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American Museum of Natural History: Badges for Science Literacy and Identity

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) will pilot a badge system in its out-of-school programs for middle and high school students to validate a set of competencies critical to succeeding in most scientific disciplines, and enable learners to self-direct their own engagement and design a roadmap to science learning that matches their individual goals.

PI: Ruth Cohen (American Museum of Natural History)
  Dr. Rosamond Kinzler (American Museum of Natural History)
Introduction As an institution dedicated to science and education, the American Museum of Natural History is pleased to present a proposal for the Digital Media and Learning Competition to develop a badge system in its science learning programs for youth. Building on our experience with badges in the Urban Biodiversity Network pilot study (see Attachment 1), we plan to develop badges in two out-of-school programs that serve middle and high school students, respectively, with the ultimate goal of implementing badges across our entire range of educational programs. We believe that badges can provide a welcome solution to the challenge of encouraging and assessing students’ acquisition of scientific and 21st century skills in informal settings.   Programs Through its Youth Initiatives pipeline (see Attachment 2), the Museum provides a progressive and varied pathway to scientific achievement for some 2,000 pre-school to high school students annually, with a particular focus on youth from groups historically underrepresented in science for whom out-of-school science learning opportunities are particularly important. Pipeline programs are designed to help young people develop self-identities as science learners and attain science literacy, while motivating them to pursue further science education and allowing them to explore career options in the sciences.     Two programs in particular offer an ideal setting for piloting a badge system that will allow us to assess a set of competencies critical to succeeding in most scientific disciplines, while enabling learners to self-direct their own engagement and design a roadmap to science learning that matches their individual goals:   The Digital Learning Institutes are intensive programs that place 20 middle school students in an immersive learning environment in which they learn science using innovative technologies. Students learn to use evidence, inference, and conjecture to create models of past, current, or future systems, such as ecosystems or planets in the solar system, and to visualize these models using 2-D or 3-D gaming software.  The After-School Program is a series of rigorous six-week-long courses for high school students on topics such as genetics, biodiversity, astrophysics, earth science, and anthropology. Each course makes use of the Museum’s unique resources by engaging 25 young people in active learning experiences in the Museum's halls and behind the scenes in its collections and laboratories. Student learning of scientific thinking and problem-solving skills is supported by interactions with scientists.   Both programs provide students with engaging opportunities to experience how science is actually done, encouraging collaborative problem-solving and supporting the acquisition of new scientific content knowledge and science inquiry skills, including the eight skills and competencies embodied in the "Framework for K-12 Science Learning" (National Research Council, 2011): Asking questions Developing and using models Planning and carrying out investigations Analyzing and interpreting data Using mathematics and computational thinking Constructing explanations Engaging in argument from evidence Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information   Current Assessments Students’ science achievement in the After-School Program is assessed using pre- and post-content knowledge and science identity questionnaires. Digital Learning Institute students are currently not formally evaluated; with support from the Museum’s evaluation and research experts, we are developing a mechanism for assessing participants' final projects and presentations. In addition, instructors in both programs informally assess students’ increase in content knowledge and skills by observing their ability to apply the concepts and skills taught, and through a daily dialogue with students on the content and related topics of interest. Implementing a badge system will allow us not only to assess students' competencies, but also to learn what goals, skills, and identities students themselves find important and which modes of learning and pathways they choose to pursue. To develop the necessary assessments, the Museum will consult with fellow members of the Hive Learning Network New York, a network of over 30 organizations using digital technology and web culture to fuel youth-driven learning.   Goals of a Badge System We seek to develop a badge system that: reflects the content and skills relevant to the specific science disciplines represented in the Museum’s Youth Initiatives programs; enables students to assess their levels of engagement and scientific literacy; instructs students on the full range of—and pathways toward—desirable skills and competencies they can aim to acquire at the Museum; enables youth to connect to a broader ecosystem of scientific learning through which they can continue to customize their education in other non-traditional learning environments that incorporate the use of badges; and validates other important characteristics of healthy youth development, e.g., team work and peer-to-peer support.   Identities and roles The badge system will support the characteristics and traits that engender positive youth identities as learners, explorers, researchers, observers, and explainers of natural and scientific phenomena, and will also map characteristics of science- and museum-related careers.   Opportunities and Privileges Opportunities and privileges associated with earning a specific set of badges will be geared toward expanding students' forms of interacting with the Museum and each other, including: Access to Museum laboratories and scientists to see and participate in “real science” An internship as a visitor guide in the Museum's halls Opportunities to curate digital web-based presentations or exhibitions that reflect students' work on the Museum's Website, for example by using Hackasaurus Tickets to Museum events and lectures focused on the students’ field of interest Opportunities to network with youth with similar interests, at the Museum, online, and by utilizing the resources of the Hive Learning Network   Technical Considerations The Museum gained valuable experience in designing and administering badges by collaborating with external partners Global Kids, Inc. and the Parsons School of Design on the UBN pilot project (see Appendix 1). We anticipate that the Museum’s team in charge of digital educational resources will design the badges for this project as well as develop and build the infrastructure for administering them. The element of the Museum’s brand relevant to the visual representation of badges would be its blue logo icon, which reflects the Museum’s scientific and educational mission.

After School/Out of School   STEM   Career/Workforce

$avvyYouth badges empower youth to take control of their futures by bringing financial education to every classroom, every community, and every home everywhere.

PI: Jeremy Liu (East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation)
  Charles Go, Ph.D (University of California Cooperative Extension)
$avvyYouth We believe that youth should have the skills and knowledge to control their financial futures. Money Savvy Youth (MSY), a program of East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) in Oakland, California, teaches youth financial literacy - lessons that are unfortunately not required in California public schools. $avvyYouth will be the digital platform that takes MSY lessons to every classroom, every community, and every home everywhere. The learning content, programs, or activities that will be supported by badgesHabits and behaviors developed at an early age can last a lifetime. This is why we equip youth with the tools they need to build successful financial futures. Since 2009, we have fostered partnerships with 20 public elementary schools to bring MSY instruction to 4th and 5th grade classrooms in Oakland. We have taught MSY lessons in summer and after-school programs, and our students have included youth living at our affordable housing developments. More than 1,900 Oakland youth have learned essential financial skills since the program began in 2006. The MSY curriculum covers basic financial education, including: the money cycle, needs versus wants, budgets and spending, savings and interest, credit and loans, and goal-setting. By aligning MSY lessons to CA math standards, we provide students pathways to financial and academic success. MSY topics and workbook activities include real-life scenarios that apply to youth, and each lesson encourages open dialogue and incorporates fun, interactive components and group projects. With the $avvyYouth web application, students will be able to learn financial skills anywhere - in the classroom, at an after school program, community center, or with their family in their home. As a flexible and fun platform, educators and parents will be able to follow our curriculum guidelines, and students will have the freedom to learn at their own pace. They will also be able to access bonus challenges to further their learning beyond the basic curriculum. The skills, competencies and achievements badges will validateEach $avvyYouth badge validates a financial skill learned. Learners earn each badge by working through exercises until they master the skill (they could even earn a badge for persistence). Learners have the opportunity to stack badges together to unlock additional challenges that lead to more badges. The Super$avvy badge is rewarded to those who earn all badges. In addition to financial skills included in the MSY curriculum, $avvyYouth learners earn badges that validate teamwork, problem-solving, and critical analysis. When $avvyYouth is used in the classroom or community computer lab, learners can choose to collaborate on group challenges through a multi-player setting. $avvyYouth also challenges learners to think critically. For example, in an exercise about spending and consumer culture, learners will be asked to analyze advertisements and the techniques that advertisers use to attract consumers. These example badges correspond to specific skills: balancing a budget, calculating compound interest, or identifying a spending leak. Identity and rolesWhile earning badges, $avvyYouth learners will be asked to practice skills by playing roles in realistic scenarios. For example, in a budgeting exercise, a learner would play an accountant who keeps track of revenues and expenditures. Other roles could include: business owner, advisor, treasurer, deal finder, and investor.$avvyYouth learners will be asked to participate in an online learning community and take what they learn into the real world. They will learn from the work of others by sharing their progress towards earning badges and commenting on other learners’ achievements. Badges would also be tools for extended learning beyond the classroom. For instance, a Family Budgeting Badge could be earned by a student who engages their parents and works with them to complete an exercise focused on household expenses.  Opportunities or PrivilegesFinancial education is integral for families to build assets and achieve economic success. $avvyYouth is a powerful gateway to financial freedom, connecting learners to resources for achieving financial goals. These might include financial coaching, matched savings accounts, college savings programs, and employment or internship opportunities for youth.  Existing assessmentsMoney Savvy Youth is a results-driven program, relying on data that we collect by administering quizzes and pre, post, and follow up assessments. We use this data to continuously refine the quality of our program. We are currently working with The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and Charles G. Go, Ph.D. of University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE), to conduct research that evaluates the impact of MSY among our students. We will use our research results to design an effective and engaging $avvyYouth badge system. $avvyYouth will augment the current curriculum by allowing learners to assess, track, and share their own progress within a learning eco-system. In a classroom setting, educators using $avvyYouth will be able to see immediate results of their students’ performance, allowing them to adjust their lessons based on real-time data. Partners and OrganizationsWe will work with partners on the technical implementation, distribution, and evaluation of our project. We will continue to work with educators, after school program coordinators, community centers, and parents to help us design the system and promote the adoption of $avvyYouth. We will work with our current program evaluation partner, Dr. Go and his team at UCCE, to create the assessments for $avvyYouth. Administration of the badgesWe will administer $avvyYouth and provide the training and support to make it an effective education tool. The badges will appear on a dedicated $avvyYouth web application, on which learners can manage personal profiles. We will reach out to educators and community partners to facilitate the use of $avvyYouth in their learning spaces, and they will be able to access a Parents and Educator’s Module that helps them teach the lessons and earn badges themselves. Badges will be displayed virtually on a learner’s profile so that they can share their progress and achievements with the $avvyYouth community and, optionally, with their Facebook network. BrandingLet’s face it. As essential as it is, financial education can be pretty boring. The $avvyYouth brand will appeal to learners with fun, youthful, and colorful design elements like the example badges shown above. Learners will experience an interactive and user-friendly interface that might include a “pocket calculator” or “scratch paper” that they pull out of a “side pocket” when they need to complete a math problem. The language will be conversational and enthusiastic. When a learner successfully completes an exercise s/he might be greeted with “That’s SO Money!” or “You’re so $avvy!”

After School/Out of School   K-12 Classroom/ Common Core   
4-H National Headquarters/USDA Digital Badge Collaborator Proposal

4-H will award a series of badges for youth ages 9 to 18 in non-formal educational settings who have obtained 21st Century workforce competencies and skills in robotics and related science, engineering, technology, and applied math areas.

PI: Nancy Valentine (4-H National Headquarters/USDA)
  Brad Barker (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
  Tony Cook (Auburn University)
  Craig Wood (University of Kentucky)
4-H National Headquarters/USDADigital Badge Collaborator Proposal   Introduction and Background 4-H is an “American Treasure” that—for over 100 years--has provided positive youth development experiences for millions of youth.  4-H is also the flagship youth development program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and our nation’s Cooperative Extension System.  Currently, 4-H engages approximately 6 million youth and 500K volunteers in a wide variety of non-formal education experiences.  The program is administered through 109 land grant universities in every state and territory and is anchored in almost all of the 3,150 counties across America.  Over 80 countries have developed youth programs based on the 4-H model. Through this vast network, 4-H directly reaches youth in community based settings and on-line environments.  4-H is committed to advancing high quality learning experiences in the broad areas of science, health and citizenship.  Land grant faculty design learning experiences--through a comprehensive national system--that are peer reviewed, research based, and age appropriate (Appendix A).  All are built on the experiential (“learn-by-doing”) learning model. Salaried staff and volunteers are trained in how to deliver curricula to youth and assess their levels of skills and competencies. From several nationally juried 4-H curricula suitable for badging, the 4-H National Headquarters/USDA staff selected robotics as the initial content area for digital badge consideration.    The learning content, programs, or activities that will be supported by badges 4-H National Headquarters/USDA will partner with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as the lead institution in this pilot effort.  The Nebraska faculty has developed an outstanding suite of robotics learning experiences supported through almost $5 million in grants from the National Science Foundation (#ESI-0624591 and DRL-0833403), the NASA Summer of Innovation, and 4-H.  These learning experiences will serve as the core content for the 4-H Robotics digital badging system for youth ages 9 to 18.    The base of the 4-H program is the national geospatial and robotics technologies for the 21st Century (GEAR-TECH-21) core curriculum that combines geospatial concepts with robotic and computer engineering.   Over 300 hours of curricula are available for—and bridge--formal and non-formal learning environments, including camps.  The program also supports youth competition in robotics tournaments like the FIRST LEGO League (FLL). Additional curriculum, developed by University of Nebraska-Lincoln with other land grant universities, includes “4-H Robotics: Engineering for Today and Tomorrow,” that consists of three tracks: virtual robotics, junk drawer robotics, and robotics platforms.  NASA inspired robotics curriculum is also integrated into 4-H Robotics programs.  Appendix B describes 4-H Robotics curricula and NASA partnerships.     The skills, competencies and achievements badges will validate Theoretically, several badges can be developed for 4-H Robotics programs built on a diverse number of learning experiences and challenges that youth can explore.  The skills that will be validated include important workplace and life skills like teamwork, problem solving and leadership.  Other skills include building computer programs, building robots, recording and analyzing data, using a GPS device, and creating GIS maps.    Competencies include the engineering design process, systems engineering, robot sensors, and robot mobility, technology integration and computer programming.  Youth can also earn digital badges for presentations, competitions, and career exploration accomplishments.  Identity and role Youth in the program take on the role of being an engineer on a team, with two or more members, that work to overcome engineering challenges. Opportunities or Privileges Because 4-H is the land grant university’s outreach to youth, some institutions are exploring opportunities for youth to gain university credit based on 4-H experiences.  Badges could become the vehicle through which university credit could be obtained.   4-H youth are selected for a variety of awards, trips, mentorship experiences and other recognition opportunities at county, state, national, and international levels.  The receipt of a badge, or badges, could become the standard through which selections are made. In most states, 4-H members are expected to maintain 4-H records that document accomplishments and progress toward learning in a chosen field.  Some documentation is on-line and some is captured via paper and pencil forms.  It is conceivable that badges could supplement, or take the place of, standard 4-H record books. Existing assessments For over 100 years, 4-H youth have demonstrated skills and competencies through prepared speeches, exhibits, and demonstrations at public events, observations by adults and peers, judging contests, improved agricultural practices, film documentaries, podcasts, etc.  These processes will remain the foundation of assessment with a goal of translating some into digital technologies. Building on the existing 4-H system, it is likely that community-based, trained adult volunteers will observe and document skills and competencies as they are acquired by the youth.  County- and state-level university faculty and staff are also in positions to observe and verify youth competencies through county- and state-wide learning opportunities.  As a second level of integrity, names of the youth to be awarded badges and their competencies will be verified by county Cooperative Extension faculty, who are charged with keeping official enrollment records and maintaining the integrity of the local 4-H programs. Many existing assessments for 4-H Robotics are performance-based, embedded assessments that can be informally scored by an adult leader or formally scored by a panel of judges. These performance-based measures are a natural fit for use with badges and could readily be earned by youth as a sign of their accomplishments and credentials.  Partners and Organizations 4-H National Headquarters/USDA and NASA are developing parallel but collaborative proposals for this competition that are intended to fit together as a comprehensive package.  Collaborative efforts will focus primarily on developing common competencies and standards in robotics content (such as engineering design principles) and 21st Century Workforce “soft skills.” This will insure that anyone receiving robotics badges from either 4-H National Headquarters/USDA or NASA will have obtained the same level of skills and competencies.  4-H and NASA will build on existing local partnerships that incorporate the best learning experiences from both entities to reach youth in formal and non-formal settings (Appendix B).  In addition to working with NASA partners, 4-H National Headquarters/USDA will engage faculty from a variety of departments and multiple universities in developing competencies and standards for 4-H so that they will be adopted by most, if not all, land grant universities. National Program Leaders at 4-H National Headquarters/USDA as well as faculty in the land grant universities have graduate degrees in research, evaluation, and assessment.  Appropriate faculty will be engaged in fulfilling these functions. Administration of the badges 4-H National Headquarters/USDA, in cooperation with the land grant university system, will award badges. There are two electronic platforms in place to support a comprehensive 4-H badging system.  The first system is the national eXtension (“e-extension”) infrastructure.  Hundreds of university faculty representatives form Communities of Practice around a variety of academic topics.  Using the latest technology, eXtension provides an electronic environment for CoP’s to work collaboratively and make high quality information available to the public (Appendix C). The For Youth, For Life Learning Network (FYFLnet), coordinated by Auburn University is a Community of Practice within eXtension.  Auburn has agreed to provide primary leadership for this initial 4-H Robotics badge prototype and system (Appendix C). It is anticipated that faculty from the broad eXtension system will be involved in the 4-H Robotics pilot effort to provide one or more of the badging functions (e.g. awarding and/or displaying badges).  The goal is to expand badging systems to other CoP’s once models are tested and highly functional, within the context of human and fiscal resources needed to support a sustained system. Branding The 4-H program is represented by a green 4-leaf clover with white “H’s” on each leaf.  Because it is protected by a federal mark (18 U.S.C. 707), the 4-H emblem has the same status as the Seal of the President of the United States.  National market studies have shown that the 4-H emblem is one of the most highly recognized images in America and people associate it with a positive experience for youth.  USDA, the “people’s department,” is the federal agency in which 4-H resides.  Plans are to co-brand the 4-H badges with a 4-H emblem and USDA image.  These images can be viewed at: Issues to Address There are issues that need to be considered relative to serving a youth audience with a badging system.  Primary areas include:  (1) the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and the Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (2) privacy, accessibility, and age related considerations, and the (3) cash and human obligations needed for initial and sustained digital badge systems. 4-H is committed to Section 508 compliance and insuring the safety and privacy of youth, particularly those under 13 years of age.  An open badging system will need to meet both government and 4-H standards in these areas as well as being designed with low-cost and low-maintenance factors considered. Collaborator Needed for Systems Approach and Technology Functions While the 4-H Robotics curriculum, 4-H staff, NASA partnership, and land grant university electronic infrastructures are in place, 4-H National Headquarters/USDA is in need of a collaborator who can integrate everything into a comprehensive, seamless system from the front-end loading of information through to the final award of badges to the individuals and subsequent display of the badges.  Collaborators are requested to work with 4-H National Headquarters/USDA, University of Nebraska Lincoln, Auburn University, eXtension and other land grant university partners to design and implement the technical aspects of this robotics digital badge system that builds on the Mozilla Open Badge Infrastructure.

After School/Out of School   STEM   Career/Workforce
ARIS: Make Your Game. Game Your World.

ARIS: Make Your Game, Game Your World is an effort to affirm the educational value of designing location based games, especially as they relate to local culture

PI: David Gagnon (ARIS Project - University of Wisconsin - Madison)
  Chris Holden (University of New Mexico Honors Department)
  Jim Mathews (Middleton Area School District)
  David Carroll (Parsons New School for Design - ARTLAB+)
  Leah Gilliam (Institute of Play - Mobile Quest)
  Lucianne Brown (Library of Congress - Teaching With Primary Sources Initiative)
  ARIS, short for Augmented Reality and Interactive Storytelling, is an open source, easy to use platform for producing mobile, location-based games, interactive stories and tours. It was originally funded by the MacArthur foundation as an inquiry into informal mobile learning under Kurt Squire of the Games+Learning+Society research group at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. The project has grown considerably from it's academic roots. In the last year, 1200 people have created over 1500 ARIS ‘games’ internationally. Designers include youth, folklorists, locative artists, museums, teachers and researchers. Attached is a screenshot of the ARIS games currently available in North America.  Game Jam! Events A central goal of this increasingly distributed project is to support innovation and exploration into the possibilities of mobile learning. One strategy has been to facilitate short bursts of intense collaborative brainstorming, team formation, planning, and production of a tangible product. The results of this blast of creative energy are profound: New discoveries about mobile learning are not only envisioned, but prototyped New collaborative/inter-disciplinary relationships between researchers, students, teachers and artists New feature specifications (and real time production by participants with programming skills) for the ARIS platform We call these events “Game Jams,” referencing the successful International Game Developer Association yearly global game jam.Our first global event, in April of 2011, attracted middle, high and home/un school students, K-12 teachers, university faculty, media designers, exhibit designers, and education graduate students from all over the world. They met physically in 12 different sites in 4 countries producing 126 games in 50 hours. Teachers and students became teammates in the challenge of making a game from the world that surrounds them.For a short video about the event, visit smaller event this October experimented with new topics and more focused design challenges. For example, in one four-hour period, teams were asked to develop a “crafting” game, modeled after a World of Warcraft quest. The challenge was to create a set of objects to be combined or crafted into something new by an in-game character.We desire and are being invited to do many more of these events. This coming year we will facilitate at least two events in Madison and partner with the Library of Congress’ Teaching with Primary Sources program to offer “Game Jam” style workshops with teachers and students in Chicago. Partnering organizations have events underway as well.In terms of 21st century skills, we believe these events provide transformative educational experiences. The challenge is how to qualify the student activity in terms their parents, teachers and peers understand. Badges may help.Casual Informal Game Design In contrast to the Game Jam events, most of the people authoring ARIS experiences are working on their own. Most find support by simply visiting discussion boards or looking at other games. They presumably write stories, research characters, produce custom media, and weave together rule spaces all for the sake of curiosity and creativity.From the beginning, the ARIS team has supported this kind of informal design activity and want to support growth in these distributed designers. Along these lines, we have begun building a meta-game around ARIS where challenges are given for designing games that reach a certain popularity, address specific topics, utilize specific mechanics or are located in specific places. These achievements will be assigned by a combination of decentralized human peer review (other players) and automated logic (the ARIS server). For example, a designer could be recognized for creating a game with over 100 players in a 30 day period (automated) which address a topic related to local history (peer tagging) and has an average rating of >4 stars (automated).We envision badges as component of wrapping the process of game design within a game itself, both affirming this informal educational activity while encouraging the possible next steps for growth.Skills, competencies and achievements There are different categories of demonstrated skills that take place within the Game Jam events as well as casual game design environments. At one level students are creating games. At another, participants begin working on the ARIS tool itself.   Team and Collaboration Skills Design Skills Technical Skills Group Brainstorming and Concept Vetting Project Management Process Management Peer critique and review Storyboarding Research Narrative Design Script Writing Game Mechanics (Ludology) Design - Systems Thinking Iterative Design Processes including Play-testing,  interviewing and revising Identification of compelling topics within targeted community Media Production (Video, Graphic, Audio, Panoramic) Basic HTML Arduino Programming iPhone Objective-C Development PHP/MySQL server development Flash Development HTML5/Javascript Development Identities and roles Designers and players of ARIS activities learn by assuming various roles. We believe this is where some of the most profound educational opportunities exist.As media producers, teams require an immense set of skills, spanning art and storytelling to graphic design and even software engineering. The members of a team often adopt roles and expertise  internal to the design/production processOn the other hand, good games usually involve good stories. In this light, designers aim to immerse players into social situations by creating characters that represent multiple perspectives around relevant issues. To do this effectively, the designers must understand these perspectives themselves, often highlighting the specific social-cultural challenges that become the central conflict of the game.Attached is a screenshot from a student produced ARIS game about the protests at the Wisconsin state capital. Other examples are at   Designer Roles Design Topic Roles Script Writer Play-test Facilitator Producer Video producer Audio engineer Etc. Native Peoples Historical Characters Underrepresented citizens Government officials Totally fictitious characters Etc. Partnering Organizations The partnerships around ARIS have been growing rapidly this last year. While the project is primarily housed at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, a number of partnering institutions/individuals have keys roles. Many more are being developed. This is a partial list of collaborators who plan involving youth in ARIS design in the coming 12 months. University of Wisconsin - Madison ENGAGE Program University of New Mexico University of Northern Colorado The Library of Congress - Teaching With Primary Sources Initiative Middleton Cross Plains Area School District Madison Children’s Museum ​Minnesota Historical Society New Learning Institute Institute of Play / Parsons - Mobile Quest Various K-12 institutions in Wisconsin and NY The Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery Global Kids  

Civics/Community/Volunteerism   Arts/Design   Mobile
American Library Association: Badges for Librarians

In this initial badge pilot project, curriculum will be developed to help learners gain skills in three competency areas: Communication, Outreach and Marketing; Knowledge of Materials; and Services.

