happens everywhere. Skills and learning models that in the past may have been overlooked are now being recognized and rewarded. As the way we learn and access information evolves in this ever changing digital world, digital badges can adapt to connect this learning universally between learning institutions and professional organizations.
Digital badging is a relatively new idea, but there are still plenty of online resources to learn more about this movement in education.The Mozilla Open Badges system and the MacArthur Foundation badging model are two great resources for anyone looking to learn more about digital badges.