PI: Beth Yoke (American Library Association)
I.  Introduction   Founded in 1957 and headquartered in Chicago, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is a division of the American Library Association, which is a financially stable 501(c)3 charitable organization. With a current membership of over 5,400, YALSA’s mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens and young adults. Through its member-driven advocacy, research, and professional development initiatives, YALSA builds the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve, and empower teens and young adults.     A core function of YALSA is to provide continuing education to librarians and library workers serving teens. Badges for Learning will increase YALSA’s capacity to deliver professional development and extend its reach so that more librarians and library workers have not only the skills and knowledge they need but gain recognition for the new competencies, capacities and skills they are developing in a nontraditional setting.     The Badges for Learning effort will increase the number of librarians and library workers who can effectively serve teens, which will improve the overall level of library services to teens throughout the country and ultimately help increase the number of teens who are prepared to enter the workforce and lead productive lives.   II.  Learning Content a.     Content (including materials and resources): In 2010 the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) published a revised set of national guidelines, which articulate competencies for librarians serving young adults ( These competencies outline the skills and knowledge teen services librarians need to have in order to provide excellent service to this unique age group.  YALSA’s Badges for Learning will be directly connected to these competencies. The competencies are organized into seven areas - Leadership and Professionalism; Communication, Outreach and Marketing; Knowledge of Client Group; Administration; Knowledge of Materials; Access to Information; and Services. In this initial badge pilot project, curriculum will be developed to help learners gain skills in three competency areas: Communication, Outreach and Marketing; Knowledge of Materials; and Services.  These three areas were selected because they lend themselves especially well to the need to demonstrate, through a badge program, scaffolded learning, community building, and understanding of technology use in libraries. Through building a set of skills in each of these three areas, librarians and library support staff workers will gain knowledge and skills relating to best practices in library services to young adults. YALSA’s Continuing Education Advisory Board will identify experts who are appropriate to develop the curriculum content. In each of the three content areas, learners will complete four sets of “minor” badge activities, after which the learner will earn a gold badge for that content area. The following outlines the focus of the learning components in the YALSA Badges for Learning program for the three targeted competency areas. a. Communication, Outreach and Marketing: This area of YALSA’s Competencies focuses on advocating for teens within the library community as well as promotion of programs and services offered to the age group. Learners will complete activities in order to demonstrate understanding of use of social media and mobile technologies for these purposes, and upon completion of four sets of “minor” badge activities, the learner will earn the gold Communications, Outreach, and Marketing badge.  Outcomes: effectively use social media and mobile technologies in order to advocate for the age group effectively use social media and mobile technologies to inform teens about what a library has to offer understand how to select the best technology tool in order to successfully get a message out to a specific audience and for a specific purpose. use a variety of tools to identify the needs and interests of underserved teens Activities: develop crowdsourced and interactive content, such as polls, location-based activities, and contests using sites  and tools such as Facebook, FourSquare, YouTube, Storify, Pinterest, and Twitter for marketing purposes create videos using Animoto, or other similar tools, that highlight the value of teen services to a library community. conduct online research via, the Pew Internet and American Life Project,  and other sites to learn about the demographics of the teens, especially underserved teens, in the community use social media and mobile technologies to reach out to and engage partners in the community b. Knowledge of Materials: In this area of focus, librarians and library support staff will build their knowledge of young adult fiction and non-fiction and will investigate print-based and e-based collection development of young adult materials that is in keeping with the library’s mission and policies. The materials developed by learners in the area of Knowledge of Materials will be posted on a variety of YALSA web presences including the association’s wiki, Facebook, page, and YA literature blog, The Hub (  Outcomes: librarians and library support staff will have demonstrated an understanding of the depth and breadth of traditional, new and emerging formats of materials for young adults librarians and library support staff will be able to use social media and mobile technologies to promote recommended reading to teens librarians and library support staff will understand the need for and the essential elements of a flexible and up-to-date collection development policy Activities: creating and disseminating a themed crowdsourced list of recommended reading via a resource such as Good Reads at developing an e-bookshelf publishing five material reviews (produced in a variety of formats including book trailers on YouTube, blog posts, or a social media based review on Twitter or Facebook) conduct online research regarding best practices in collection development policies by investigating sites such as and update or enhance the library’s policy as appropriate c. Services involving teens in the development of services for them is an integral part of YALSA’s competencies.  In order to achieve this, library staff need to understand the various aspects of young adult development and integrate that understanding into work with teenagers.  Outcomes: Librarians and library workers will be knowledgeable of the 40 Developmental Assets of Teens (from the Search Institute) Librarians and library workers will be able to articulate the value of the services they provide Librarians and library workers will understand the necessary steps to program planning Librarians and library workers will evaluate the success and impact of programs Librarians and library workers will be knowledgeable of the educational and recreational needs of teens                                                 Activities: Librarians and library staff develop an overview of library services for the age group and connect those services with specific assets.  Plan a program that meets the needs of teens, supports the assets and integrates opportunities for teenagers to be involved in the planning and implementation of the program using tools such as YALSA’s Teen Tech Week Program Planning Form at (MS Word doc) Develop polls, surveys, and other tools via sites like SurveyMonkey, Google Docs, Twiigs, Acepolls, Limesurvey, etc. to identify teen needs and conduct evaluations Create an interactive online space for a Teen Advisory Group with online tools like Google+ or Ning   b.  How and where the development of the above skills, competencies and/or capacities will occur                                                     i. An interactive portion of YALSA’s web site (currently in a redesign phase) will focus on professional development.  This will be the primary access point for learners who want to participate in the Badges for Learning Program.                                                    ii. Depending on the competency, capacity or skill addressed by a particular badge, the learner may develop the needed skills in the work place, at a local workshop or gathering or by engaging with specific resources on YALSA’s web site via a mobile or traditional computer environment.  YALSA will provide support materials and resources for all learners, no matter where their learning takes place, including FAQ sheets and how-to guides.   c.  Potential contributions to the larger badge ecosystem                                                     i. YALSA represents a unique audience that is not being reached by other organizations through a badging effort at this time.  One of YALSA’s contributions to the larger badging initiative is that it fills a unique need.                                                    ii. It is envisioned that YALSA’s Badges for Learning project will serve as a model for other education and/or youth focused organizations and institutions that develop badges in the future.  The YALSA Badges for Learning project will specifically demonstrate to these audiences how learning takes place in new ways and supports 21st century learning techniques and skills.                                                   iii. Some of the skills, capacities and competencies addressed in YALSA’s badges, such as those focused on digital literacy, will also be relevant to other sectors of the workforce so that those beyond the original intended audience of librarians and library workers can also pursue and acquire YALSA badges.                                                  iv. A later phase of YALSA’s Badges for Learning project can focus on developing badges for teens.  This effort would help create a continuum in the badge ecosystem.  Not only would there be badges aimed at those already in the workforce, but there would also be badges geared toward helping young people prepare for entering the workforce.   d. Partners                                                     i.YALSA is a subspecialty of the American Library Association (ALA).  ALA is a natural partner is this effort, especially those parts of the organization that focus on youth and/or providing professional development.                                                    ii.YALSA will work with state library agency youth services consultants. These consultants work in state libraries across the country and provide training, support, and information to those serving youth in libraries in their state. They have extensive reach to the librarians and library workers in their state.                                                   iii.Other partners could emerge as work on YALSA’s Badges for Learning Project progresses, such as graduate schools of library and information science, state library associations and other nonprofits with similar missions or audiences.   e. Challenges and opportunities Opportunities a. Meeting a Need: In today’s world learning happens everywhere.  Badges for Learning can help YALSA provide a way for librarians and library workers to get recognition for the skills they are acquiring outside of a traditional setting. b. Extending reach: The badge system proposed by YALSA provides the association with a significant opportunity to help a wide-range of library workers develop or further their understanding of and ability to provide excellent services to young adults.  YALSA’s competencies set a national standard for library staff working with teenagers. Badges are an excellent way not only to reach those who might not otherwise have access to continuing education but also to help them gain the recognition that comes with acquiring the skills.  c. Upgrading skills: This is also an opportunity for YALSA to help library staff move into the 21st century in their services to young adults. The badges help the association to achieve that through the integration of technology into the learning that will take place as well as through the collaboration, communication, and innovation that will occur as students gain specific skills and knowledge. d. Replication & Expansion: YALSA’s initial Badges for Learning effort will be evaluated and then expanded in YALSA and could also be replicated by others in the library and education communities.   Challenges e. Technological capacity: A challenge in the badge project is in YALSA’s capacity to technologically develop the backend for the badge system. Also, because of requirements of the larger association (the American Library Association) of which YALSA is a part, supporting outside technology systems  sometimes presents a challenge that requires an expert to address. f. Marketing: with a small staff the association needs to find ways to inform the library community about the badges, garner interest and momentum, and keep the system vibrant and vital.  g. Design: YALSA requires support in development of marketing materials and the visual design of the badges and related marketing materials. h. Assessment: In order for YALSA’s badges to hold real value and carry the weight of more traditional degrees, YALSA recognizes that assessment and quality is critical.  YALSA seeks assistance in developing an effective and efficient method for assessing learning in order to determine if a learner has achieved the necessary skill, capacity or competency so that a badge can be issued.  One key need is to match the appropriate type of assessment, whether it is stealth, portfolio or something else, with the type of learning that is taking place.  Some badges will likely contain multiple levels of assessment, depending on the use case or audience.  Determining the logistics to support these processes is needed. f. Resources YALSA website – YALSA’s Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth - Young Adults Deserve the Best: YALSA’s Competencies in Action, by Sarah Flowers -- Teen Services for Public Libraries Evaluation Tool – YALSA on Facebook – YALSA’s wiki – The Hub-- The 40 Developmental Assets from the Search Institute -- g.     Audience                                            i.         The primary audience for YALSA’s Badges for Learning is teen services librarians in public libraries and secondary school librarians.                                           ii.         A secondary, but key, audience are librarian generalists and library support staff who work with teens in a school or public library setting.  Many times these staff members don’t have a clear understanding of how to interact with and serve teens in the library. This badge program will help YALSA make in-roads in this area.                                          iii.         Other audiences  include educators, afterschool program providers and others who serve adolescents in some capacity.                                         iv.         An affordable, easily accessible online continuing education effort helps YALSA achieve one of its fundamental goals of providing professional development to librarians and library workers serving teens.  Badges for Learning is a particularly good approach for YALSA to deliver continuing education because our members have demonstrated a need for an alternative from traditional learning.  Professional development options at the local or regional level are limited and the ongoing recession has drastically shrunk library budgets, including funds for continuing education, such as attending conferences and workshops.   h.     Goals                                            i.         A critical goal of this project is to ensure that librarians and library workers are equipped with the skills they need to effectively serve 21st century teens.  Because of the rapidly changing nature of how information is created and delivered, librarians must constantly learn new skills in order to be effective in their daily work.  Badges for Learning offers librarians and library workers an affordable, efficient and effective way to learn and demonstrate new skills and build capacities or competencies.   A recent survey of public libraries shows that only 51% of public libraries have at least one full time teen services librarian on staff.  In nearly half of America’s libraries, then, teens are being served by individuals who are not specially trained to meet their needs.  The Badges for Learning Project enables YALSA to create and provide an easy way for these individuals to gain important skills, competencies and/or capacities.                                           ii.         A significant portion of YALSA’s members are individuals who work in a secondary school library setting.  For a variety of reasons, many schools have not embraced social media and do not incorporate digital literacy in a formalized way into their curriculums.  As a result, curriculums in education preparation programs at institutions of higher learning often do not focus on social media or digital literacy.  In many cases this is also the same with continuing education efforts provided at the more local levels to practicing teachers.  YALSA’s Badges for Learning will provide a venue for our school librarian members to gain much needed skills and/or build competencies and capacities.                                          iii.         Due to the nature of the kinds of work that librarians do, much of their learning happens on the job and through various experiences and interactions. This on the job learning has also become more interactive, informal and creative.  Learning for librarians must also be a lifelong pursuit, as the nature of the work requires them to constantly gain new skills.  At this time, however, there is not widespread recognition of these competencies and skills among library directors and administrators. Therefore YALSA’s Badges for Learning can help librarians get recognition for these new forms of learning.     II.    Technology Considerations Because YALSA does not currently have contractual relationships with technologists or technologists on staff to build and support a badge system, the association requires assistance in all aspects of the technical infrastructure for the competency-based badge project. This includes: ●      Development of the technology that runs the interactive system for the learners. This includes learner interaction with curriculum content, being able to create and input information and data, creating materials in a variety of formats, and posting materials to YALSA’s various presences on the web.  ●      Back-end configuration that will interact with Mozilla's Open Badge Infrastructure and enable YALSA to issue badges.  The technical pieces of the interaction between the YALSA badge system and Mozilla’s badge system will need to be put in place by a technical specialist. ●      Development of assessment tools that will help guarantee that prior to a badge being awarded, the learning demonstrated is high-quality. YALSA seeks assistance in designing the technological infrastructure for the assessments as well as the rubrics to be used in assessing student work. ●      Design of the web presence for the curriculum and learning components. Web developers skilled in information architecture, online learning, web standards, and design will be needed to create a high-quality online presence for the association’s badge project.  It is also anticipated that a mobile version - either a mobile YALSA badge site or an app - will need to be developed in order to support the needs of learners and the association. ●      Technical support to handle any necessary system developments and the initial development and launch of the badging system.   III.   Branding Considerations YALSA’s logo and colors will need to be included in all aspects of the badge project from the marketing materials to the web presence to the badges.  Many of YALSA’s initiatives subtly integrate the logo and color scheme and this approach is acceptable for the badge project. Examples of the integration of YALSA’s logo into various projects can be seen: ●      In the art work for Teen Read Week 2012 – ●      In the art work for Teen Tech Week 2011 – ●      In the materials provided as a part of YALSA’s Best of the Best –    

Career/Workforce   After School/Out of School   
Badges for Vets: Helping jobs find Veterans. Helping Veterans find jobs.

The “Badges for Vets” Contest will provide cash awards to systems which help Veterans translate their military training and experience into digital credentials – or badges – which employers will readily recognize as demonstrating qualifications for civilian jobs.

PI: James M. Speros (Department of Veterans Affairs/VAi2)
  James M. Speros (US Department of Veterans Affairs/VAi2)
  Hal Plotkin, PhD (US Department of Education)
  Darcy Hardy, PhD (US Department of Labor)
  Michelle Fox, DPhil (US Department of Energy)
  Connecting Veteran Skills to Good Jobs.  Veterans rejoin the civilian community with up-to-date, cutting edge job skills developed during training and work experience in their military service.  These job skills are highly valued and desired by civilian employers.  Veterans report challenges, however, in “translating” military job skills to their civilian counterparts and in obtaining civilian credit for military training.   The easier task is drawing direct linkages between skills acquired in the military and the duties performed in civilian jobs.  More challenging is obtaining civilian recognition of military training when formal education is a prerequisite for employment or licensure.  With the Badges for Vets Challenge, the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA), Education, Labor, and Energy seek a system of badges that quickly translates military training and experience into marketable credentials so employers will see Veterans as among the best qualified in any job applicant pool. The Challenge.  The goal of the Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition,, is support for the creation of digital tools to identify, recognize, measure, and account for skills, competencies, knowledge, and achievements acquired during the course of lifelong learning.  The Mozilla Open Badge Infrastructure, has been selected to enable interoperability and seamless collection of badges. VA does not anticipate that it will issue badges or, except as an employer, actively participate in the resulting badges program.  Instead, VA believes it can serve Veterans and employers by acting as a catalyst for the development of meaningful badge systems. VA will award prizes of up to $25,000 to as many as three applicant teams that demonstrate they can develop and deliver an industry-recognized digital badge representing military-learned skill sets of specific interest to civilian employers.  To be eligible for a prize, entrants must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the judges that the proposed badge system will deliver real, substantial, and sustainable benefit to both employers and Veterans by achieving two separate but interrelated goals.  First, entrants must demonstrate that a significant number of employers will accept the credential as demonstrating occupational qualifications actually desired in the specific occupational area.  Second, entrants must demonstrate to the judges that Veterans will have clear and achievable pathways to acquire credentials which are desired by employers.  Entries which the judges determine do not meet these criteria will not be awarded a prize.   Badges in this competition must address one of the following priority areas: Supply Administration and Logistics, which may include specialties such as supply chain procurement, automated logistics management and lean Six Sigma Law Enforcement, which may include specialties such as criminal investigation and analysis Medical Care and Treatment, with specific focus on Physician’s Assistants Motor Vehicle Operators, with specific focus on civilian occupations requiring a Commercial Driver’s License Automotive service and repair, with specific focus on emerging technologies such as electric –drive vehicles and alternative fuels. These priority areas are among the largest number of Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) Codes earned by recently discharged Veterans for specific training and experience during military service, as identified by Department of Defense (DoD).Additional information about the MOS Code system and variants within specific military services is in the Appendix. In some of these priority areas, VA anticipates that Veterans can move quickly to achieve digital badges designating specific civilian-marketable skills based solely on military training and experience (MTE).  In these cases, a successful badge system can deliver value to employers and Veterans by identifying specific skills and competencies desired by employers, verifying that Veterans can demonstrate those skills based on relevant MTE, and awarding and validating digital badges that Veterans can use to demonstrate job qualifications. In other of these priority areas, badge systems will need to provide pathways by which Veterans can: acquire formal civilian education or other credit based on their MTE, civilian licensure based on MTE, or a combination of the two.  In some cases, a badge system will need to support pathways by which Veterans supplement MTE with specific education when needed to qualify for occupational certifications or licenses needed to be marketable in the civilian field. Badge Systems. VA seeks effective and sustainable badge systems built on partnerships with organizations that: Are widely representative of employers who have recurring need to employ individuals with skill sets in the areas of interest. Have – or demonstrate that they can develop and deliver – programs and processes that deliver validated credentials as indicators of skill or accomplishment in the areas of interest. Can demonstrate they have or can develop: Programs to validly assess prior learning acquired from education, training or experience and particularly MTE, Articulation agreements with accredited institutions that support formal recognition of MTE through the granting of academic credit or satisfaction of prerequisites, Programs that identify additional training or experience required to meet essential prerequisites for occupational certification or licensure, Financing for such additional training or experience that makes it possible for Veterans to earn a specific badge, Programs that assure a Veteran who chooses to acquire additional training and experience is prepared for success when seeking formal occupational certification or licensure. Proposals should suggest metrics to define successful outcomes if implemented.  Measures can include the number of issued badges or other credentials.  More meaningful metrics will include: Dropout and success rates for Veterans who seek additional training, Market share of employers that accept the badge to meet qualification requirements, The number of Veterans who are actually hired into positions for which a badge shows they qualify, Six-month retention and one-year promotion rates, and Measures of employer and Veteran satisfaction.  VA’s contest awards will be administered by the VA Innovations Initiative (VAi2) under the America Competes Act; prize winners must meet eligibility and other requirements established by the Act and comply with formal contest rules to be published in the Federal Register. Judges for this contest will include federal officials and individuals from the Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition.    Appendix What is a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) Code?    A Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) code describes the work done by a Service Member while on active duty or in the reserves. It includes training and certifications.   MOS codes are alphanumeric codes assigned to each military occupational specialty.  Combined with pay grade, they describe what a Service Member did while on active duty or in the reserves.  Each Service branch within the Department of Defense uses versions of MOS codes specific to their mission. Army/Army National Guard:  United States Army jobs are broken down into Military Occupational Specialty Codes, or MOSCs.  Jobs with similar MOSCs are arranged in groups known as Career Management Fields.  The Army’s PAMXXI web site shows these codes: - click on the “MOS Structure” tab. Marine Corps/Reserves:  The Marine Corps arranges jobs with similar MOSs into groups known as Occupational Fields.  This information is contained in the Marine Corps MOS Manual: Air Force/Air National Guard:  The Air Force assigns an Air Force Specialty (AFS) code.  Enlisted AFSCs consist of five characters; officer AFSCs consist of four characters. A letter prefix or suffix may be used with an AFSC when more specific identification of position requirements and individual qualifications is necessary. Information at: Navy:  Enlisted personnel are assigned an Enlisted Occupational Classifications (NEOCS) code. Officers are assigned Navy Officer Manpower and Personnel Classification. The system for enlisted codes is available at: The Navy Officer codes systems is described in two manuals:, and     Coast Guard:  The Coast Guard groups specialties for enlisted personnel into general ratings described here:                 How does a MOS translate to civilian jobs? Many MOS codes describe training and education which is directly transferable to civilian job requirements.Online skills translators can convert MOS codes into general skill set descriptions which are useful to both Veterans and employers. Some online skills translators include: US Department of Labor Military to Civilian Occupation Translator: Maryland Department of Labor Military to Federal Jobs Translator: Career OneStop Translator: O*Net Online Crosswalk: Skills Translator: How can a Veteran get a list of the MOS Codes they earned while in military service? MOS codes and military training are listed on a Veteran’s DD-214, the form they receive when they are discharged or separated from military service.   VA’s My HealtheVet web site, will soon include MOS and training data in downloads available using the Blue Button function.       4. How does a Veteran receive college or other educational credit for training received in military service? Educational institutions decide whether to allow academic credit for military training and experience based on their own policies. Many colleges and universities follow The American Council on Education’s (ACOE's) Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services:   Many Army Veterans can arrange to have records of their military training be sent electronically to ACOE; see  

Health   Career/Workforce   Veterans
Badges for civic educators and learners

PI: Gene Koo (iCivics, Inc.)
  Dan Norton (Filament Games)
iCivics prepares young people for intelligent, engaged citizenship. Founded by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, iCivics reinvents civic education using video games and similar innovations that are good for teachers and students alike. We are the only national provider of free, comprehensive civic education materials. By spring 2011 iCivics’ educational games had already been played over 2 million times by over 1 million people. In April, a MacArthur grant enabled us to add a badge system that significantly deepened learner engagement: average time spent on the site, for example, jumped 32%, from 5:26 to 7:14 minutes. We propose expanding our badges to recognize not just civic knowledge, but both learners’ and teachers’ demonstration of 21st-century skills. Learning goals iCivics games and lesson plans help young people (generally students grades 6-9) develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions they need to become informed, effective citizens. Because we aim for national impact, we design our resources with both learners and teachers in mind, recognizing that even the best learning tools won’t reach our audience if teachers find them too difficult to deploy. iCivics games, Web quests, and lesson plans are aligned to the 50 states’ social studies and, increasingly, the Common Core English Language Arts standards. Beyond basic knowledge, however, we also aim to develop relevant civic skills and dispositions. Our Activate game, for example, asks players to pick a social issue and design a fictional campaign to address it. All of our games reward players with “Impact Points,” which they can donate to youth-run programs, thus exposing them to ways young people can be involved civically. We have learning goals for teachers, too, especially since many social studies teachers lack adequate training in necessary content and skills. Rather than push professional development that schools can no longer afford, however, we’ve turned to building best practices into our teaching materials and ensuring that average teachers want to use them. For example, our lesson plans provide well-scaffolded activities that a teacher can deploy easily just by following the provided instructions. Our user friendliness has helped removed barriers, and a fun badge system can further pull teachers towards innovative best practices. From civic knowledge to 21st-century skills While iCivics resources foster both student and teacher skills, currently our assessment and badge system addresses only the civic knowledge demanded by state standards. We propose a new series of badges that validate the 21st-century skills that our current badges do not, for both learners AND teachers. Below are two examples of how we propose to extend our existing resources through an expanded badge system oriented towards 21st-century skills. Example 1: Fostering management skills In our video game Do I Have a Right? players run a law firm, earning money by identifying valid cases and matching them to attorneys with the appropriate skills. They use the money to upgrade the firm’s capacity to address client problems. Existing assessment: Certificate specifying which rights the player correctly identified; game-related achievement badges. Proposed badge: “Management Material” – Hire new lawyers in an optimum sequence responding to client needs. (Earning the badge requires similar high performance in two other resource management games, including Activate). Related 21st-Century Skills: Productivity and Accountability… Manage Projects (e.g. Set and meet goals; Manage goals and time; Utilize time and manage workload efficiently) Example 2: Inducting teachers into educational technology Many teachers fear adopting new educational technologies, even if they understand the benefits. An expanded set of teacher-oriented iCivics badges can change the emotional experience of trying something new. (Video game designers similarly use badges to push players out of gameplay ruts). Existing assessment: None; educational technologies don’t typically track teacher learning. Proposed badge: “Digital Pioneer” – Create an account; create a class; enroll students; and manage the class for a full quarter, including making class announcements, assignments, and virtual discussions. Each activity would award a mini-badge to create that “Just one more” impulse. Related Benefits: We intend to work with teachers’ colleges to match this badge to formal certifications. Identity and roles Our proposed student badges articulate two related identities: the engaged citizen and the responsible decision-maker. These identities build on the roles already embedded in our learning games (President, judge, activist, etc.). Our proposed teacher badges will reward an aspect of an actual professional identity: the teacher as experimental learner. Like most professionals, teachers face incentives that encourage them to sharpen existing skills, not build new ones. Our teacher badges will encourage teachers to become learners once again. Together, these two badges will both incentivize civic learning and acknowledge the acquisition of skills that existing standardized tests and professional development do not. Administration of the badges iCivics will administer all aspects of these proposed badges, as they are earned as a result of interacting with our website. They will appear alongside the existing set of badges under the user profile – though we also intend to upgrade our site so that the next rung of reachable badges are always tantalizingly visible to both students and teachers. We expect these badges to be sharable on other educational sites that utilize the Mozilla Open Badge Infrastructure. Our vision: badges for real-world civic engagement iCivics ultimately aims to bridge civic education and civic engagement, and we see our badge system helping to link online learning to offline action. We imagine iCivics partners like the Boys and Girls Club of America using our badge infrastructure to support local service projects. A mobile interface would then allow participants and their adult supervisors to document achievement and award appropriate badges. Thus, our ultimate ambition is to recast the “merit badge” as a 21st-century, open-platform technology. This proposal moves us towards this larger vision by advancing our existing assessment system beyond knowledge to 21st-Century Skills. MacArthur’s initial investment in our badge system can be further leveraged by expanding it to address both student and teacher learning, recognizing that the two, in tandem, will help young people prepare for better citizenship.

Bottled City Project

Give one/take one micro-apprenticeships: Bottled City gives residents and travellers a way to contribute to local initiatives while gaining practical know-how.

PI: Maya Wiseman (Bottled City Project)
  Simone Hanchet (The Sauvé Scholars Foundation)
The Bottled City Project gives locals and visitors to cities ways to contribute to local initiatives while gaining practical know-how. Together with a network of partners, we create short apprenticeships that make hands-on learning and achievement educational, engaging and accessible. Learning interactions take the form of a ‘micro-apprenticeship.’ Micro-apprenticeships encourages participation in local initiatives in a way that advances the goals of the initiative while enriching the skill sets of the participant. Lasting a few hours each, the dates, times and venues of the micro-apprenticeship are either specified by hosts in advance, or coordinated by hosts and participants on an ad hoc basis via the Bottled City website Hosts and participants typically meet at the hosting project’s venue. Learning content is generated by a wide range of local partners who host micro-apprenticeships. Bottled City curates these learning programs by recruiting partner projects, supports them in designing micro-apprenticeships and executing plans for community engagement and brokers connections between host initiatives and participants. The micro-apprenticeships enable people of any age or stage of life to learn through action. It enrich participants’ skills and understanding by making participation accessible, engaging and rewarding. At the same time, micro-apprenticeships help communities and cities thrive. They nimbly and creatively respond to environmental, social, and economic challenges in ways that governments often cannot. They encourage community engagement, healthy lifestyles and environmentally sustainable practices and often promote peace by building bridges within and across communities.In advancing the goals of local initiatives, while enhancing the skills of participants, the Bottled City Project seeks to re-invigorate the meaning of participatory citizenship. In this way, Bottled City turns local initiatives into educational hubs, local leaders into mentors, and visitors and citizens into engaged learners, problem-solvers and co-creators.Learning currently focuses on three interconnected areas of urban practice and know-how: Growing: urban agriculture and care for urban wildlife Upcycling: converting discarded materials into valuable items or resources in the domains of e.g. textiles, electronics, construction Tactical urbanism: community generated fixes to breaks or oversights in urban infrastructure, deepening cultural insights into regions and neighborhoods The micro-apprenticeships target visitors seeking more profound engagement with a city than typically accessible to tourists, locals seeking deeper engagement with their own city, and people who fall in the spectrum between locals and visitors eg. new immigrants, transient residents, and members of marginalized groups who typically lack opportunities to interact with the wider urban community. Although the particular micro-apprenticeships that fall within the three areas of focus will be developed on an ongoing basis, the modes of engagement are as follows: At the entry level, participants with little or no exposure to a domain can make inroads / gain exposure to a domain of practice (Apprentice) Participants with relevant experience or insight can bring fresh ideas to the host initiative. (Idea or method generator) Participants with novel solutions may test and realise their ideas or proposals. (Achiever) Finally, participants who have deepened insight into the initiative and domain of practice and who have implemented an idea or solution may in turn come to lead micro-apprenticeships. (Mentor) While learners engage with the host initiative in any of four capacities: Apprentice, Idea generator, Achiever or Mentor,  Hosts are mentors at the outset. We envision a system in which the hosts' badge credentials rise with the breadth of engagement they elicit i.e. number of micro-apprenticeships hosted or number of participants engaged. And depth of engagement, number of participants who continue on to bring insight and implement ideas that grow the initiative (or rate at which entry-level participants become idea generators, achievers or mentors.) Participants stand to gain four levels of recognition for their contributions. Badges recognize demonstrated competence. At the first level, participants with little or no prior exposure to a domain gain recognition for having learned a new technique whist contributing to an initiative. At the second level, participants are recognized for introducing an idea or innovation from a different region or domain of practice. At the third level, participants are recognized for the part they play in implementing or realizing an initiative. At the very highest level, participants themselves become hosts of micro-apprenticeships.Hosts receive a one-off badge after having created a micro-apprenticeship. The badge’s content updates dynamically with the number of participants they host. The badge likewise incorporates a link to reviews and feedback from former participants in order to enable prospective participants to gauge the value of the experience. Learners who, in dialog with their hosts, have proposed and piloted a new idea or approach which advances the host initiative, gain the opportunity to mentor entry level participants on behalf of the host initiative. We envision a function in which the badge is digitally associated with a description of the competence demonstrated or contribution made. Participants are invited to share badges with prospective partners, mentors, or employers via messaging and social media channels.  The mode in which one participates in the micro-apprenticeship (1, 2, 3 or 4) is considered at the the time of booking the session, and awarded following the session in dialog between hosts and participants. Rather than referencing a predetermined evaluation matrix, proof of learning and engagement is in the pudding. If after the session, both host and participant are able to describe the participant's contribution and the impact to the host initiative, the host unlocks the corresponding badge for the participant to claim. The badge system would interface with the Bottled Cities’ CMS. It would enable participants and hosts showcase their badges via their social media profiles. Administrative privilege will cascade from Bottled City administrators to micro-apprenticeship participants. Botlted City awards hosting badges to hosts, while hosts award participation badges to participants. The Branding, tone and visual language strives to convey these qualities of the Bottled City experience: engaging, edifying and accessible.   Growing:urban agriculture and care for urban wildlife Upcycling:converting discarded materials into valuable items or resources in the domains of e.g. textiles, electronics, construction Tactical urbanism:community generated fixes to breaks or oversights in urban infrastructure, deepening cultural insights into regions and neighborhoods Apprentice     Juliana, a Parisian artist, runs a guerilla knitting project that fills the potholes of Paris with colorful knitted wool. This cushions potholes for road users and highlights a problem to city authorities. Pierre, a local, takes part in a micro-apprenticeship in which he learns how to knit while helping to level the potholes of Paris. Idea generator   Nicole, a fashion designer and sewing teacher in Montreal, produces a fashion show featuring couture made entirely out of upcycled clothing. Items are auctioned off and proceeds are donated to a local day shelter for women in need. Pamela, an amateur seamstress, proposes the use of an alternative stitch that would differentiate the pieces in the upcoming line. Nicole approves and guides her in crafting the stitch.   Acheiver Arzu, an elderly Turkish immigrant to Germany brings specific techniques for vegetables cultivation to a popular Berlin community garden and cafe.She contributes  a skill that helps a community garden in her neighborhood thrive. In exchange, she builds relationships with fellow Berliners and gets a vast gardening plot on which to grow vegetables for her family.     Mentor   After having practiced the technique on several pieces, Nicole invites Pamela to lead micro-apprenticeships that demonstrate thestitching technique to new participants.    

Civics/Community/Volunteerism   Environment   Arts/Design
Building Citizen Science: A Natural History Badge Ecosystem

The Natural History Badge Ecosystem is designed to support lifelong learning through citizen science to further our knowledge and understanding of the world’s biodiversity and to increase the public understanding of and participation in science.

PI: Dr Jon Rosewell (The Open University)
  Jeff Holmes (Encyclopedia of Life)
  R. Prabhakar (India Biodiversity Portal)
  Dave Martin (Atlas of Living Australia, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)
  Natalia Zamora & Alejandro Calvo Rodríguez (National Biodiversity Institute, Costa Rica)
  Others: Scott Loarie, Tony Rebelo, Nathan Wilson (iNaturalist (Carnegie Institute), iSpot Southern Africa (South African National Biodiversity Institute), Mushroom Observer/Encyclopedia of Life)
Introduction The ‘Badges for Learning’ competition presents a great opportunity for collaboration between the eight partners in this proposal who recently met to discuss the opportunities for implementing a common badge system. Our organisations share the goal of using citizen science to further our knowledge and understanding of the world’s biodiversity and to increase the public understanding of and participation in science. The need for better knowledge of the world’s biodiversity is ever more pressing, and citizen scientists can now contribute valuable data and knowledge through the web and personal devices such as digital cameras and smart phones. Badges for learning would reward participation and engagement and increase the visibility and recognition of the many thousands of participants in our projects; they would allow users to carry their skills from one project to another, encouraging wider participation and collaboration.We have agreed to work towards supporting Mozilla Open Badges in our projects. Participants will be able to display their natural history badges in their profiles, showing affiliations with organisations. Projects will issue their own distinctive badges to mark specific skills and expertise and to reward engagement. Our sites will begin to accept each other’s badges as equivalent, allowing skills to be widely recognised across different sites and to allow skills validated by one site to unlock privileges elsewhere. Aims To participate in the conversation about badges for informal learning To articulate a set of badges to serve the community of citizen science in biodiversity and to produce graphic design that reflects their purpose To become badge issuers and acceptors in an Open Badges ecosystem To agree on common standards and criteria for badges To recognize equivalent badges from other providers, initially with collaboration partners A learning journey: Badging skills and expertise The following scenario is based on an existing badge and reputation system that is currently supported by Let’s follow the learning journey of a new user, Alice. Alice’s interaction with the community starts when she takes a photograph, for example of a bird. Alice uploads her photo to iSpot, saying when and where it was observed. If she can, Alice also adds an initial identification. Alice’s observation will be seen by other iSpot participants; they may either agree with Alice’s identification or suggest an alternative identification. In addition, her data can be shared with other international observation communities such as iNaturalist and Project NOAH, vastly increasing the likelihood that an identification will be made. Paul’s new identification has been confirmed by others; every community member is accompanied by badges which reflect both their expertise and their affiliations to natural history societies. Bob is a beginner (shown by a single bird icon ) but Charlie from iNaturalist is a bird expert vouched for by a natural history society (his affiliation badge links to their web site). His gold expert badge () was issued by a partner web site but is accepted on iSpot thanks to Open Badges. An identification with sufficient weight behind it becomes a ‘likely ID’. The reliable name gives Alice a key to unlock learning about that species and its ecology; it provides other observations of the same species and links to information on sites such as the Encyclopedia of Life, the Atlas of Living Australia, or the India Biodiversity Portal. Alice has started her learning journey. Bob and Charlie’s agreements also provide evidence of Paul’s increasing expertise; he is rewarded with higher badges (shown by multiple bird icons) at milestones. Alice can also offer agreements and identifications to other users, and engage in comment and discussion around observations; these contributions are also reflected in badges.    Of course, Alice’s new expertise in identifying birds doesn’t necessarily imply expertise in plants; our badges will therefore track expertise separately in different domains. Badges will also serve important functions on other partner sites. The Encyclopedia of Life is an aggregator of authoritative biodiversity information, reviewed by credentialed curators. Cross-project badges will enable EOL to recognize expertise developed on other sites and grant them curator status. Individuals can thus develop their skills through participation and contributions across multiple organizations and increase interaction among professional scientists and enthusiasts. Other partners, such as the National Biodiversity Institute of Costa Rica  (INBio) and the India Biodiversity Portal also target formal and informal learning where students participate in biodiversity inquiry projects. The curricula include observation activities but also problem- or challenge-based activities that encourage students to explore biodiversity. INBio’s Cyberhives program is an excellent use-case for developing badges that recognize growing understanding of applied science and technology skills related to biodiversity. Badge Administration Our organizations will work together to develop common standards and criteria for earning and recognizing badges. Some badges may be project-specific (examples below); others may be more general. Badges will enable users to accrue and leverage skills learned on one project on other projects around the world. Our natural history badge system will therefore foster the development of knowledgeable and skilled citizens who can contribute to our understanding and management of increasingly vulnerable global ecosystems. Examples of current and proposed badges Examples of current and proposed badges Organisation Proposed badges iSpot and iSpot Southern Africa Identification skills (five levels from beginner to expert, differentiated in seven taxonomic groups)Neighbourhood Nature student and alumnus (formal assessment Encyclopedia of Life Curator INBio Cyberhives participant studentsScientistAlumnusTeachers India Biodiversity Portal Contributor (several levels)Project participantEcologist (assessed)Environmental policies and practices (assessed) iNaturalist ParticipationIdentification skills across taxonomic groups and geographical area Mushroom Observer Participation Atlas of Living Australia Collection managerCitizen science userVolunteerData provider Collaborating projects Project Logo Community Atlas of Living Australia 2,000 registered members + users of ALA supported portals (e.g. Birds Australia, WildBackyards) Encyclopedia of Life 53,621 registered members iNaturalist 3,000 registered members INBio   India Biodiversity Portal 2,500 registered members + 2 focused project groups with 60 members iSpot   15,000 registered members iSpot Southern Africa   Mushroom Observer 2,800 registered members   Additional material A contribution summary on Mushroom Observer   Observations on an Atlas of Living Australia portal   Badges of affiliated natural history schemes and societies on iSpot   A learning journey on iSpot  

Environment   Civics/Community/Volunteerism   Mobile
Building a Community of “Science Translators”

To help close the gap in in public understanding of complex, science-based problems like climate change and its impacts, the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) and The COMET Program will develop a badge curriculum for “science translators” – weathercasters, government agency staff, community journalists, formal and informal educators, amateur weather enthusiasts and others—who can help the public make informed decisions by providing critical environmental and climate information.

PI: Deborah Sliter (National Environmental Education Foundation)
  Tim Spangler (COMET (UCAR))
Building a Community of “Science Translators” Mike Buresh, chief meteorologist at CBS47/FOX30 in Jacksonville, Florida, presents an Earth Gauge tip to his viewers.   The growing disconnect between the scientific community and the public has created a gap in public understanding of complex, science-based problems like climate change and its impacts. For several years, the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF, has been working in partnership with the American Meteorological Society (AMS, and the COMET Program ( to develop the concept of weathercasters as “station scientists” through the Earth Gauge program ( NEEF’s network of more than 200 television weathercasters, radio broadcasters and journalists in 125 English and Spanish-language media markets regularly convey science and environmental information to millions of viewers across the country. These “station scientists” receive training and resources to communicate about a range of natural science and environmental issues as part of on-air and online communications, and community outreach. There is an important role for such “science translators” beyond television—in addition to weathercasters, these “translators” may include government agency staff, community journalists, formal and informal educators, amateur weather enthusiasts and others who can reach the public with critical environmental and climate information to help them make informed decisions in their communities.   A Digital Badge Curriculum for Environmental Science and Communication NEEF has already established a series of courses to teach about the linkages between weather, climate and environment, including Watersheds: Connecting Weather to the Environment, Weather and the Built Environment, Weather and Health and Climate Change: Fitting the Pieces Together. These courses were developed in partnership with the COMET Program, part of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), which manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) on behalf of its 75 member universities. NEEF courses are primarily aimed at weathercasters, but relevant to the other potential “science translators” mentioned above. Course content is based on scientific expertise and resources from multiple federal agencies and organizations, including NOAA and the UCAR network of scientists. In partnership with NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS), future courses will be produced on additional climate topics, including regional climate change impacts, sea level rise and extreme weather. Through the Earth Gauge program, NEEF also has a series of short video clips and visuals on environmental and climate change topics, such as analogies for explaining the difference between weather and climate. These resources have been developed with COMET and other environmental education groups. The COMET Program was established over 20 years ago to support the training and education needs of the operational forecast community and provide a means for transferring science into operations. The COMET MetEd website ( provides over 600 hours of free instruction in a variety of atmospheric, environmental and earth science topics such as Coastal Climate Change, The Amazon Rainforest and Climate Change and Understanding Drought. Many of COMET’s online instructional materials are also offered in Spanish. The MetEd website provides a large resource of proven, science-based content to be composed or repurposed as a basis for digital badge curriculum along with other NEEF education resources.   NEEF and COMET resources will be combined to create tracks for digital badges that will appeal to a range of audiences. For example, an “environmental communications” track may be of interest to weathercasters and community journalists, while an “amateur meteorologist” track may appeal to weather enthusiasts and educators responsible for teaching about the atmospheric sciences. NEEF will draw on resources from other partners, including NOAA, NWS, AMS, EPA and NASA to supplement digital badge learning tracks.   The curriculum for a digital badge will be focused on building communication and education skills. COMET’s performance-based Professional Development Series (PDS) approach will provide a framework for identifying the competencies and related abilities, skills and knowledge necessary to be an effective communicator and educator in regard to weather, environment and climate change concepts. To develop an appropriate PDS for digital badges, NEEF will convene an advisory panel of experts from the meteorology, environmental and climate science communities. COMET and UCAR will provide access to experts in science education and evaluation through experienced instructional designers and UCAR’s Education and Outreach Office and Digital Learning Sciences Center.   Expanded Learning Opportunities for Badge-Holders Expanded learning and professional development opportunities will be provided to learners who complete badges. For example, learners who complete an “environmental communications” curriculum could gain access to UCAR scientists through specialized webinars and virtual conferences, furthering learning and connections with the scientific community. NCAR’s summer workshops for educators and “Weather and Society Integrated Studies” course may also be adapted for communities of learners who have earned specific badges. Working with the National Weather Service, expanded opportunities will be provided to “amateur meteorologists” through NWS volunteer weather training programs and access to NWS field offices and personnel. Badge earners may also be able to participate in federal agency sponsored outreach and community education initiatives.   Administration NEEF will administer the badge program using COMET’s established assessment and tracking technology. This system provides for online assessment and tracking of learner accomplishments through reports on course completions and summary data based on learner registration parameters. Currently, learners are awarded certificates of completion for courses completed via the MetEd Registration and Assessment system ( Additionally, the use of the open source Moodle course management system will allow the integration of online resources with event-based activities as part of integrated offerings. A web-based representation of a developed PDS will allow a learner to see exactly what needs to be accomplished in order to earn a badge that verifies mastery of the competency areas identified.   Branding NEEF’s brand was developed in 2007 by BBMG, a leading marketing and consulting firm for nonprofit organizations. The brand has acquired strong name recognition among NEEF’s networks of formal and informal educators. NEEF has developed variations on the core organizational logo for several programs within the organization, including the Earth Gauge program for weathercasters and programs focused on environmental education, environmental health, public lands management and business sustainability.      

Civics/Community/Volunteerism   Journalism   Environment

BuzzMath is the latest interactive math workbook which provides middle school students with immediate detailed feedback, examples, and motivation to allow them to progress at their own pace.

PI: Jean-Philippe Choinière (Scolab)
  Jamie Piecora (Scolab)
The learning content, programs, or activities that will be supported by badges. BuzzMath seeks to provide engaging and rigorous content in an online learning environment that fosters inspiration and motivation in mathematics education. As an online program, the opportunity to learn exists 24 hours a day. The overall goal for learning is for students to master concepts based on the Common Core Mathematics Standards for Middle School students. Students will enhance their mathematical knowledge by completing concept specific documents, which contain a series of approximately 10 strategically designed pages that support scaffolding instruction. Each page provides practice problems, instant detailed solutions, examples, and dynamic values. These documents provide students with the practice and skills to complete standard based challenge documents and ultimately progress to the completion of problem solving missions. Each advancement students make will provide them with the opportunity to collect badges and access exclusive opportunities. Try one of our 275 documents: Integer Addition Using a Chip Model. The skills, competencies and achievements badges will validate. BuzzMath will provide three types of badges based on three components of mathematical competencies; content knowledge, process knowledge, and achievement. Content knowledge badges (refer to BM_Image01.jpg) will validate knowledge of specific content relating to numbers and operations, algebra, data analysis and probability, geometry, and measurement. As students complete a number of documents within one Common Core Standard, they will unlock a Challenge document that will provide an assessment of their content knowledge. Each of these challenge documents will incorporate learning techniques like retrieval practice (students will learn by doing), spaced repetition (upgradeable badges encourage review of concepts at different times), and interleaving (document design provides practice of a mixture of problems). Badges for process knowledge will highlight a student’s success in problem solving, reasoning and proof, mathematical communication, and ability to make connections and representations. Achievement can reward good behaviors, such as collecting 50 stars or completing 10 documents with perfect accuracy. In BuzzMath any badge represents more than just a resulting score. Students are given the tools to successfully complete all documents. Thus the earned badge represents a student’s effort, persistence, and achievement in the learning process. A student’s collection of badges will provide a clear picture of their personal mathematical knowledge and understanding of middle school math based on the requirements of the Common Core Standards. Identity and roles. The story line behind BuzzMath is that all of BuzzCity’s mathematical knowledge has been lost during a terrible accident. Students must help the professor, Alfred Bowtie, recover this knowledge by collecting content badges and solving missions. They practice and enhance their skills as they attempt to save BuzzCity by playing a fictitious role as Alfred’s assistant. Opportunities or Privileges. Individual badges serve as symbols of accomplishment and pride for mathematical mastery of specific concepts. The accumulation of these individual badges leads to exclusive opportunities and privileges for students. After students complete practice documents they will be able to complete challenge documents that will earn them a badge related to the content of the challenge. As students collect challenge badges they will be granted access to missions. Theme-based missions include content specific puzzles, challenges, and games that are related to the lives of real life mathematicians. Try a mission document (select “I’m a Teacher”). As students accumulate badges they will also receive exclusive entry into online math competitions. These competitions will consist of challenging problems that students will complete in a specified time period. The names of the top scorers will be posted on the BuzzMath website leaderboard. As students demonstrate mastery of specific concepts and skills and accumulate badges, they will be given the privilege to enter various learning communities that foster online collaboration with other students. Within the community they will be able to assist other students with their learning as well as work collaboratively with students to solve challenging problems. Existing assessments. BuzzMath currently uses Class Tracking Reports to track and measure the performance of all students (refer to BM_Image02.jpg). These progress reports show the progress, time spent, and accuracy of each student for each concept. This current reporting system makes it easy to identify students who are successful and those who are struggling based on specific content strands. While the information from these reports could be used to identify students who are successful and deserving of badges, it is limited to the statistics generated from practice documents. The implementation of a stronger assessment tool would be used to support the incorporation of content knowledge badges. Partners and Organizations. BuzzMath is made up of a team of math educators, computer programmers, a graphic designer, and an illustrator. Currently, there would be no need to partner with other teams or organizations for this badge implementation project. As BuzzMath expands, the possibility to partner with video game designers, video production organizations, and other content experts may present itself. Administration of the badges. Students’ badges will be displayed on their BuzzMath profile page which will be accessible to other students and teachers in their class. To share badges outside BuzzMath (Twitter, Facebook, e-Portfolios or other website) another service will be required like the Mozilla Open Badges system. BuzzMath will create a secure way to share information on badges to this external backpack. Branding Each badge will be made of three layers of information (See BM_Image03.jpg). The outer layer will determine the type of badge we have collected (knowledge, process knowledge, or achievement). The inner medallion or second layer will be an iconic representation of the skill or competency that has been measured. The third layer could include the BuzzMath branding, information on the level of the badge (for those that can be upgraded) or any state of the badge, and visual cue of the number of badges required to collect the entire family.

K-12 Classroom/ Common Core   STEM   After School/Out of School
Chicago for Youth Excellence in the Sciences (Chicago YES)

PI: Jennifer Schwarz Ballard (Chicago Botanic Garden)
  Gabrielle Lyon (Project Exporation)
  Karen Carney (Adler Planetarium)
  Leah Melber (Lincoln Park Zoo)
  Rafael Rosa (Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum)
  Jo-Elle Mogerman (Brookfield Zoo)
Introduction: Six Chicago-area informal STEM organizations – the Chicago Botanic Garden, Adler Planetarium, Project Exploration, Lincoln Park Zoo, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and the Brookfield Zoo – propose to develop Chicago for Youth Excellence in the Sciences (Chicago YES), a badge ecosystem that will recognize youth science learning in out-of-school settings. While many young adults participate in out-of-school enrichment programs, no formal recognition acknowledges either student effort and initiative or the substantial learning gained from the experience. The above organizations, which offer high-quality informal science education programs to thousands of students, will work together to identify common themes and learning goals as well as the unique experiences provided by each institution.  A badge ecosystem, endorsed by the Chicago museum community, will then be created to recognize student achievement in the variety of summer and afterschool science programs implemented by these museums. A formal recognition system certified by Chicago YES will lend legitimacy and power to the learning that youth are already gaining through these science programs. The long-term goal would be to extend participation to all qualified informal STEM providers in the Chicago region and potentially to create a Midwest or nationwide network of recognized informal STEM education programs. The learning content, programs, or activities supported: Badges will be awarded to students who successfully complete programs and activities in STEM afterschool and summer programs provided by participating Chicago-area institutions. Based on the collaborators areas of expertise, content will focus on environmental science, botany, zoology, astronomy, and archeology. In the development of the badge ecosystem, partners will identify and agree upon the requirements for badge awards in different skill areas and identify program activities and student achievements that meet badge requirements. The common components of collaborators’ programs include: 1) science learning and literacy; 2) communicating science to the public; 3) mentoring and leadership skills; and 4) preparation for higher education in science (see Attachment 1 for descriptions of Chicago YES partner organizations and links to their youth STEM programs). The skills, competencies and achievements badges will validate: The Chicago YES badge ecosystem will recognize both traditional and 21st-century skills. Traditional skills recognized include science content learning in a variety of disciplines and research methods. Additional badges will recognize students’ ability to communicate science and exhibit content to visitors, mentor younger peers, and take a leadership role in program activities. Because the programs represented through the consortium range in age from late primary/early middle school through high school and vary in length and intensity, badges will represent key checkpoints along a continuum of learning and performance, with more advanced and skilled requirements for each level of achievement. Identity and roles: The badge program will support youth in the role of scientist, as students participate in authentic research; as mentor, as students work with their younger peers; as communicator and educator, as they explain their science knowledge to museum visitors; and as career explorer, as they investigate the world of STEM careers. Opportunities or Privileges: Initially, this badge ecosystem will be designed to recognize achievement rather than provide access to additional opportunities or privileges.  However, as the Chicago YES partnership develops, badges can potentially provide a way of identifying and recognizing stellar youth at the partnership and/or city-wide level.  Within the partner organizations, capacity exists to develop additional opportunities for exceptional youth, as the badge ecosystem matures. Existing assessments: While each organization currently uses their own assessment tools for tracking student performance, all collaborating organizations assess student learning and achievement through performance based evaluations, including participation and completion of scientific research projects and demonstration of competency through engagement with museum visitors.  Traditional assessment tools, such as pre/post content assessments and attitude surveys, are also used. Part of the badge development process will include identifying similar experiences across organizations (e.g. developing and completing a research project or acting as an exhibit interpreter) and creating a shared system of assessment. While standardizing expectations for students in each type of experience, the assessment will allow room for differences in both the content covered and programmatic structure. Partners and Organizations: Because the core idea of this proposal is to create a full badge ecosystem that provides validation and recognition of informal science learning throughout the Chicago region, collaboration is a critical component of the proposal. Current partners are the Chicago Botanic Garden, Adler Planetarium, Project Exploration, Lincoln Park Zoo, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and Brookfield Zoo. Each organization comes to this project with expertise in conducting informal STEM programs for youth in different content areas. Three organizations have completed longitudinal evaluations of their program (Project Exploration, Lincoln Park Zoo, and Chicago Botanic Garden), and so also bring expertise in program evaluation. However, given the number of organizations involved and the breadth of programming provided, engaging an outside evaluator will be important in assessing the success and impact of the overall program within and across institutions. Administration of the badges: Badges will be coordinated through a central Chicago YES website.  The website will include program information from participating institutions, the badge requirements, and recognition of recipients with awarded badges. Each organization will assign one individual who is responsible for ensuring that students meet badge requirements and awarding badges. Badges will be displayed on the Chicago YES website as well as on individual collaborator websites. They will also be made available to students as “locked” electronic files, which they can display on Facebook pages, blogs, and other social media, as well as print badges on resumes and college applications. Branding: This multi-institutional collaboration will need to go beyond the current branding of any one participating organization. Common themes of all organizations include science, sustainability, conservation, education, and their location in the Chicago region.  Should this proposal be accepted, the partners will work together as a group with Badge Design and Technology awardees to create a new “umbrella” brand for the set of badges that can be offered through each participating institution.

ComPADRE Partners in Physics Education (PIPEline)

Partners in Physics Education (PIPEline) badges will recognize teacher-innovators who integrate rich digital media in physics or physical science classrooms and reward learners of all ages who use, construct, and share digital resources in their quest to learn physics.

PI: Bruce Mason (American Association of Physics Teachers)
  Caroline Hall (American Association of Physics Teachers)
  Wolfgang Christian (Davidson College)
  Cathy Ezrailson (University of South Dakota)
  Tom Henderson (The Physics Classroom)
The ComPADRE Digital Library (, a project led by the American Association of Physics Teachers, strives to broaden access to physics education through technology-based tools.  Our project is built on these fundamental ideas: All people deserve the opportunity to take advantage of high quality educational resources and engage in meaningful physics learning. Rich digital media is transforming teaching and learning in uniquely positive and exciting ways. Effective use of digital resources requires community support and practice. Improving student understanding of fundamental physics concepts impacts such widely diverse fields as biological and medical sciences, nanotechnology, Earth sciences, and engineering.  ComPADRE is promoting robust digital resources and web tools to expand the field of potential participants in the STEM fields – including those who might otherwise be left out. Joining the ecosystem of Badges for Lifelong Learning will help recognize and promote the efforts of all these learners and instructors. Learning Content Over the past two decades, physics educators have come to realize that effective science learning involves student-engaged activities and instruction. Interactive digital media with multiple representations of physical systems are a relatively new addition to the classroom, but hold great promise as tools for student learning.  Education researchers are providing insight into how science education can be enhanced through use of digital media. The research indicates: Computer simulations introduced in conjunction with formal instruction have resulted in improved conceptual understanding of certain physical processes. Interacting with high-quality digital media has a higher engagement value for students than traditional lecture-based education. Animations can promote understanding when used in ways that are consistent with the cognitive theory of multimedia learning. ComPADRE proposes to develop a “Partners in Physics Education” (PIPEline) badge system to recognize innovators – both teachers and learners – who use digital resources and web tools to explore physics and physical science.  The badge system will be built on the educational content, tools, and community resources available in the ComPADRE Digital Library collections.  Badges will be deployed by the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). The ComPADRE resource collections will serve as the public face of the program, with PIPEline serving as the vehicle to motivate, reward, and recognize people who demonstrate specific skills in using digital resources for learning or teaching physics or developing multimedia materials for physics education.  The PIPEline program will focus on these fundamental components: Learners Engaged in Knowledge Building: The organization and structuring of knowledge and concepts is a powerful tool to promote higher order learning. PIPEline will provide opportunities for learners to mine, organize, and share digital resources as personal multimedia modules for topics in physics and physical science. This work will leverage the existing personal collections in ComPADRE and extend this infrastructure to build stronger social networking. Badges will be created for recognition of participation, peer comments, and professional review and will support a broad audience of learners. As a test, there is interest at Oakstone Academy in Columbus, Ohio to create a pilot cohort of special-needs high school students to participate in the development of these badges.  These students represent an example of an underserved population in STEM education that will benefit from opportunities to develop leadership skills that might otherwise go untapped.    Scientific Modeling and Computational Physics: The creation and effective use of scientific models is crucial for doing science, and has also been proven a powerful learning tool. The use of computational tools broadens and deepens the modeling effort and introduces important 21st Century skills to students. PIPEline will use the existing tools and delivery mechanisms of ComPADRE’s Open Source Physics collection to encourage student modeling and computational explorations of physics. OSP is a complete platform for building, sharing, running, and modifying computational models of physical systems. Badges for creation and modification of models will promote physics learning, encourage student skills, and foster international collaboration and active community participation. There is interest in developing a pilot group of high school students engaged in computational modeling in Warren County, Ohio.  Integrating Technology in the Classroom:  PIPEline will develop, in parallel with the learner activities above, recognition for educators organizing, building, and modifying digital learning modules. This program will use the ComPADRE resource library of physics educational content and services for personalization and content sharing. In contrast to the learner badges, this will include a focus on pedagogical excellence and evidence-based best practice. Badges will recognize innovators who take a “resource-to-practice” approach to digital learning and who help other teachers be more effective using digital media and tools. We will work with a pilot group of pre-service teachers at the University of South Dakota, who will pursue badges for module creation in specific topical areas. PIPEline Badge System We will assign families of badges for both learners and educators in the areas described above, each with a hierarchy of specific competencies to be pursued by teachers or learners.  21st Century skills, such as technology integration and community building, will receive special emphasis.  Each Badge Family will offer the flexibility to choose a focused mastery of one skill-set, or to pursue an aggregate set of skills. Badge earners will be recognized by the level of skill and their activity within levels. For example: Example Hierarchy: Computational Modeling   Level Activity Assessment/Recognition Model User(Participant) Comment on existing OSP models Number of comments Participation badges in ComPADRE profile Model Aggregator (Content ) Models organized and contextualized Peer ratings of personal folders Badges in ComPADRE profile Model Modifier (Content Builder) Expand existing models and/or add learning activity Acceptance as modified Model Author recognition by OSP Model Builder (Developer) Create new Easy Java Simulation models Acceptance into OSP Library OSP Author recognition by OSP and AAPT   More details about the current plan for badge tiers, criteria, validation methods, and rewards are provided on the attached flow sheet. Partners and Collaborators This project will take advantage of the resources of the AAPT and the editors and contributors to the ComPADRE resource collections. The AAPT and ComPADRE will provide the recognition of the PIPEline participants.

STEM   K-12 Classroom/ Common Core   
Computer Science Student Network Badge System

[The Computer Science Student Network is] a curated platform for high-quality Computer Science and STEM activities linking Knowledge, Teaching, and Industry connections through multi-tiered badge pathways.

PI: Ross Higashi (Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy)
  Robin Shoop (Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy)
  Christian D Schunn (University of Pittsburgh Learning Research and Development Center)
  Sam Abramovich (University of Pittsburgh Learning Research and Development Center)
The Computer Science Student Network Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Academy (CMU), in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh’s Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC), DARPA, LEGO, National Instruments, Robomatter Inc., Autodesk, and a large number of informal and formal education partners is developing badged activities designed to significantly increase the number of students pursuing Computer Science, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (CS-STEM) careers. These badges will be offered through the Computer Science Student Network (CS2N), an interconnected system of scaffolded learning opportunities in computer science, robotics, mathematics, animation, and game design. CS2N's student home page and activities pages (under redesign) are shown below: CS2N activities come in a number of formats and target different parts of the CS-STEM domain. CS2N uses a student-data tracking system, carefully selected CS-STEM activities, and a badging system to provide a continuum of activities designed to encourage interdisciplinary connections, motivate long-term engagement, and measure student performance. All CS2N activities implement automated achievement-reporting that feeds into a common database. CS2N’s Robots in Motion cognitive tutored lessons, for example, use a combination of online AI-based tutoring and in-class robotics programming tasks to address several vital pre-algebra concepts. The activity uses a collection of “small” badges like the one shown below to break up the monotony of practice problems and motivate students by reminding them that they are making progress. It awards “large” badges for demonstrating mastery of key big ideas in mathematics such as rate and scale. The same CS2N system also badges students for successfully programming a 3D virtual robot in the gamelike Robot Virtual Worlds (RVW), completing LMS-based coursework in CS2N Learn, or for submitting or peer-judging an entry in the Alice Animation Festival; there are hundreds of opportunities for small badges and many opportunities for large badges. CS2N also provides each student with a profile page where they are able to see recent, total, and upcoming Achievements. CS2N’s primary developer, Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Academy, has a history of research, development, training, and products in the marketplace that position it as a good developer and certifier of badged content. Since 2000, CMU has partnered with commercial entities, colleges, education-industry consortia, and government to produce: Standards-based STEM curricula now used by thousands of teachers around the world A multi-year occupational analysis of industry that culminated in the development of a 500-question databank and authentic assessment activities to measure entry-level job readiness for robotics technicians (used in CS2N) A 4H curriculum and the Boy Scout Robotics Merit Badge Student, Instructor, and Industry Badges The CS2N project aims to train, retain, certify, and motivate students, teachers, and future CS-STEM workers. Its internal badge ecosystem includes three major categories of “large” badges in addition to the “small” ones used for motivation and tracking purposes.   Small Badges Large Badges Student Instructor Industry Purpose Motivation & Recognition of progress toward proficiency Certification of content proficiency Certification of pedagogical proficiency Externally validated certification of professionally recognized skillset Student Badges are targeted at identifying demonstrable levels of proficiency in computer science, robotics, engineering, critical thinking, and other 21st Century Skills, as identified and evidenced by any of CS2N’s family of targeted activities. A middle school student involved in the Robotics Programming strand might earn the following badge by passing an LMS-based quiz or programming a virtual robot, demonstrating proficiency in basic NXT-G programming concepts and skills: Instructor Badges represent the technical and pedagogical qualification of an individual to use, explain, and support a specific technology, activity, or curriculum. These badges are typically earned on top of Student-level badges indicating competency in the content itself. Few teachers have (or need) four-year Robotics degrees, but the ability to certify an individual’s proficiency as an instructor in the emerging field of STEM robotics is of great value to teachers, institutional decision-makers, and ultimately to students. CMU offers professional development to hundreds of teachers a year via face-to-face and online training. Under CS2N, a candidate completing a proctored course can be issued credentials certifying her proficiency in instructing others to program in NXT-G, in informed ways that enable future progress: Industry Badge Industry Badges connect CS2N activities to industry certification programs from partners such as National Instruments and Autodesk. As students learn and use industry standard software packages to complete activities in CS2N, they will earn badges that map to officially recognized industry certifications. Students learn job-ready skills, and industry partners gain exposure for both their products and their certification programs. CS2N activities are selected in part for their ability to deliver and support a continuum of progress toward externally certifiable skillsets. A teacher of introductory-level robotics could continue augmenting her own backpack of qualifications through higher-level CS2N programs. These programs culminate in recognizable certifications such as LabVIEW Certified Associate Developer, developed in coordination with National Instruments, the commercial developer of the LabVIEW language. Such recognitions are already valued in education and industry.   Benefits and Outcomes of DML Participation CS2N’s badge system is still in development and there remains considerable room to make improvements. First and foremost, the current system is proprietary and not directly compatible with the Open Badge framework – CS2N’s badging system would benefit from OBI compatibility, and in turn contribute significantly to the badge ecosystem. Second, Teacher and Industry badges are currently slated for development after student badges are completed. Increased resources would enable the systems to be developed concurrently instead. Third, CMU would leverage the DML partnership to boost the visibility and credibility of the CS2N certification effort. This would enable us to persuade more partners to commit to participation in CS2N Badging. Finally, it is CS2N’s goal to support a wide array of high quality CS-STEM activities – its target is 1 million annual participants by 2013. Building partnerships with like-minded groups within the DML community will not only help us reach this goal, but also provide those groups with leverage to bring their content to scale through CS2N. A systematic set of guidelines will govern the design, nature, and weighting of CS2N badges in order to preserve their integrity at scale.

STEM   Career/Workforce   After School/Out of School
Cornell Lab of Ornithology - A Feather in Your Cap

We propose to build on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s history of public engagement by creating a “Feather in Your Cap” badge to motivate birders and nature enthusiasts worldwide to follow individualized pathways, deepening contributions to citizen science and conservation action while building vital knowledge and skills.

PI: Nancy Trautmann (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
  Rhiannon Crain (Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Citizen Science)
  Jennifer Fee (Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Citizen Science)
  Miyoko Chu (Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Communications)
  Janis Dickinson (Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Citizen Science)
  Steve Kelling (Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Information Sciences)
Put a Feather in Your Cap! We propose to build on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s history of public engagement by creating a “Feather in Your Cap” badge to motivate birders and nature enthusiasts worldwide to follow individualized pathways; deepening contributions to citizen science and conservation action while building vital knowledge and skills.   One in five Americans watches birds (1), and each year six million people visit the Lab’s websites to learn more about birds and to join activities that help the environment. This engagement is key to the Lab’s mission of increasing the understanding and protection of birds and other wildlife through scientific discovery, education, citizen science, and conservation. A fun and easily navigated badge system will help us inspire and recognize more people who want to expand their knowledge, share expertise, and help the natural world.   Bird enthusiasts often have a passion for learning about and helping birds. Each year, more than 200,000 people contribute to our citizen-science projects, representing more than 1.6 million hours of volunteer bird monitoring each year. People have contributed more than 85,000 bird photos for the Lab to use in outreach materials, sharing their passion with others. More than 15,000 people from 70 countries have graduated from our distance-learning courses. Thousands more attend our workshops on topics ranging from engaging kids in science to recording wildlife sounds.   These are just a few examples of how we create pathways to a deeper understanding of ecology and conservation that can lead to healthier choices for people and our planet, and continued engagement with science and conservation (2). Because the earth is facing a crisis in the loss of biodiversity, this is a pivotal time to engage millions of people in connecting with and protecting nature.   Extending the Cornell Lab’s programming to include a unified badging system would encourage deeper public involvement and formally recognize individual progression from awareness to knowledge to action. Before the Digital Media and Learning Competition (DMLC) came to our attention, two Lab projects had already outlined separate badging systems to encourage habitat improvement (see Supplement 2). The DMLC made us realize the even greater power of a holistic system to recognize vetted achievements spanning the diversity of projects and opportunities at the Lab and across the web.   We propose to enter the Open Badging frontier, creating a system that would draw birders and nature enthusiasts worldwide into flexible pathways culminating in a “Feather in Your Cap.”   Supported content and activities We propose a flexible system offering six thematic badges from the Lab; people would need at least three of these to earn the Open Badging system’s “Feather in Your Cap.” For instance, a bird watcher might choose to earn the Lab’s Citizen Scientist Badge by submitting data to two citizen-science projects for a specified time or volume of data and engage in a series of tasks designed to familiarize them with data. To earn a Bird ID Expert Badge, they might improve their ability to identify local birds by sight and sound, and tag a certain number of user-contributed photos with species names. They might earn a Bird-Friendly Landscaper Badge after making their yard or community space more bird-friendly and mapping it using our YardMap tools. Any combination of three of the Lab’s badges would culminate in the coveted “Feather in Your Cap.” Please see Table 1 (supplements) for details. This system enables multiple ways for people to earn recognition for specialized contributions or expertise while working toward the ultimate Feather, which might require three months to multiple years to earn. By providing clear pathways to a choice of goals, along with incentives to try several in order to earn the ultimate badge, “Feather in Your Cap” would inspire people to enhance their knowledge, change the world by sharing expertise or taking informed actions, and receive recognition for their growing expertise and accomplishments.   Existing Tools for Robust Assessment We are developing tools for several of our citizen-science projects and interactive websites to collect and track data for assessing bird ID skills and engagement. These tools will heighten the validity of our badge awards and curb attempts to ‘game’ the system. Skills, such as identifying birds by sight or sound, could be validated through online quizzes. The Lab’s central database can track incremental change in participants’ skills, time on task, course participation, and social interactions. We are interested in badges as a way to move these metrics from behind the curtain into a public arena that motivates and inspires participants through celebration of achievements.   Partners A cross-disciplinary team of staff from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, including biologists, learning scientists, information scientists, statisticians, curriculum developers, web designers, application developers, and evaluation experts are invested in creating our badging system. We are applying to this competition because of the opportunity to network with the broader Open Badging community and to fund programmers and designers to fulfill our vision for a holistic badging system.   Badge Administration The Lab has the capacity to administer and display badges on our highly trafficked websites (6 million visitors/year) and Facebook page (~55,000 likes). Participants can already submit data to multiple citizen-science projects with a single user account. Next, we want to develop a centralized user dashboard where participants can select badge options, network with peers, and keep track of progress. Once a participant earns the “Feather,” the dashboard could serve as an informational page for people curious about what the Feather represents—a public summary of each awardees' accomplishments.   Branding The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is respected for its far-reaching and innovative programs in citizen science, lifelong learning, and interactive websites. The proposed badging system would create a playful, accessible, authentic, and personal way for people to showcase their achievements as a feather in their proverbial caps.   References Carver, E. (2006). Birding in the United States: A demographic and economic analysis. Addendum to the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, 1–20. Trumbull, D., Bonney, R., Bascom, D., Cabral, A. (2000). "Thinking scientifically during participation in a citizen-science project," Science Education, vol. 84, pp. 265-275.

Civics/Community/Volunteerism   STEM   Environment
Corporation for Public Broadcasting: American Graduate Initiative Badges

CPB proposes the development of a system of badges surrounding the American Graduate Let’s Make It Happen educational content and resources to be made available nationally via the American Graduate website – (website currently under development) and deployed by local public media stations within their communities.

PI: Fiona Macintyre (Corporation for Public Broadcasting)
  Corporation for Public Broadcasting Framework for Collaboration   The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,300 locally-owned and –operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services. Public media has long been a trusted educational resource, providing students of all ages with programming and resources and teachers with tools to help them better educate America’s youth. In 2011, public media launched a national initiative to deploy our network of locally-owned and –operated television and radio stations to address one of the most challenging issues of our time – the dropout crisis.  The American Graduate Let’s Make It Happen Initiative supports the development of national and local content, engagement of local communities and creation of multimedia tools to deliver locally-customized solutions that address the dropout crisis.   Learning Content CPB proposes the development of a system of badges surrounding the American Graduate Let’s Make It Happen educational content and resources to be made available nationally via the American Graduate website – (website currently under development) and deployed by local public media stations within their communities. American Graduate content and resources target middle- and high-school children who are at most risk for dropping out, including those who are economically disadvantaged, are from immigrant families, or who face other obstacles that are likely to keep them from graduating. American Graduate educational resources are specifically designed to engage youth and make tangible connections between their education and their career goals and aspirations. These digital educational resources will prepare students for college and career utilizing devices and platforms they use every day.   Partners and Resources Existing educational resources already identified as part of American Graduate Let's Make It Happen include: StoryCorps U: An oral history curriculum that engages high school students, develops their literacy skills, and prepares them for college and career. ( Roadtrip Nation: This combination of an annual television series, online content, youth-created media, digital interview archive, innovative curriculum and live local events engages youth, especially at-risk students, and provides access and exposure to life pathways and prepares them for college. ( PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs: Recognizing that engagement is the key for keeping kids in school and nourishing healthy communities, the NewsHour Student Reporting Labs employs a unique mentoring model, an innovative journalism curriculum and an online collaborative workspace to allow students to develop digital media, critical thinking and communication skills, while producing news reports for PBS NewsHour Extra. ( CPB envisages a series of badges that could be built around a common set of skills and competencies that could be attained by successful participation in any of the above three projects. (For more detail, see the Skills and Competencies section below.) Another set of educational resources available through American Graduate include the games and resources that form part of the CPB American History and Civics Initiative (AHCI) which represents a major commitment by CPB to address critical shortfalls in middle and high school students’ knowledge of American history and our political systems. Four AHCI projects will be available to teachers and students during the 2011-2012 school year and will be featured on the American Graduate website as part of the collection of digital educational resources available to educators and at-risk youth. As the skills attained by students successfully participating in and completing this suite of games would be focused specifically on student knowledge of American History and Civics, and therefore potentially quite different from the skills that would be attained by participating in the three projects described above, we envisage this as a possible second phase of badge development. AHCI projects include: Mission: U.S. – a package of three free online video games set in different eras of American history. Through game play, students navigate historic settings, develop relationships with key figures, investigate primary documents, witness pivotal events and ultimately decide their fictional character’s fate in the face of actual history. In addition, the project includes a website with classroom resources, and activities and social networking opportunities for teachers and students ( To view initial research results from the Mission: U.S. pilot, please visit:  Young American Heroes – a multi-platform educational project aimed at teaching American History to middle schoolers through the stories of ordinary kids doing extraordinary things during seminal moments of our nation’s past (  Past/Present – a multi-platform approach to teaching American history to middle school students through a multi-platform immersive historical role-playing game. The game offers students a first-person understanding of daily life by playing characters based on ordinary Americans of long ago. Players complete a series of game challenges which require them to navigate their character through historically-accurate environments and make informed decisions about their character’s life. ( (Note: currently website contains information only; the Past/Present game is not yet live.)  HD Lab – “Young History Detectives” builds upon the strong nationwide response from educators and students to the popular PBS TV series, “History Detectives.” Teens across the nation explore America’s past by investigating historical objects (some in their own families’ possession) with the help of the History Detectives website and experts. (This game is still under development; not yet live.) In addition, CPB is working with Nine Network of Public Media in St. Louis, and WNET/New York, American Graduate Let’s Make It Happen Initiative and Education Managers respectively, to identify, curate and aggregate additional local and national educational content and resources as part of the Initiative and to identify and address gaps in the available curriculum. As Initiative Manager, Nine Network is charged with oversight, coordination and support of the integrated components of the American Graduate Initiative which include national and local on-air and online content, interactive educational resources, and on-the-ground community engagement. Nine Network also manages the work of the 25 public media stations working in 20 communities to establish Public Media Community Hubs to help address and find solutions to the dropout crisis.  As American Graduate Education Manager, WNET/New York oversees, coordinates and supports specifically the educational components of the Initiative, including the identification and aggregation of interactive educational materials and the creation and implementation of teacher professional development.   Skills, Competencies, Capacities, Qualities and Achievements These engaging educational resources provide the opportunity to create a system of badges across all American Graduate educational resources that would highlight the skills and competencies developed by participating students. These include 21st Century skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, creative problem-solving and teamwork, in addition to skills acquired during the development of digital media. These include project management, research, communication, and leadership skills, in addition to technology and written communication skills, such as audio and video recording and editing, interviewing, producing and directing, among others. Students will develop the skills and competencies throughout their participation in each of these projects. One of the challenges is to identify all the skills students can attain while participating with these resources and design a system of badges that recognizes both individual skill sets, while also providing recognition of the aggregate set of skills achieved by these students. Students are not required to participate in and complete each of the available American Graduate educational resources. Rather, a menu of resources is being developed for the Initiative, and will be made available to educators and students through their local Public Media Community Hub stations. Each local community will choose which resources to offer to their students. Therefore, we envision the creation of a flexible American Graduate badge system that will accommodate skill sets that are common throughout all of the educational resources, such as the development of 21st Century Skills. At the same time, it is likely that certain badges would be specific to a particular resource or set of resources. A set of digital media production badges could be developed and would be common across the resources that teach those skills, including PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs, Roadtrip Nation and StoryCorpsU, and during a potential second phase of development, an American History and Civics badge(s), could be earned by successful participation and completion of any or all of the available AHCI games.    Goals/Opportunities for the Badge System In addition to rewarding badges to students for the development of individual skills or a group of skills associated with individual educational resources, the goal of this project would be to elevate and connect the badge system across the American Graduate Initiative, to create a pathway of participation between the resources, and to extend the value of student participation and enable students to gain credit for their experiences and assist them in being prepared for college and careers.     Value of the Badge System Participation in any or all of the American Graduate educational resources provides students with an authentic, relevant and highly valuable experience.  In creating a system of badges across all American Graduate resources, our goal is to ensure that students gain appropriate recognition for their work and are able to leverage skills mastered as they pursue their education and careers. The skills that students can develop through American Graduate are highly relevant, important and valuable to their future education and career worlds; consequently, having the ability to show evidence of these skills and competencies can help students achieve advancement through formal channels, continue their education, find career paths and ultimately get jobs.     Technology Considerations As an organization, CPB does not have the internal technical system or infrastructure to support learner interaction with materials and assessments or to support the issuing of badges. Nor do we believe that CPB is an appropriate organization to issue badges. Consequently, we would look to American Graduate content creators, in conjunction with WNET/New York, the American Graduate Education Manager, and Nine Network/St. Louis, the American Graduate Initiative Manager, to support learner interaction with materials and assessments and to support issuing of badges. We would be interested in working with these organizations to potentially develop a badge system that would provide connections between the different programs available as part of American Graduate, and to potentially identify or develop an umbrella organization to provide those connections and issue the badges. We are also interested in determining how this proposed badge system could feed into with wider ecosystem of badges and the Open Badge infrastructure being developed by Mozilla.      Branding Considerations It would be essential to CPB that any and all badges or groupings of badges developed through this project would be branded as American Graduate and would, in some fashion, incorporate the American Graduate logo. We would rely on the designers to suggest ways of doing this to highlight both the individual skill and/or group of skills achieved and the fact that these skills were achieved while participating in the larger American Graduate Initiative designed to keep kids in school and to ensure that they graduate college and career ready.   

After School/Out of School   K-12 Classroom/ Common Core   
CyberWise- Digital Literacy for Grownups

CyberWise is dedicated to increasing adult digital literacy skills and acumen because we believe no grownup should be left behind!

PI: Diana Graber (CyberWise)
  Diana Graber (CyberWise)
  Cynthia Lieberman (CyberWise)
"New technologies “are supposed to engage students and make life easier for teachers. But a lack of training means educators are often intimidated, rather than liberated by new gadgets" (US News & World Report, 11/8/11). No Grownup Left Behind! CyberWise is dedicated to improving the digital literacy of educators and parents. Launched just this past summer, our online learning site is already brimming with free, user-friendly videos, guides, research and news about digital media and learning.  A badge reward system would transform these resources into a professional development program that, upon completion, yields a valid record of accomplishment. Learning Content/Activities Supported by Badges While many resources explain how to use digital media tools, we put our state-of-the-art media psychology education to work to explain why. We believe addressing the question, “Why is this digital tool beneficial for learning?” can alleviate the fear-based resistance that often stands in the way of using these tools in school. Learning content is delivered primarily through CyberWise Guides - free, easy-to-understand, downloadable videos and pdf/e-books that explain digital media in simple terms. Each 2-part Guide includes a short video explaining why to use the tool, and a companion guide telling how. The pdf/ebook is packed with guidance to the best tutorials, lesson plans, examples of teachers using the tools in the classroom, and other ideas for enhancing education. Link:                                                   Video Link                                                                                                 E-book Link Guides are broken into two Strands: The Introductory Strand covers the basics of new media, defines media literacy in the 21st century, and explains why “digital citizenship” is the first step towards media literacy. There are currently Guides to New Media, Media Literacy, and Digital Citizenship. Completion of this Strand would grant access to the next Strand. The CyberTools4Schools Strand introduces the digital media “tools.” Currently there are Guides to Twitter, Glogster Edu, and Prezi (with TeacherTube, Animoto, Edmodo, and more in progress). Skills, Competencies, Achievements Badges Validate CyberWise “OWL” badges will validate the acquisition of digital literacy skills. Although the resources on our site can be accessed independently and in any order, our goal is to move Learners through the content sequentially, scaffolding learning that starts with a general understanding of digital media and the importance of digital citizenship, and moves into technical competency and understanding of “tools” available. Identity/Roles We want our Learners to become media literate Role Models. We believe young people benefit when adults model proactive, responsible and competent usage of digital tools for learning. Additionally, adults equipped with enhanced understanding and skills become effective advocates for digital literacy in education.  Opportunities/Privileges Our goal is to develop these resources into a professional development program with incentives that encourage Learners to progress through to the end of the final Strand, signifying they have achieved recognized competency in digital media. For example: Completion of the CyberWise Guide to New Media (including assessment) = 1 OWL badge and grants access to the next Guide. This continues until the Introductory Strand is completed. Completion of Introductory Strand (3 OWL’s or more, tbd) = Access to CyberTools4 Schools Strand. Here’s where the incentives really kick in! Completion of a CyberTool Guide/Assessment (i.e. Prezi, Glogster EDU)= 1 OWL 1 OWL might also earn “premium” usage of a tool such as Prezi. Higher levels of achievement (i.e., 5 OWL’s) might earn a $250 gift certificate to Office Max, a class-wide museum fieldtrip, or other sponsor-related reward. Completion of the CyberTools Strand = 15 (exact number, tbd) OWL’s which signifies digital media mastery. Our goal is to foster alliances with partners/sponsors who share our vision of incentivizing Learners to complete this program. Additionally, professional recognition through a badge reward system may give Learners the opportunity/privilege of integrating digital media into their school, classroom, or work environment. Existing Assessments Because our target audience consists of overworked teachers and busy parents, we want our assessments to be fun, real-word applications of knowledge. In the spirit of Harry Potter O.W.L. exams that signify attainment of an “ordinary wizarding level”, our OWL’s also signify achievement of a new level of skill and understanding (after all, who doesn’t feel like a wizard when they’ve mastered Prezi?). For example, actionable tasks that demonstrate mastery of Twitter include: Open an account. “Follow” five people. Send a “tweet”. Create and follow a “hashtag”. “Retweet” an item. OWL’s will be awarded upon completion of these online challenges and/or quiz that measures learning. To foster a supportive community of adult Learners who encourage and share resources with one another, progress will be posted on each User’s Profile, linkable to their social networks. CyberWise will conduct the assessments, in conjunction with other media specialists as needed. Partners/Organizations: CyberWise advocates for the integration of “digital citizenship” as the first step to media literacy in schools, after-school programs, and home discussions. We are partnered with Journey School, a K-8 public charter school in Aliso Viejo, California, now in its second year of a three-year “CyberCivics” program being designed and implemented by CyberWise Co-Founder Diana Graber. This groundbreaking program integrates digital literacy into Journey’s middle school curriculum. Currently, students who complete a year of “digital citizenship” and “information literacy” earn the privilege of using digital devices at school. In the final year students are challenged to demonstrate civic engagement using digital tools. Besides adding an element of fun, an OWL badge program would give students a recognizable symbol of achievement to carry into high school, and further validate a program we hope will serve as a model for other schools. Additionally, CyberWise is well positioned to collaborate with partners that share our vision of incentivizing Learners to complete this professional development program. Even with limited resources, we continuously strive to cultivate these relationships. Administration of Badges: CyberWise would administrate the OWL badges through our website and/or become part of the Mozilla Badge Ecosystem.  Branding Our owl already makes a striking pin and is gaining recognition as an icon of adult digital learning. We envision versions with skill/competency as part of the badge. Video Transcripts: CyberWise Guide to Digital Citizenship Transcript here: CyberWise Guide to Twitter Video Transcript here: CyberWise Guide to Prezi Video Transcript here:

After School/Out of School   K-12 Classroom/ Common Core   Career/Workforce
DebateHall DML Competition

DebateHall’s badge ecosystem will teach digital literacy and any subject of study (politics, science, mathematics, etc. ...) through engaged social discourse via an asynchronous speech and debate digital media platform (See DebateHall tutorial at

PI: Steven Atneosen (DebateHall)
  Steven Atneosen (DebateHall LLC)
  Gordon Stables (DebateHall LLC)
  Samuel Birdsong (DebateHall LLC)
  STAGE ONE: BADGE CONTENT AND PROGRAMS Call for learning content, programs, and/or activities   The learning content, programs, or activities that will be supported by badges.   Our badge ecosystem will teach digital literacy and any subject of study (politics, science, mathematics, etc. ...) through engaged social discourse via an asynchronous speech and debate digital media platform (See DebateHall tutorial at This digital literacy and social discourse platform (the “platform” or “solution”) will engage students to move through a range of interactions that will enhance their digital literacy skills and promote co-production of learning fundamentals within a particular subject of study. It will also present any organization the rubric to create its own badge system. This ecosystem will not allow anonymity; every participant must use their real name to ensure quality and civil discourse and the safety of the learning and collaboration environment.   The platform will complement traditional curriculum and enable students to earn badges reflecting a range of skills and participation, such as mastery of domain expertise within a particular subject matter (Master of their Domain Badge), the ability to leverage speech and written evidence to communicate a point of view (Great Communicator Badge) and collaboration with their chosen communities (Citizen Badge). Each category will have subcategories of mastery and community, and the platform will provide opportunities for all stakeholders to create their own badges to designate mastery, affiliation and any other badge that may be helpful in promoting learning, innovation and collaboration.   The platform diverges from traditional social discourse by designing interactive settings that move beyond the false distinction between competencies based on public speaking (as oral skills) and those grounded in information management (as written skills). Students will interact with the rich complexity of public argument that they experience in their daily lives, including their prolific use of social media properties such as FaceBook, Twitter, Quora to influence each other through Internet social discourse.   The skills, competencies and achievements badges will validate.   Badges will be earned by students of all ages for the ability to successfully master specific aspects of digital literacy and social discourse, including but not limited to the following:   Skills and Competencies.   ·         Assess Position or Factual Statements – Students will be tasked to identify and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of specific arguments, or in some instances assert their own. This may include an emphasis on the quality and credibility of information presented. ·         Process Information – Students will be exposed to complex sets of public arguments and then tasked to recall significant themes and specific argumentative strategies across the data sets. ·         Research – Throughout all levels of learning, students will be engaged to locate important information necessary to support specific argumentative goals using online tools and sources, as well as achieving domain expertise regarding that specific topic. ·         Collaboration/Resolution – When faced with a disparate set of dissenting arguments, students will challenge each other to identify sites of agreement and potential strategies to resolve the dispute. ·         Remixing Argument – A highly advanced skill will reflect students’ abilities to not only identify and recall useful evidence (achieving deeper domain expertise) and arguments, but also learning to deploy multimedia presentations. ·         Debate –Students may also compete with one another in a more traditional form of debate depending upon their skill levels (designated by badges) and various affiliations. In others words, educators (with a badge structure all of its own) may design competitions for all students with specific experiences and design those events.   Achievements.   ·         Wins – When the social discourse is competitive, judges will determine a winner based on rubrics. ·         Engagements – Includes the competitive arena so far as one may venture to step in, but also encompasses initiative to broach topics, leadership in defining new skill sets, and innovation in applying digital media to social discourse. ·         Mastery – When the accumulation of badges and their corresponding skills and competencies add up to an original achievement, one may be recognized and nominated by a Master to share the same title.   Identity and Roles.           The basic design allows students to role-play as policy-makers, journalists, commentators, arbitrators and/or educators within a wide range of contexts depending upon the source of badging and affiliation. Currently the platform provides for “Politics”, “Law & Government”, “Business”, “Technology”, “Science”, “Health”, “Environment”, “Philosophy”, “Culture”, “Sports & Entertainment” and “Offbeat”.           For example, in Politics, legislative, judicial and executive settings can all be designed as individual experiences. Specific settings can be customized to reflect local political and cultural issues. Students may work through a sequence devoted to examining how their community would consider changes to their local zoning laws or to adjustments in local school policy. Progressing to a global scale, students could investigate such challenges as climate change.   Opportunities or Privileges.           Badges will become the ticket for students to participate in certain venues within the platform and may be based upon geography, skill level, affiliation or a combination of all of them. Students might, for example, take part in simulations designed to reflect the challenges facing candidates in a local election and then earn gradations of badges based on their overall performance. Outside organizations could be encouraged to sponsor these competitions as training environments. The large number of mock trial, mock congress , and model UN events testifies to the diversity of these potential applications.   Existing Assessments.   One of the most important advancements possible with this platform is the ability to identify assessment of these core skills as a building block for argument (traditional speech and debate) training while using time-tested rubrics in the social discourse space. These legacy rubrics will be used to gauge learning and establish the appropriate levels to award achievement badges. Competition, however subjective, provides another community-based opportunity to grant badges based upon real world persuasion.     Partners and Organizations.   Development of this platform requires collaboration and includes rich opportunities to develop partnerships and affiliations. In fact, leveraging existing social and digital media properties will build community and relevance. Every learning organization (secondary schools to adult learning) is regarded as a stakeholder, and may create a badge system for its community, as well as develop a broader-based and more relevant community using the platform. Specific to speech and debate, large national and international debate organizations exist in high school and college. None of these organizations currently offers an interactive means of simulating learning environments. Partnering organizations could become involved as sponsors of specific competition contexts and reward specific badges or they could embrace all of the badges as part of larger student populations. An example of a National Forensic League ecosystem is found at   See image 1   Administration of the Badges.           The platform will provide the ecosystem in which badges are administered, but ultimately the badges granted pursuant to affiliations will be dependent upon how each organization uses the rubric infrastructure as the basis of their badge system. Because many educational partners would be interested in customizing the badge experience for their educational goals, it is essential that the badges possess a strong core concept.   See image 2     Branding.           Although the first word in DebateHall is “Debate”, the platform’s purpose is primarily to create a venue – or virtual “Hall” - for meaningful online social discourse leveraging the multitude of digital media resources found on the Internet. The badges will create a highly visible and easily recognized assessment of a students’ ability to work with complex public issues and collaborate with others. For educators of all levels, there is tremendous utility in developing a widely recognized skill assessment.  The platform’s badge ecosystem will extend the brand of participating affiliated organizations. Universities, colleges, schools and various other organizations such as the MacArthur Foundation now will have international reach depending upon the characteristics of their badge requirements.   DebateHall, LLC Gordon Stables Samuel Birdsong Steven Atneosen Los Angeles, CA   Contact Steven Atneosen Mobile 310.980.4275 Email    

Civics/Community/Volunteerism   After School/Out of School   K-12 Classroom/ Common Core
Design Mind · 2Design

The Design Mind series of badges has been developed to empower lifelong learners to create innovative, sustainable, and socially-responsible solutions to real world problems through a comprehensive understanding of design concepts, meaningful collaboration within a networked [design-focused] knowledge community, the use of computer-aided image analysis tools, and the foundational design thinking process essential to employment in the creative industries.

PI: Kaye Buchman (The School of the Art Institute of Chicago)
  Kaye Buchman (The School of the Art Institute of Chicago)
  Zachary Pino (The School of the Art Institute of Chicago)
The Design Mind series of badges has been developed to educate lifelong learners, ages ten and older, on the principles of design and how these principles can be used to ignite creative thought, fuel personal empowerment, and fundamentally improve the world. Drawing upon the areas of art and design, digital technology, research, writing, and civic engagement, badge participants learn to understand the importance of art and design education, recognize the tenets of quality design, exercise their Design Mind to develop design-based solutions to self-identified problems, and actively participate in a digital collective of design-minded problem solvers. The Design Mind badges address the visual and conceptual skills necessary for employment in the creative industries. Using creative processes to solve distinct, diverse, and multi-faceted problems, learners gain foundational design knowledge for use in industries that develop creative content such as visual communications, industrial design, video game and software development, and film and music production. Envisioned as a complementary series of four similarly structured badges, these learning tools develop aesthetic sensitivity, critical thinking skills, and social engagement within a networked knowledge community. Design Mind: 2Design covers the two-dimensional design principles common to graphic and package design, web design, and urban planning. Design Mind: 3Design focuses on the foundations of three-dimensional design that support industrial, fashion, sustainable architectural, lighting, and environmental design. Design Mind: 4Design explores the principles of four-dimensional design fields including video, animation, and sound design. Design Mind: 5Design investigates the five-dimensional design mechanisms that respond to audience participation including game, software, and augmented reality design. 2Design is outlined below: The 2Design curriculum contains three components. The first component, 2Design: Definitions, introduces the principles of design through an online presentation of definitions and examples. Photographs are used to visually articulate core design principles and are supported by definitions outlining specific characteristics.  Learners then view pairings of images and choose the ones that best represent these principles. After completing this activity, learners are tasked with digitally photographing multiple instances of core design principles in their daily lives. These photographs are uploaded, and image analysis algorithms programmatically assess if the images reflect targeted principles. Through this component, learners develop visual awareness, improve selection and interpretation skills, participate in visual and active learning, and utilize critical thinking skills. The second component, 2Design: Development, presents learners with a series of design challenges. Visual and written descriptions present real life problems -- a poorly organized resume, a broom with an angle-cut bristles that falls over, a sidewalk cracked by tree roots -- and learners are challenged to devise solutions through a specially developed online questionnaire. This questionnaire directs research, writing, and critical thinking skills including identification (what is the problem?), causation (why is it a problem?), resolution (what design principles can help solve the problem?), communication (who can help me solve this problem?), and implementation (how can I put my solution into effect?). After online submission of the questionnaire, learners receive recommendations prior to assessment by a scoring system that rewards creativity, resourcefulness, sustainability, ambition, and originality. The third component, 2Design: Destination, asks learners to apply core design principles and development processes to self-selected problems. Learners seek out and identify a problem that impacts their daily lives and document it photographically. Guided by a questionnaire similar to the one used in 2Design: Development, this proposed design problem is tackled through identification, causation, resolution, communication, and implementation processes. At all points, learners have access to an online community of Design Mind badge administrators and badge holders to help them to iterate their design solutions. Armed with a design proposal, research, and new solutions, learners are encouraged to reach out to analog and digital friends, community members, businesses, and organizations to actualize their discoveries. Learners submit documentation and research for final review by badge administrators and the burgeoning digital design social network collective. After receiving a Design Mind badge, participants retain access to the Design Mind social networking site which provides a communication infrastructure for peer review, motivation, idea sharing, and collaboration. Badge holders create and maintain online profile pages showcasing their completed past designs and current projects. A peer review scoring system with up- and down-ranking allows designers to attain “Design Mindshare" points to access additional design challenges and profile page enhancements. Additionally, this social network functions as a diverse and expanding design collective -- allowing individuals, groups, and organizations to post design challenges for the community to solve. Any user of the online collective can create solutions for these challenges and rank the works of others. The Design Mind online community is a place where innovative ideas can be tested and groups can form to tackle larger and more complex, real-world problems. In the development of the 2Design curriculum, three additional areas of development are planned. 1. Specific image analysis algorithms for identifying core design principles in photographic images will be devised. The algorithms will include heuristic code so that human review can improve algorithmic accuracy. These algorithms will be GNU GPL open sourced for community use and development. 2. Image analysis algorithms will be used for comparative analysis of works of art and design in order to better categorize, measure, and evaluate visual materials. Discoveries will be made about how objective, computer-aided aesthetics will shape the evolution of the fields of art and design. 3. Photographs submitted by 2Design learners that detail specific core design categories will be compiled into a comprehensive image archive that is available, searchable, and socially-taggable online under the GNU Free Documentation License. By establishing links between aesthetic awareness, design thinking, imagination, creativity, and innovation, Design Mind badge participants transform into critical thinkers and creative problem solvers who conceive innovative solutions to universal problems. With their increasingly sophisticated design sensibilities, learners engage in real life problem-solving that results in personal growth, opportunities for demonstrating valuable skills, and new areas for professional exploration. Design Mind learners are empowered by their participation in this creative collective and leverage design to positively impact the world.

Civics/Community/Volunteerism   Arts/Design   Career/Workforce
Design for America

Build an online design-education knowledge management platform in which badges guide, motivate and highlight exceptional elements of projects created by the next generation of innovators.

PI: Daniel Rees Lewis (Design for America)
  Dr. Elizabeth Gerber (Northwestern University)
  Sami Nerenberg (Design for America)
  Daniel Rees Lewis (Design for America)
  Jonathan Lesser (Northwestern University)
Our economic and social prosperity depends on innovation. Innovative work is completed by innovators who have the confidence and domain expertise to tackle complex ill-structured challenges. Government and industry rely on undergraduate institutions to supply a pipeline of innovators into the workforce, yet few opportunities exist in undergraduate curriculum where the necessary practice is married with guidance to foster these skills. Design for America (DFA) is one solution to meet this demand. DFA is an award-winning nationwide network of extracurricular student-led design studios anchored in colleges universities. Interdisciplinary student teams work with community partners to solve local problems, benefiting both the local communities and the students. As an organization, DFA mentors students in the human-centered design (HCD) process that provides tools to identify real problems and create lasting, innovative solutions. This model of learning is based on an empirically validated model developed by DFA faculty founders called Extracurricular Design Based Learning (Gerber, Olson & Komarek, 2011). The success of DFA relies on effectively following the design process and collaborating with others. For example, a DFA team recently partnered with a local hospital to reduce hospital-acquired infections by improving hand hygiene compliance. This team conducted user research, generated ideas with stakeholders and professional mentors, and iteratively tested their prototypes in the hospital; they now have a pending patent and a sought-after product.     We seek to teach DFA’s 600+ members this model by creating a badge system aligned with DFA’s core values: look locally, create fervently, and act fearlessly to tackle local and social challenges. Badges given for successfully and effectively executed design aligned with DFA values, as well as for collaboration and sharing within the design community, can promote learning to solve important, locally-minded problems. The badge system would guide and motivate students to create, share, and reflect on great projects aligned with these values. It would also foster a greater level of expertise in HCD and more successful projects offering feasible solutions to local problems.The values of the DFA community support and reinforce successful practice:Look locally - members examine the world around them, both to find problems and gain insights to innovate solutions. Observing, empathizing with users, and deriving key insights is valued.Create fervently - members generate a large number of ideas, mock-up prototypes and test ideas. Generating a large number of ideas and testing solutions is valued.Act fearlessly - members act upon their ideas and creations, and strive to put them into practice by applying for grants, fellowships, and patents. Daring to follow through on their ideas and projects is valued.Badges would be awarded to students to support actions and aspects of projects aligned with these values:Look Locally Identifying daring challenges in students’ communities that are prevalent across the US Gaining access to and observing specific users through community partnerships Gaining critical insights from connecting with users Create Fervently Exploring a myriad of solutions Rapidly creating and testing mock ups Refining concepts to looks-like or works-like prototypes Act Fearlessly Searching for and gaining funding to create their design Creating business models Creating and executing a plan, and developing a start-up DFA has existing rubrics, guiding principles, and criteria for project development that can be used for alignment and integration between DFA's values and the forthcoming badge system.The aim of this project is to construct a badge- and design education-friendly knowledge management platform where these badges could be administered by our organization. This web-based platform would serve as a way for participants to log project progress, as well as a way to share stories and learn from other, knowledgeable members of the DFA community. Upon completion of certain milestones achieved during the design process, learners will be bestowed badges recognizing their progress and completion of goals.As well being a signpost for skills and dispositions learned for effective HCD, we believe a badge system has the potential to motivate project teams to share their learning and foster reflection on projects by highlighting areas of excellent performance. Specific goals and well-defined challenges encourage legitimate participation and motivated performance when compared with a more free-formed approach to problem solving (Locke & Latham, 1990); for this reason, a badge system can guide and motivate students along the way to completing life-changing designs.Furthermore, because collaboration and storytelling are both encouraged by DFA and professional studios and are essential to effective real-world design, a badge system that promotes this behavior is critical as well. Students are highly motivated to work on projects, but do not always see the value in compiling stories and insights from their projects in a form that can be quickly understood by others. Doing so online would facilitate greater learning between DFA studios across the US. Participation and sharing in online communities is bolstered when participants are made aware of the benefit that their contributions have to themselves and to others (Beenen et al., 2004; Karau & Williams, 1993); a badge system for storytelling or logging project milestones implemented on DFA’s knowledge management platform can encourage students to share more once it is apparent how beneficial their contributions are.Badges should have a professional look and tone to them, fitting with the DFA aesthetic. A high caliber set of badges can play an important role helping to form and motivate the next generation of innovators. ReferencesBeenen, G., Ling, K., Wang, X., Chang, K., Frankowski, D., Resnick, P., & Kraut, R.E. (2004) Using social psychology to motivate contributions to online communities, Proceedings of ACM CSCW 2004 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Chicago, IL,, E., Olson, J., & Komarek, R. (2011). Extracurricular design-based learning: Preparing students for careers in innovation. International Journal of Engineering Education (Forthcoming).Karau, S., & K. Williams. (1993). Social loafing: A meta-analytic review and theoretical integration. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65(4), 681-706.Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2002). Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation. American Psychologist, 57(9), 705-717.          

STEM   Arts/Design   Career/Workforce

Cooper-Hewitt will work in collaboration with Hive NYC (a network of New York City cultural institutions supported by the MacArthur Foundation) to employ a multi-tiered system that will allow students to secure a series of weighted badges based on design disciplines and skills.

PI: Caroline Payson (Cooper-Hewitt)
  Helene Jennings (IFC Macro)
  Numerous Partners (Hive NYC)
  Programs Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution, the largest and most visited museum complex in the world.  Cooper-Hewitt seeks to integrate badging into its highly successful DesignPrep program in collaboration with Hive NYC, a consortium of New York City cultural institutions supported by the MacArthur Foundation.   DesignPrep provides underserved NYC high school students with unparalleled opportunities to see themselves as a designer through afterschool workshops, studio visits, portfolio critiques, design school visits, mentorships and internships, among other activities.  Student learning occurs in-person and includes hands-on methods and observation.  DesignPrep is a perfect vehicle for badges as it integrates diverse elements—21st century skills, dedication, and design and creative abilities—that are extremely difficult to assess with a test score.  In addition, often narrowly thought of as “art” or “fashion,” design tends to be underrepresented in schools.  Badges will promote formal student skill assessment as well as provide proof of achievement, boosting confidence and bolstering resumes and higher learning applications. Cooper-Hewitt will employ a multi-tiered system that will allow students to secure badges based on design disciplines and skills.  At the highest level, students can earn weighted badges in each area or for the overall program.  This system will allow students to study design at a lateral level before delving deeper into specialties.  Weighted badge holders will assume more responsibility and receive the opportunity to access more incentives. Sample badges: ·         Disciplines: Architecture, Fashion, Graphic Design, Digital Curator ·         Skills: Collaboration, Presentation, Portfolio Prep, Interviewing, Community Activist ·         Weighted badges: Fashion Mentor or a higher-weighted DesignPrep Mentor Cooper-Hewitt will partner with Hive to provide diverse learning content and experiences for students as well as transferrable or reciprocal badges and collaborative incentive opportunities.  Example:  As student with an  “App Design” badge from Hive partner Iridescent, will receive credits towards its Cooper-Hewitt Graphic Design badge.  Similarly, if a student completing a Community Activist badge from Hive partner DreamYard can have the opportunity to meet with a Cooper-Hewitt professional urban or landscape design partners.  Cooper-Hewitt will also integrate badging into its recently-funded Hive project with the American Museum of Natural History. Achievements Through DesignPrep, students will learn industry-specific skills and techniques from professional designers and Museum educators such as Fashion: draping, stitching, garment structure; Architecture: understanding scale, drafting, model making; Graphic Design: layout, font, print vs. digital formatting. Students will gain understanding of skills both at discrete levels and through continuing performance. By participating in the design process—working in teams, examining design problems, communicating their work, studying design as a profession, etc.—students will gain 21st century skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, interpersonal and self-direction skills, communication skills, civic literacy, global awareness, and will develop entrepreneurial skills.  Video exemplifying how students gain a multitude of skills simultaneously through the study of design:   Roles As they engage in the design process, DesignPrep students will assume the role of citizen designer, seeing themselves as disciplined professionals.  As important, students will assume roles such as collaborators, leaders, creators, community activists, and design school students. Example: Digital Curator Project— Student Roles: Curators, Researchers, Leaders, Mentors, Design Historians, Collaborators, Professionals. This project empowers underserved students to act as curators in tandem with Cooper-Hewitt curators by selecting collection items to prioritize for digitization and creating search words for identification.  In 2011 Cooper-Hewitt anticipates expanding this program to include peer mentorship.   In 2011/2012 Cooper-Hewitt envisions this program will culminate with a multi-session graphic design workshop with Phil Jimenez, well-known by teens for his work in The Amazing Spider-Man. Incentives Students will require a suite of skill and discipline badges to be eligible for incentives.  At a pre-determined level of achievement they are eligible for opportunities such as: ·         Mentorship/increased responsibilities such as a leadership role in a workshop ·         Access to professional designers –Example:  shadowing a graphic designer ·         Professional portfolio or project review ·         MakerBot 3-D printer privileges ·         Consideration for the Cooper-Hewitt Scholars program— a rigorous program for an intimate group of students to concentrate on design as a profession and secure design internships.  Assessment Cooper-Hewitt currently conducts program assessments and will work with professional evaluator IFC Macro to develop an evaluation plan designed to align with the Museum’s badging program.  Partnerships Cooper-Hewitt will leverage its strong partnerships to: ·         Continue its six year relationship with assessment expert, Helene Jennings of ICF Macro — a leader in evaluating students and online materials. ·         Lead the Hive network in developing an overlying framework to provide cohesion among badges. ·         Promote the Smithsonian brand in establishing badge value in the public school system.  ·         Possibly integrate Cooper-Hewitt badging into the NYC Department of Education’s badging pilot and Cooper-Hewitt’s US DOE i3 assessment program.  ·         Connect students with professional designers. Administration Cooper-Hewitt will administer its badges.  Badge awards will be determined by a jury of Cooper-Hewitt staff, which will evolve to include student-mentors and professional designers.  To be considered for a badge, students must attend workshops and activities, generate an end product, and undertake a leadership role in the program, such as participating in a critique discussing their work and the work of their peers.  Students will also be evaluated on criteria such as participation, collaboration, prototyping, and the ability to answer a prescribed design challenge. Badges will be displayed on a section of the Museum website that can be linked with badging sites of other Hive partners.  This section will be designed by Seb Chan, Cooper-Hewitt’s new Director of Digital and Emerging Media  The required infrastructure for this project is still to be determined.  Branding Cooper-Hewitt plans to involve students and professional graphic designers in its badge design.  Student badge design workshops will examine the elements of the Smithsonian, Cooper-Hewitt, DesignPrep and Hive brands that Cooper-Hewitt wants its badges to convey.  Cooper-Hewitt will host workshops for Hive members to develop badge designs that reflect a clear Hive brand in tandem with the brand identity of the issuer.    

Civics/Community/Volunteerism   Arts/Design   Career/Workforce
Digital Badges for Apprenticeship Learning in Middle School

Citizen Schools seeks to create a digital badge system to recognize the 21st century skills developed by low-income middle school students (more than 4,500 annually) who participate in volunteer-led “apprenticeships” in topics ranging from astronomy to cooking to marketing to video game design.

PI: Eric Schwarz (Citizen Schools)
About Citizen Schools Citizen Schools partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for low-income children across the country. We mobilize a second shift of afternoon educators who provide academic support, leadership development, and "apprenticeships"—hands-on projects taught by volunteers from business and civic organizations. At Citizen Schools, students develop the skills they need to succeed in high school, college, the workforce, and civic life. In 2011-12, Citizen Schools will serve 4,500 students and engage 4,200 volunteers across 31 schools in seven states. We hope that Citizen Schools digital badges will function as visible manifestations of learning, documenting the effort and mastery of individual students, groups of students, and volunteers. Over time, we also hope that a new badge ecosystem will reflect the full suite of academic, 21st century, and social-emotional skills that students develop in our program – skills that will propel them to college and beyond.   Citizen Schools Apprenticeships Apprenticeships are the centerpiece of Citizen Schools' strategy to engage middle school students in active, relevant learning and to engage citizens in building community. In apprenticeships, students work in small teams alongside adult volunteers - Citizen Teachers - who share their passion and expertise. Students select two apprenticeships each semester and explore everything from solar car engineering to mock trials to organic gardening. They create a high-quality product, service, or presentation that is shared with their community at a culminating event called a WOW!. For example, at one school in East Harlem, Citizen Teachers from the advertising agency McCann Erickson taught students to pitch, direct, and film short videos. The students produced three anti-obesity commercials targeted at youth, which were featured on the YouTube home page and received 160,000 views. In Boston, students learned fundamentals of physics through a space exploration apprenticeship. Students simulated the collision of a comet with a space station, receiving updated coordinates through a live video feed from NASA staff. The students applied formulas to determine which of three stations was the safest for a team of astronauts who could maneuver only by jet propulsion pack. (See What Will You Teach? on Citizen Schools’ website for more examples, photos, and video.) In apprenticeships, students prepare for long-term success by building academic skills, 21st century skills, and an understanding of the relationship between current learning and future opportunity. Apprenticeships provide the authenticity that middle school students crave, which promotes a high level of investment and participation and often makes them especially effective for students who are not thriving in traditional classrooms. An independent study found that Citizen Schools participants outperformed matched peers across a range of academic engagement, achievement, and attainment outcomes, including school attendance, grades, test scores, and high school graduation rates.   Badges to Recognize Apprenticeship Learning Citizen Schools’ apprenticeship model employs nontraditional teachers and techniques to help students develop skills that are not easily measured by grades or test scores – a natural fit for a badge system. As a first step, Citizen Schools is particularly interested in using badges to recognize the 21st century skills that students develop in apprenticeships. Citizen Schools has a longstanding commitment to the development of 21st century skills. In 2010-11, Citizen Schools piloted an expanded, research-based 21st century skills framework (see attachments). This year, that framework is being used at all Citizen Schools sites, and each volunteer selects two skills from this menu as the focus of his or her apprenticeship. The next step in the implementation of this framework is to revise our method for monitoring and documenting the development of these skills. We hope to build a system that provides students with meaningful acknowledgement of their growth and provides volunteers with a public recognition of their impact. Citizen Schools expects that a well-designed and well-implemented digital badge system could fulfill these needs, and create an infrastructure that could be expanded to additional skills and competencies in the future.   The Outline of a Citizen Schools Badge System Citizen Schools’ existing infrastructure for managing information about students and volunteers would provide the foundation for a badge system, but we would look forward to partnering with a Stage 2 partner to develop new digital badge capacity. Citizen Schools currently employs a cloud-based platform ( to track information about students and volunteers. For students, this database already tracks both participation (for example, attendance and apprenticeship assignments) and outcomes (such as apprenticeship quality, grades, test scores, and 21st century skills as measured by existing rubrics). This system could easily be adapted to track information about students’ qualification for digital badges. Citizen Schools has long used consistent branding to reinforce our mission; in fact, we have awarded students, staff, and volunteers with physical badges that match our logo and typeface and use a unique vocabulary of terms like “WOW!” and “value stars” (see attachments). Digital badges would take these graphic elements and extend them with new concepts and new applications. We can imagine: Holding contests among schools or student teams to earn badges, with winners recognized online and at community events Tallying student badges on the online profiles of their staff and volunteer teachers (both on external social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook and on Citizen Schools’ own online staff and volunteer portal) Encouraging 8th graders to include their badge profiles when they apply to competitive high schools seeking well-rounded students Targeting field trips, college visits, or high school internship opportunities to students who have earned relevant combinations of badges Each day in our programs, Citizen Schools students, staff, and volunteers are encouraged to recognize peers who demonstrate the organization’s seven core values: pride, joy, respect, courage, teamwork, perseverance, and vision. We are excited to explore the potential of digital badges to strengthen this culture of mutual support and lifelong curiosity and to offer both students and volunteers a new recognition of apprenticeship learning.  

Civics/Community/Volunteerism   After School/Out of School   STEM
Digital On-Ramps

The Digital On-Ramps (DOR) project envisions a practical solution to one of Philadelphia’s most formidable challenges: preparing all Philadelphians to work and compete in the 21st century economy by providing a digital framework for delivering comprehensive education and workforce training to youth and adults (ages 14-65), including the use of badging to make academic and attainment records digitally portable.

PI: Arun Prabhakaran (Urban Affairs Coalition)
  Lisa Nutter (Philadelphia Academies, Inc.)
  Joanne Ferroni (Drexel University)
  Mary Horstmann (City of Philadelphia)
  Stacy Holland (Philadelphia Youth Network)
  Kelley Dunne (One Economy)
          The Digital On-Ramps (DOR) project envisions a practical solution to one of Philadelphia’s most formidable challenges: preparing all Philadelphians to work and compete in the 21st century economy by providing a digital framework for delivering comprehensive education and workforce training to youth and adults (ages 14-65).   DOR’s overall learning goals are to improve educational results for people who are underemployed or unemployed, and prepare them for entry into the workforce. DOR will achieve these goals by providing simple, personalized, and customized “on-ramps,” or educational/training supports such as basic literacy and math skills, workforce and college readiness training, 21st Century skills and digital literacy/competency training.  With DOR, resources are accessible anytime, anywhere and on any device (mobile, tablets, laptops, desktops, etc.). Currently, Philadelphia’s education and workforce systems do not reward individuals for their training and education efforts.  Often, people take and re-take assessments, including literacy assessments or work readiness inventories, due to an inadequate common tracking system.  For those individuals who complete a portion of their training program, but not an entire process, they are often frustrated because various workforce providers do not coordinate or do not have a standardized way to recognize proficiency and mastery, requiring individuals to repeat an entire course or training program despite mastery of a particular skill.     By introducing a systematic badging system used across workforce and education systems, DOR would have the capacity to capture and preserve the effort that people put forward toward reaching their goals. These permanent, independently maintained, portable badges could be easily shared among prospective schools, programs, or employers.  Most importantly, badges would create systemic efficiencies, ensuring that people do not lose valuable time and effort if life-disrupting events cause them to start, stop, and re-start efforts to improve their lives. We intend to develop and demonstrate a badging system for 900 students (from two partner high schools) enrolled in Philadelphia Academies, Inc. (PAI) Post-Secondary and Career Readiness (PSCR) Course, a developmental multi-year course designed to provide 21st century and post-secondary readiness skills  to high school students. As DOR matures, the project aims to field a full ecosystem of badges supporting a robust, city-wide menu of education and training opportunities.  PAI’s PSCR course offers students the opportunity to meet people in a professional setting, shadow a professional in an area of interest, develop resumes, prepare for interviews, and share their findings with fellow classmates and school leaders. As they progress through the course, students develop and use 21st Century skills like creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills, and demonstrate digital literacy/competency, including the use of Microsoft Office products to create their documents and presentations.  A student would accumulate a set of badges representing the various skill levels mastered as they move through the course. These skills can be understood as a series of incremental, discrete levels that are acquired across a set of parallel learning tracks. These levels would be competency-based rather than time based with progress marked in small and flexible accomplishments measured by multiple assessments, many of which are embedded within the learning experiences. Currently, the course applies two assessment tools: 1) A college readiness rubric that documents the post-secondary readiness skills; and 2) Philadelphia Youth Network’s (PYN) Internship assessment used by internship mentors, to support skill development in professionalism, initiative, leadership, communication, and industry awareness.   Badges would be earned at the completion of each section of the course and in each track (Career Exploration, Work Experience, Communications, and Digital Literacy/Competency).  A key aspect of this project is to help students identify career interests and expose them to various career pathways.  Through a set of very intentional activities, students develop formative experiences in the real world, and realize the value of ongoing learning as skilled workers.  Badging strengthens this experience, validating their accomplishments to educational institutions or employers, and serving as a portable, public record of accomplishments to place in their personal profiles and to notify their networks of peer learners. We intend to offer a range of “badge privileges,” While we will conduct student focus groups to determine appealing incentives, our initial thoughts are: additional opportunities, like internships, on-the-job training and apprenticeships, and possibly preferential interviews; and, student access to local attractions, sports and special events.    For example, students interested in science careers could receive a “Future Scientist” badges, gaining free entry in to the Academy of Natural Sciences or internship opportunities at a science-based firm. Partners’ roles are as follows: 21st Century Skills Workshops – provided by PAI in collaboration with selected partner high schools. Digital Literacy Training – Provided by Freedom Rings Partnership led by the City of Philadelphia, Drexel University, and the Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC). We intend to leverage resources via the recently announced Federal Communications Commission’s Connect2Compete (C2C) initiative led by One Economy to launch in fall 2012, including the provision of Microsoft Office Suite certifications provided courtesy of Microsoft and delivered by Best Buy’s Geek Squad. 21st Century Skills Measurement -- Provided by WestEd, an assessment consultant group working with PYN and the Philadelphia Council for College and Career Success. PAI is a partner of PYN and a councilmember. Badge creation – led by PAI, UAC, and Drexel University with employer input Badging system administration and infrastructure – Provided by Drexel with badges displayed DOR’s site, Currently, DOR’s logo incorporates elements (typography, colors, triangle-shaped “on-ramp” motif, etc.) into the initial set of badges, which would be “color-coded” based on the track. As a community, we have struggled for years to design an effective way to document and assess progress towards the type of skills discussed in this application. Incorporating badging into DOR’s digital framework would: catalyze a significant transformation in how we measure success in the attainment of 21st century and post-secondary readiness skills; establish these skills as valuable enough to measure; and legitimize these skills as fundamental to people’s economic success. These points, and the system change potential of creating an open badging system across education and workforce development providers in Philadelphia, ultimately form the strategic goals and the impetus for our application.

After School/Out of School   Mobile   Career/Workforce
Digital Youth Network Mentor Badges

The Digital Youth Network (DYN) mentor badge project is a learning system designed to develop, support and motivate mentors by providing learning trajectories, defined through the lenses of the following domains: pedagogical knowledge, technical fluency, social/cultural capital, and professional portfolio curation.

PI: Tene' Gray (Digital Youth Network)
  Mike Hawkins (DePaul University)
  Asia Roberson (DePaul University)
  Tene’ Gray ( Mike Hawkins Asia Roberson ( Proposal for Stage One: Badge Content and Programs As a provider of new media programming, inclusive of curriculum and mentors, in multiple formal and informal contexts across Chicago (e.g. YOUmedia, Smart Communities, Quest Chicago, UCCS), the Digital Youth Network (DYN) takes on the challenge of preparing both youth and adult mentors as participants and leaders in a connected global community. A key goal of DYN is to support adults’ development as 21st century teachers, learners and mentors through a new media learning ecology that embraces learning occurring in multiple contexts.  DYN believes such an ecology is best created through the linking of formal and informal professional spaces where mentors are motivated to constantly develop their professional identities, classroom practices and pedagogical tools.  With this proposal, DYN seeks to put in place a badging infrastructure that takes on the challenge of supporting and motivating mentors in engaging, connecting, documenting, sharing, and reflecting on learnings across these varied spaces. DYN PD Model Overview The DYN professional development model is best explained as a hybrid model that consists of traditional face-to-face learning, online collaborative learning, and self-paced learning all grounded in topic-driven modules (e.g. blogging, critique and feedback, social learning networks). Currently, mentors convene bi-weekly in a face-to-face setting and bi-weekly in our closed social learning network for professional development. The face-to-face setting serves as a vehicle to introduce/share new knowledge with the entire group or to engage in follow-up activities around new knowledge related to a given module. The online collaborative space serves as a vehicle for mentors to engage in self-paced activities based on individual learning needs, which are all carried out in the DYN PD online site.  Core Components of a DYN Mentor In an effort to support mentor development, practices and goals, a framework has been established that defines and demonstrates the essential qualities of a successful digital mentor. Mentors are hired with the expectation of being committed to building proficiency across the following domains: pedagogical knowledge (the art and science of teaching); cultural capital (building relationships with students and participation in relevant professional communities); technical fluency/skills (knowledge of technology and tools); and a personal portfolio (compelling examples of mentor created work). Because mentors work directly with youth to develop skill sets, they must demonstrate and/or develop a strong pedagogical knowledge in understanding the connections between teaching and learning. As mentors forge relationships around the work with youth, they help build cultural capital needed to generate participation. Mentors must be able to encourage youth to pursue interests, provide useful feedback, exercise fairness when critiquing student work, and manage professional relationships.   Training and supporting mentors within this context has become increasingly challenging from year-to-year as mentors are hired in different numbers and as different times of the year.  Hence, how to provide a connect learning ecology where members support each other while at different milestone in  their  developmental pathway with respect to the four domains of the DYN mentor framework.  Motivating Mentors to Continually Engage  in the DYN PD DYN mentors are expected to develop student’s 21st century digital literacy skills and engage in complex tasks that require conceptual and creative thinking. DYN believes that the best way to  support mentors is through shared experience between members of the community that motivates mentor participation as a producer, learner, collaborator, and critiquer.  To complete these complex, conceptual and creative tasks and projects,  mentors need to feel a part of a purpose-driven culture that supports and facilitates performance, engagement, and personal satisfaction related to new media teaching, learning, and leadership. In knowing this, the question becomes how do you motivate and support mentors to do this work on an ongoing basis?  For the DYN Model there are three factors that speak to motivation: autonomy or self-paced opportunities; mastery, which stems from a sense of challenge, practice, personal and professional development; and purpose, which plays a significant role in performance and personal satisfaction. DYN’s desire is for mentors to feel they are a part of a purpose-driven organization that provides engaging experiences and opportunities that lead them to embark on a path to mastery in the four domains of the DYN PD Model. Rationale for a Badge System A badge system that supports self-initiated, contextualized learning would be ideal as mentors come in at different levels with respect to pedagogical knowledge, cultural capital, technical fluency/skills and a personal portfolio. Such a system would provide a pathway for mentor professional growth while systematically documenting mentors’ unique paths and ensuring DYN has a core group of mentors who are trained to meet current programming needs. Designing and implementing a badge framework system will offer many opportunities and privileges to mentors as learners and professionals. Advancing through a set of badges provides a visible trajectory for mastery that can support and facilitate a certification process for mentors and others as new media educators. Lastly, a badge system would help facilitate the motivation of mentors by providing a sense of autonomy by way of badging through self-paced learning activities; through challenges that support personal and professional development all within the realm of doing purposeful work, with the result being personal satisfaction and performance that can result in access to increase teaching and leadership opportunities. DYN Badge System Learning Components Below is a chart that describes the main skills represented or developed within the DYN mentor learning experience. These skills and competencies are measures of continuing performance over time.                                                  

Career/Workforce   After School/Out of School

PI: Laurina Isabella Lyle, PhD (Project WET Foundation)
  Molly Ward (Project WET Foundation)
  Theresa Schrum (Project WET Foundation)
  Heath Noel (Alpine Computing)
  Peter Grosshauser (Peter Grosshauser Illustrations)
Figure 1: homepage screenshot Discover Water: The Role of Water in Our Lives at is an innovative online learning experience from the Project WET Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Bozeman, Montana. Project WET’s mission is to reach children, parents, teachers and community members of the world with water education. is designed in such a way as to support the addition of a badge system for both students and teachers. debuted on September 22, 2011. We encourage you to explore! Learning Content Supported by BadgesThe primary domain of learning is science, specifically water education. The eight content areas of the site include: water on Earth, the water cycle, ocean, fresh water, watersheds, water conservation and protection, direct and indirect water use and water and health. The overall goals for learning are as follows. The learner will: Recognize that water is necessary for all life. Identify reasons for protecting and conserving water. Explain the importance of water for their body. Make a personal commitment to take action to protect and conserve water. The site has two main learning audiences: primarily children aged 8-12 and additionally their teachers. The website can be used at home or in a classroom setting (on individual computers or projected to a class). The website provides opportunity for non-linear exploration of topics. Each of the eight content areas contains all or most of the following features: Table 1: Content Page Features Interactive Activity or Game Each activity is different. The Water Cycle page includes an additional in-depth learning game called The Blue Traveler. Video Four of the eight pages contain videos with children participating in Project WET activities related to the content. What did I Learn? An online quiz to measure learning. Take Action! An opportunity for learners to commit to achievable actions they can take to promote water protection and conservation. Learners can create their own personalized poster with the actions they collect throughout the site. My Science Notebook A printable worksheet component for each content page. Can be used as an assignment by teachers. Educators and Parents Robust educator materials including additional background information, answer keys, standard correlations, etc. Figure 2: Use Water Wisely content page with vertical navigation bar (right)      Figure 3: The Blue Traveler Game                                                      Figure 4: Take Action Poster Skills and Achievements Validated by Badges is unique in that it provides opportunities for two learning audiences—students and teachers. A badge system will allow both communities to earn badges by using the site in different ways. Students will earn badges by working through on their own or at school. Educators will earn badges by utilizing as a classroom resource. Learners can earn badges related to the content of each of eight subject areas as well as badges related to broader skills. Water education content areas for badges include: Table 2: Content Areas and Descriptions Possible Badge Design for Students Content Page Description of Content   Blue Planet Distribution of fresh water and salt water on Earth   The Water Cycle The complex and endless movement of water across the landscape. Discover Our Ocean Ocean habitats and diversity of sea creatures. Investigate Fresh Water Fresh water and terrestrial environments and the animals that inhabit them.   Explore Watersheds Definition of a watershed and human factors which affect it.   Use Water Wisely Water conservation and protection methods.   We All Use Water Direct and indirect uses of water.   Healthy Water Healthy People Water’s role in the human body and importance to health. Skills acquired through navigating and completing the content pages include: Computer skills Communication skills Reading skills Writing skills Additionally, learners have the opportunity to Take Action away from their computers and achieve ActionEducation™* accomplishments. Identity and RolesThe role the learner takes in using is that of an explorer, investigator or discoverer, as well as a water user. The site’s mascot, Bridger, a water-loving dog plays different roles related to the content of the different pages. Opportunities or is one of many educational products that Project WET offers. Other materials include extensive educator’s guides with hands-on activities and KIDS booklets. All Project WET materials complement and support each other. Project WET is in the process of developing a web portal for educators and digitizing some of our hard copy assets. It is possible that some of these assets could be incorporated into the badge incentive system. Project WET’s publications can be viewed at Additionally, the badge system will deepen the learning by adding rigor to the experience. We have strategies about how each learning audience can obtain badges. Existing AssessmentsThe website already incorporates online What Did I Learn quizzes for each content area. Printable My Science Notebook pages for each section provide a formative assessment for students and teachers (sample attached). Educator Resources provide teachers with additional pre- and posttest assessment tools incorporating additional information about each topic provided in the Educator Resource section of each content page (sample attached--access code for Educator Resources online is watereducation). Partners and OrganizationsThe Project WET team is comprised of educators with both formal and informal experience in elementary, secondary and higher education. The team has expertise in assessment. Administration of BadgesOur preference is for badges to be administered automatically from Project WET. They would also appear on the website. This site was built using mainly Flash and HTML. The homepage and Blue Traveler Game were built by a contracted company in Flash and JSON. BrandingThe site has a look and feel that should be reflected in the badge designs. It will be necessary to include the Project WET logo on the badges. Each content area should be represented by an icon reflecting the subject matter. Please see attachment for examples of logo and artwork that could be used for badges. *ActionEduction™ is education that empowers learners to take positive and appropriate action to solve a local water resource issue.  

Disney-Pixar Wilderness Explorers Badge

The Disney-Pixar Wilderness Explorers badging system will help participants learn about and become advocates for wildlife and wild places and engage children in nature-based explorations.

PI: Lisa Clements (The Walt DIsney Company)
  Disney-Pixar Wilderness Explorers Digital Learning Badge Snapshot The Disney-Pixar Wilderness Explorers badging system will help participants learn about and become advocates for wildlife and wild places and engage children in nature-based explorations. Based on the Wilderness Explorers organization featured in the Disney-Pixar movie UP, the digital Wilderness Explorers badges would be presented in levels matched to life science curriculum standards, level of difficulty/exertion, and degree of engagement (which might be measured in number of badges earned, active mentoring, problem solving, successful community involvement or other metrics). Learning Goals: Life science curriculum focusing on wildlife or exotic species, native species, animal and plant biology and ecosystems Social science curriculum exploring how various cultures represent animals in art and music and storytelling Focus on endangered species  Connects online learning to real world/community (school and neighborhood) activism Includes dynamic content on the richness of our world, from exotic creatures to diversity of cultures and cultural traditions 
Skills and Competencies: A Wilderness Explorer is deeply interested in understanding and experiencing the natural world At higher levels, Wilderness Explorers should not only be learning about conservation issues but should themselves become teachers and ambassadors, and change makers.  The badge should ideally provide opportunities for Wilderness Explorers to make real connections in their communities that promote conservation and appreciation of natural resources. Game Play: The game should have two related modes of play:  classroom/group and individual.  Every player will belong to a virtual “troop” (a classroom or school could be its own troop) and each troop will include members of varying levels who move from learner to mentor to leader as they develop competencies.  Each player earns badges by demonstrating mastery mapped to core curriculum standards.  Teachers and parents will be able to log on to authenticate each Wilderness Explorer’s achievements. The game narrative is driven by the Wilderness Explorer’s Handbook, a virtual manual that includes helpful information, project ideas and, of course, badging requirements.  The handbook also provides a virtual scrapbook space to post photos, record results, post and view videos and choose challenges.   Every badge contains multiple levels, and each level includes two kinds of interactions:  a chance to learn (generally a game or online activity), and a chance to do (generally a real-world activity).  A sample handbook chapter might be: Turtle Badge Level 1:  Egg.  Focus on species knowledge, such as differentiating turtles from tortoises and reptiles from mammals, understanding life cycles, and identifying biological needs - especially as related to habitat.    Level 2:  Hatchling.  Discovering how sea turtles have been represented across various cultures in song, dance, art and storytelling by means of both experiencing, and creating content Level 3:  Swimmer.   Learning about habitat and resource needs.  Focus on food chain, ocean currents, pollution, and other environmental factors that are critical to turtles. Level 4:  Elder.  Explore threats to turtles and develop actions and advocacy on their behalf. The turtle badge challenge is an example only; actual badge content matched to curriculum objectives and to real world projects will be provided to the development team. Types of online games supporting the badge challenges might include: virtual safaris story engines for cultural exploration/creation food chain and ecosystem games migration/navigation challenges and real-time species tracking Types of real world activities might include: GPS driven projects (ideally phone capable) community service (educating, petitioning, working, fundraising) school projects filing video reports or other UGC challenges As Wilderness Explorers level up, they will become mentors and eventually troop leaders.  At the highest level, they will be awarded with a unique opportunity or privilege by The Walt Disney Company, TBD. Tone of Badge: celebrates an adventuring spirit, a gratefulness for the riches of the natural world and a commitment to protecting and promoting wildlife and wild places right down to the “tiny mole” respects and supports the learner as powerful, capable and a key change maker on behalf of threatened places and species The experience of game play should be exciting, challenging and filled with the spirit of adventure Branding:  Disney-Pixar Wilderness Explorers.  Disney controls use of name, images, assets and any franchise  or IP elements.  Specific branding and visual assets will be provided. Development Considerations: Multi-platform interactivity developed in HTML5.   Creative Considerations:  The Wilderness Explorers Badging System will not include any characters from the Disney-Pixar film Up, although it should capture the personality and visual identity of the movie.  In the game narrative, Wilderness Explorers is a “real” organization, and each player’s handbook should record his (or her) own story and adventure – not Russell’s.  The following piece of art is provided for handbook inspiration only; it is not intended for use within your proposal.  In addition to any Pixar assets, live action video footage of animals and habitats will be provided as needed for use in virtual safaris or other game elements.  You will need to build adequate time into your production schedule for Pixar approvals at every creative milestone.

Civics/Community/Volunteerism   Environment   K-12 Classroom/ Common Core
Fab Lab Maker Badges

PI: Katie Rast (Fab Lab)
  Sherry Lassiter (MIT Center for Bits and Atoms)
  Ed Abeyta (UCSD Extension)
Working hands-on to imagine, design, and ultimately produce an idea with the technology related to rapid prototyping and digital fabrication is a means of developing and applying knowledge that has embraced the imagination of many, and has become radically popularized in the past few years. As the technology related to this process becomes more widely distributed and accessible, many community members around the globe are learning, teaching, making and innovating in Fab Labs and similar learning spaces. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Fab Lab is an international network of labs located in a diverse array of communities around the world. Each lab is equipped with the same basic set of digital fabrication machinery and components. With a combination of skilled people and machines, a myriad of design, engineering, technology, computer programming, mathematic, and scientific skills can be learned, practiced and enhanced. Importantly, each lab is a learning ecology that allows for community members of varied skill levels to access the tools for innovation, learn informally from one another, and access acquire formal training. Currently, this International Network has the advantage of being made up of almost identical equipment distributed globally, with talented experts (both formally educated and informally taught) from around the world connected to each node. Whether existing in rural India or cosmopolitan Barcelona, each lab enables a collection of makers, tinkerers, creators and innovators. There is not yet, however, a unified Fab Lab specific curricula, nor a means of recognition for skills achieved or roles identified throughout the system.  Fab Lab Badges will recognize achievements in areas related to Fab Lab and “Maker” learning. This type of learning can take place in an informal or formal setting, and engages participants in a project-based curricula in which they can learn about fundamental to advanced topics.  These are currently delineated as Levels 1-3, and sub-categories thereof (document attached). Fab Lab San Diego has developed curricula dedicated to standardizing and recognizing educational practices that are inherently a part of the required and favored areas of interest in the Fab Lab network. Fab Lab SD will utilize this pre-existing curricula related to areas of expertise to articulate a system for recognizing achievement in learning that can distributed be throughout the Network. In partnership with the Fab Foundation and the MIT Global fab Lab Network, over 80 Fab Labs nationally and internationally we be invited to participate and interface with the development of this system. In San Diego, the Fab Lab staff has developed curricula over the past six years related to basic, intermediate and advanced levels of instruction for classes that have been developed around the hands-on project focused approach of a learning lab environment. These classes cover thorough range of technical learning related to academic and applied career pursuits, but many more can be created.   These classes cover relevant fields such as: CAD (computer-aided-design) and Digital Fabrication Robotics Computer Programming, Computer Graphics Electricity and Electronics, Circuits, Microcontroller and Embedded Systems, Prototyping Alternative Energy, Solar Technology, Alternative Energy Applications   Badges also award participatory recognition such as:   Fab Lab Learner (beginning participant) Fab Lab Certified (Safety and Usage Certified participant) Fab Lab Mentor (Assistant / Informal Teacher) Fab Lab Instructor Fab Lab Guru   While all of our classes are built on a project-based methodology structured around the Fab Lab learning experience, we have standardized a suite of classes to be Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredited through University of California San Diego Extension. While the Fab Labs are interconnected, we each also function as an autonomous node that is responsible for meeting the needs of the unique community we serve. While each Lab will vary in the determination of skills most relevant for a specific community, Fab Lab San Diego has created a foundation for Lab-based projects that can be replicated throughout the Fab Lab network or similar prototyping environments, which relates to tangible and applicable skills that can be recognized and noted. In San Diego, for example, we have a focus on alternative energy, solar and clean tech markets as a way to prepare our job-seeking participants with skills that can assist them in their pursuit. Additionally, all classes are gauged in terms of academic achievement in accord with our local accrediting agency, UCSD Extension. In terms of branding style, a badge should follow the circular logo shape of the MIT Fab Lab logo, and the Fab Lab Mentor, Guru and Learner roles should reference the MIT logo. (This logo has been attached).

GameZombie TV: Using Badges to Assess a Constructivist, Project-Based Learning Environment

GameZombie TV is the four-time Webby Award winning, student-run game media studio, based out of Indiana University and the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater.

PI: Spencer Striker (University of Wisconsin at Whitewater)
The learning content, programs, or activities that will be supported by badges: GameZombie TV – Successes and Challenges The four-time Webby Award winning student-run game media studio, GameZombie TV, is more popular than ever. Launched at Indiana University in March of 2007, the project has expanded to incorporate the combined efforts of students at Indiana with those at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater. In the fall of 2009, GZ’s innovative digital media curriculum became a cornerstone of UWW’s newly launched Media Arts & Game Development Program. To date, over 400 students have worked on GameZombie TV for school credit. In the media world, the students have won international awards, produced one of the web’s largest game developer interview libraries, amassed over 10 million unique views, and leveraged the success of the project to get competitive jobs in the media industry. In the world of education, the constructivist learning environment of GameZombie TV has served to stimulate creativity, discipline-specific passions, and interdisciplinary collaboration skills, as well as considerable digital media production and management competencies. While the project is full steam ahead, there is a problem lurking in the shadows. The interest-driven, constructivist learning environment has been designed for the 21st century, but the assessment strategies used in the program were designed in the 19th—at Mount Holyoke College in 1897, to be exact, (Davidson, 2011). Key Real World AccomplishmentsSince March of 2007, GZ has produced 450 original game videos for global webcast, garnering over 100 front page editor’s picks on major video sharing sites, front page articles in 25 online newspapers, and competitive visibility on the world’s top search engines. Official YouTube Partner status and an expanding fan base have pushed GameZombie’s global view count over 10 million. GZ remains the only student-run media organization ever to win 4 consecutive Webbys. GZ's world exclusive video interview series—more than 150 to date—features some of the biggest names in the business, including Peter Molyneux of Fable 3, Ed Boon of Mortal Kombat, and Cliff Bleszinski of Gears of War 3. In the fall of 2008, GameZombie launched ButtonMashers, an original gaming news show shot in a $2.5 million HDTV studio—the first season garnered view counts in the millions. The second season, eight months in the making, released summer 2009, outperforming the original. GameZombie's original live-action animated show, Ultimate Challenge, was an online hit in the fall of 2010. Key MilestonesExclusive Coverage of the E3 Expo for Dailymotion (the world’s 2nd largest web video site) – June 20113rd and 4th Webby Award - May 2010GameZombie launched at UW-Whitewater – September 20092nd Webby Honoree Award - April 2009200 Completed Original Game Videos - Dec 2008YouTube Partner - June 20081,000,000 views - April 2008Webby Honoree Award - April 2008GameZombie launched at Indiana University with first published video - March 2007 Selected Awards:2010 Webby Award 2010 People’s Voice Webby Award2010 Mashable Award, Finalist – Best Web Video 2010 Davey Silver Award2009 Webby Honoree Award2008 Webby Honoree AwardCredentialed Gaming Conference Coverage Includes:GDC 07, GDC 08, GDC 09, GDC 10, GDC 11, Austin GDC 07, PAX 08, PAX 09, PAX 10, PAX 11, PAX East 11, Showdown LAN 08, E3 08, E3 09, E3 10, E3 11, Comic-Con 2011, GLS 2011, GenCon 08, GenCon 09, WSVG KY 07, CES 2010, CES 2011Selected Press:Student-produced is a Webby Honoree for second straight year, IU News Room, May 14, 2009Web site a hit with gamers, real-life education for students, Walworth County Today, Lisa M. Schmelz, January 26, 2010GameZombie reviews come with tech lesson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Stanley A. Miller II, April 24, 2010UW-Whitewater students head to New York to accept Webby Awards, Wisconsin State Journal, Patricia Simms, June 11, 2010Video Selections:GameZombie's 2010 Webby Award reelGame Developer Interviews - SelectionsButtonMashers Season 2 - Episode 1Mario ChaplinGame Developer Choice Awards 2010Over 400 original videos produced and webcast, March 2007 – Present The skills, competencies and achievements badges will validate:One of the strongest Web Video Training Programs in the U.S.The GameZombie TV curriculum is intense and demanding and yet students throw themselves into the work enthusiastically and with great pride. They love the subject matter, they love the sense of responsibility and ownership, the challenge, and that it’s real. Their work goes live on the web and competes on a global stage. Working on GZ prepares students for the rigor and excitement of full-time media work. GameZombie functions like a new media production house—except the kids are in charge. The project-based curriculum provides students a hands-on opportunity to produce a mass-distributed game video web series, while strengthening multimedia production skills, new media marketing savvy, and expertise in the most current topics in online media and the business of interactive entertainment. The curriculum provides the opportunity to enhance one’s portfolio, industry connectedness, and global web presence. Students learn—in the trenches—how to workshop each other’s projects and ideas in an energetic, creative, and collaborative environment. GZ’s style of production centers on a system of peer mentorship, emphasizing regular feedback and open channels of communication. Students often take GameZombie over and over—up to 4 or 5 times—leveling up in the process. As students advance through the ranks to the role of Lead Editor, Producer, or Webmaster, they are expected to provide focused constructive criticism and valuable advice to students coming into the team. GZ and 21st Century SkillsThe challenges of the globally competitive 21st Century require a workforce equipped with aptitudes for collaboration, communication, and complex project management. The learner-centered curricular approach of GameZombie TV improves the ability of students to work collaboratively to build and expand a complicated, ill-structured project. The ultimate goal of GameZombie's constructivist model is to educate students to become self-directed lifelong learners capable of thriving in the accelerating pace of the Digital Age. Identity and roles:GameZombie focuses on an interest-driven educational philosophy. Upon entering the program, students self-select between three specialized areas of focus: Web Video Production Web Design & ProgrammingEntrepreneurial Business Development & Social Media Optimization Students gravitate toward GameZombie TV from many different majors. We have had students from Telecommunications, Electronic Media, Media Arts & Game Development, Theatre and Dance, Studio Art, Visual Design, Computer Science, Informatics, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, and English, to name a few. The glue that brings students together from so many walks of life is a passion for some aspect of the project—be it video games, media production, entrepreneurship, marketing, web development, or some combination thereof. Each area has its own specialized sub-divisions -Web Video Production (the biggest team)The Writing Team, (focus = development, scripting, editorial):Duties include researching the video game industry and current topics in-depth; developing branded game video show concepts; scripting and casting; producing engaging, regularly updated content for various new media platforms, such as GZ’s prolific Twitter account; syndicating GZ’s prolific blog, full of regularly updated posts, original editorials, and reviews of new titles. Producing & Production Management:Overseeing a team of approximately 60-80 individuals with over 30 major projects in various stages of development at any given time, averaging 10 completed original game videos per month.  Managing project and asset distribution, exporting, compressing, and uploading completed videos for web streaming. Working closely with the Social Media & PR Team to optimize popularity on Facebook, iTunes, Dailymotion, YouTube, GameTrailers, Flickr, Twitter, and over twenty other venues. Planning gaming convention shoots, including E3, PAX, GDC, CES, and Comic-Con. Assessing strengths and weaknesses of team members, making managerial adjustments, and optimizing work flow. The Production TeamField Video Production: shooting game videos, both documentary-style, (on location at gaming conferences around the country), and in the studio. Achieving advanced lighting set-ups, sometimes blue screened, (project-dependent), achieving clean game capture and asset accumulation, and running quality control. HDTV Studio Production: producing shows, such as ButtonMashers, as part of a 15-20 person team. Responsibilities range from directing to camera to floor management to producing, lighting, and set design.   The Editing TeamEditing game videos to a high degree of professionalism using a broad range of multimedia software, including Motion, Final Cut Pro, and AfterEffects. Implementing advanced and stylish motion graphics, color grading, and sound design.  The Audio TeamProducing original soundtracks for GameZombie videos, as well as remixes of famous game scores. Creating original sound fx for the editors, and overseeing sound design and sweetening. 2D & Motion Graphics:Creating original web graphics, video assets, and artwork for posters and publicity. Creating motion graphics elements and sequences such as dynamic interstitial transitions and memorable, branded intros and outros. Utilizing Photoshop, Illustrator, Cinema4D, 3DS Max, and Maya. Web Design & Programming:Enhancing the functionality of a Webby Award winning website, including the speed and reliability of a proprietary, flash-based video loader/player and an advanced 3D-based profiles page, (past projects). Developing new applications for a high profile, media-rich site. Working with the 2D team to implement attractive web graphics, overseeing and expanding the online forum, and streamlining database code. Mocking up new versions of the site. (GZ is on its 7th major design!). Entrepreneurial Business Development, Social Media Optimization, and PR Identifying fresh new media markets, streamlining and positioning the competitive branding of the series, crunching social media optimization and web analytics. Developing and enhancing strategic partnerships with web video and video game companies around the world. Forging and maintaining positive relationships throughout the international game community. Driving the global popularity of GameZombie’s original series. Opportunities or Privileges:GameZombie TV is run off of enthusiasm. This is the fuel that fires the project. If students did not care, the project would screech to a halt and die. Badges provide a ripe opportunity to reward work effort and performance in a substantive and motivating way. Here are three ways badges could be implemented to provide incremental, motivating incentive to do one’s best work - Team LeadAs mentioned, GameZombie TV utilizes a system of peer mentorship and leveling up. Students who work hard and prove themselves to be capable, reliable, talented, and prolific are eventually asked to serve as Team Leads. Every team has a student leader: Producer, Head Writer, Lead Editor, Lead 2D/Graphics, Lead Audio, Senior Production Manager, Social Media Manager, etc. The process by which students are named “Lead” is totally amorphous and subjective. A badge system could make the process of becoming a team leader a sort of game. It could demystify the process and incentivize meaningful work. Conference TeamAs aforementioned, GameZombie TV has covered every major video game conference of the past four years, including GDC, E3, PAX, CES, and Comic-Con.  For every conference, more students want to go than is possible, since GZ’s floor team consists of a maximum of about five people: a host/VJ, two videographers, a producer, and a production manager/PR manager. The selection process is competitive. Some students campaign hard for the opportunity since they feel, rightly, that attending a major video game conference as press will bring them closer to their goal of breaking into the professional game/media industry. Again, the process of selection is a subjective interpretation of a student’s overall reliability and the quality of their effort. A badge system could clarify this selection process, make it totally fair, and incentivize students to build incrementally toward the goal of being chosen to cover a conference. Get a Job!Due to GZ’s consistent, energetic engagement with both the worlds of web video and the video game industry, this student project has accumulated a network of professional contacts. According to HubSpot, GameZombie’s Facebook presence ranks amongst the Top 50 most influential in the world. Strategic contacts include: video game marketing and PR professionals, game developers, and video game and web video industry executives. The Executive Producer of G4’s X-Play has hired GameZombie graduates on three separate occasions. Many of GZ’s graduates have used their GameZombie portfolio to impress employers, distinguish themselves from other applicants, and secure competitive media work at such companies as G4 Media, ESPN, Blueline, the Indianapolis Indians, the Cartoon Network, 2B Games, and High Voltage. Again, this process of building a GZ portfolio toward leveraging into a job remains organic and non-codified. A badge system could be implemented to incentive students to iteratively build their GameZombie TV portfolio toward obtaining a valuable internship or job. Existing assessments:Students in GameZombie TV are given as many projects as they can handle, with an escalating level of difficulty. A student’s grade is a subjective evaluation of how well they fulfilled the duties associated with the specific role, be it Video Editor, Lead Editor, Webmaster, 2D Artist, Production Manager, Head Writer, etc. Every job is vitally important to the success of the team, but each job has separate challenges, work flow, and means of fair evaluation. Students self-select the team they want to work on and they are given tremendous freedom in deciding what projects they would like to build, and how. Students are graded specifically on their individual contribution to their self-selected project, as determined by their area of emphasis/assigned role. For example, the editor of a particular game video will be graded on the overall quality and effectiveness of the editing. Has the student applied stylish motion graphics and sound design? Has he or she taken the time to color-grade the footage to maximize its aesthetic appeal? Does the piece live up to or exceed the established quality of GZ’s shows with regard to pacing, humor, or audio-visual dynamism? These are somewhat subjective considerations but they are also objective too. If a student puts the requisite amount of work into a project, their effort will be reflected in the finished product. Furthermore, the quality of student work is expected to improve with each successive production. The student’s reward will be enhanced multimedia literacy and a strengthened portfolio. Students are encouraged to push themselves to improve and look for opportunities in projects to develop skill sets that interest them. Badges are a natural fit for the curriculum of GameZombie TV. The iterative, gamified, incentivizing quality of a badge system would clarify for students how to advance in the “system,” breaking this process up into actionable goals. Here a few examples of badges a student on the Editing Team might earn: The editor completes his or her first video to unlock a badgeThe editor completes 5 videos to unlock a badgeThe editor attends a video game conference as videographer to unlock a badgeThe editor’s video achieves 5,000 unique views on YouTube to achieve a badgeThe editor’s video is voted by the class as GZ’s best video of the month to achieve a badgeThe editor is named Lead Editor to achieve a badgeThe editor is named Producer to unlock two badges – one for being named Producer, and another for holding the “Lead” position on two separate teams (a rare feat)The editor gets a job at a major game/media company to obtain the ultimate “Jedi” badge (moving beyond the badges!) Partners and Organizations: In the implementation of a badge-based system of assessment, GameZombie TV can anticipate the support of the Office of the Chancellor at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater, UWW’s Learning Technology Center, and the interdisciplinary faculty of the Media Arts & Game Development program. Administration of the badges: The badges should be public, in the manner of Xbox Live Achievements or Foursquare Badges. They can be displayed on, the MAGD homepage, and anywhere else that students will enjoy seeing them, measuring up against them, and using them as incentive to step up their game. Branding:The badges can utilize the well-developed brand of the 4-time Webby Award winning game media series, GameZombie TV, with its established clean but gritty, mechanical style, and its palette of black, burgundy, crimson, red-orange, grey, and white. Its fonts are Trebuchet MS and Verdana. Importantly, GameZombie TV has over 4 terabytes of cloud-based assets developed over 4 years, and shared by the Wisconsin and Indiana teams, all of which could be mined for the purpose of developing attractive, clearly branded badges.Sources: Davidson, Cathy. (2011). Now You See It: How the Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn. New York: Penguin. GameZombie's 2010 Webby Award Reel: Spencer Striker delivers an Ignite Talk on GameZombie TV at the Digital Media & Learning Conference 2011:

Journalism   Games/Gaming   Career/Workforce
HYPE Badges: Inspiring Youth Media for Lifelong Learning, Leadership and Engagement

HYPE (Healthy Youth Peer Education) is an after school and summer program for teens in Allentown, PA that uses digital media as tools for developing young people's identities and talents as media makers and agents of healthy community change.

PI: Lora Taub-Pervizpour (Muhlenberg College)
  Jenna Azar (HYPE Co-director, Muhlenberg College)
  Dr. John Sullivan (Media & Communication, Muhlenberg College)
  Dr. Jeff Pooley (Media & Communication, Muhlenberg College)
  Anthony Dalton (Media & Communication, Muhlenberg College)
  Chris Pooley (Badgeville, Inc.)
In the youth-made documentary, Inspiring Teachers to Inspire Us:  Preventing Dropouts (2011), documentary media maker Cheyenne, a 10th grader in Allentown, PA, presents this startling fact:  “In 2009-2010, there were about as many drop outs in the Allentown School District as students currently enrolled in McKinley and Cleveland Elementary Schools combined.  437 students left school in one year.”  Cheyenne’s production partner Gracie, also in 10th grade, provides this commentary:  “If teens are not doing positive things in school, they’re doing negative things on the street.”  The short doc ends with this message:  “When students feel appreciated, we’ll try harder to learn what our teachers are motivating us to do.” We propose to create a badge system that will recognize the learning and achievement evident in Gracie and Cheyenne’s documentary and help translate it across other contexts.  HYPE (Healthy Youth Peer Education) is the only youth media program in Allentown, the 3rd largest city in Pennsylvania with roughly 18,000 school age youth.  Located in the Department of Media & Communication at Muhlenberg College, HYPE mobilizes young people to shift their identities from media consumers to media makers, and creates frameworks for valuing youth voices within the community.  In its 6th year, HYPE is an award-winning program, impacting the lives of participating teens and undergraduates, and widely sought after by area youth-serving organizations to partner on media initiatives.  Muhlenberg faculty and staff with expertise in media education, social media, and free open source software movements will partner with Badgeville, Inc. designers to create and test a badge system for HYPE to provide visible, portable evidence of teens’ capabilities as communicators, collaborators and agents of community change. Participation in HYPE is voluntary. Currently no system confers formal credit or recognition for teens’ learning at HYPE.  Retention rates average between 80-95%.  Program evaluation indicates that teens remain engaged because they feel appreciated.  “At HYPE, I have a voice. At school, it’s like I’m mute,” says Jamie, a Latino 11th grader. Presently, neither district high schools nor the college where HYPE is located provide academic credit or certification for HYPE youth.  They enjoy real-time recognition at community screenings of their media, but teens understand it as fleeting and limited.  Clarice, an African American teen involved in HYPE since 2005 and now a senior in the Tyler School of Arts at Temple University, told viewers at one screening:  “Don’t just leave tonight and think, ‘yeah, that was a cool documentary.’  We did this so that you’ll ask yourself, ‘what can I do to help the youth improve this community?’” In 2009, HYPE teens received the Allentown Human Relations Commission award for bridging racial and generational divisions with their powerful film, Roots of Change (the 23-minute video is here). One wooden plaque was awarded to share among 14 teens. Sometimes the message communicated by adults at these celebratory events reminds teens of how undervalued they are in the community.  Invited to present Roots of Change at a City Council meeting, teens were puzzled by the behavior of councilmen who texted, left the room, and worked on their computer throughout their documentary.  “That just shows us they don’t really want us here,” summed up Rashid, a junior college student involved with HYPE since it began in 2005. Our team of media researchers, educators, and designers is poised to create a badge system that will help HYPE level up by:  1) creating tangible, portable recognition for basic and advanced achievements at HYPE, aligned with already defined media practices that mark progression within HYPE; and 2) launching HYPE’s social network online, where digital learning artifacts produced by youth for youth will be accessible to young people beyond Allentown. HYPE teens will put their digital skills and peer leadership strengths to the test as they produce short instructional artifacts on everything from shooting person-on-the-street-interviews, creating soundtracks with Audacity, community asset mapping with smartphones, organizing community screenings, designing your own WordPress blog, and much more.  Youth will be able to upload their own media, make their learning public and earn badges for their progress.  Youth media programs are as diverse as the communities in which they are located (J. Fisherkeller, 2011). The aim here is not to undermine place-based community youth media.   Rather, we hope to innovate a badge ecology that will broadly serve the collective interests of youth media organizations by making more visible the 21st century digital learning skills and knowledge that these sites nurture, enabling wider recognition, and creating open social media space where youth media artifacts and badges can be exchanged and circulated beyond local boundaries. This 2-minute video was created to demonstrate HYPE's badge-friendliness, and shows how the program’s inclusive ethos makes it ideally suited to help innovate a badge ecology for the youth media field. HYPE badges would be designed to recognize an array of “hard” and “soft,” “traditional” and “emergent” skills, knowledge, and experiences.  For example:         Communication badges  for writing / performing spoken word pieces; “where I stand” issues game; “mayor monologue” activity; listening / responding to others’ stories; blog posts Cultural production badges  for digital video editing (from beginner iMovie badge to advanced Final Cut Pro badge); audio production of podcasts and soundtracks (Audacity and GarageBand); image production and editing (videocamera and DSLR, GIMP, Photoshop) Peer Leadership badges  for team building; mentoring others; negotiating production roles; actively promoting inclusivity and collaboration; supporting others in raising their voices. Community engagement badges  for person-on-the-street interviews; community asset-mapping; community screenings and talk-backs; ambassador at school and in community. Muhlenberg College and HYPE will partner with Badgeville to determine design, implementation and display of a series of badges.  Longstanding partnerships with leading youth-serving organizations in Allentown will enable HYPE to cultivate a youth media badge ecology, including Congregations United for Neighborhood Action, Allentown Weed and Seed, and Allentown Jordan Heights Neighborhood Partnership. HYPE has been invited to explore a broader regional link with the nascent Philadelphia Youth Media Collective.  A youth media badge ecology could drive connection and exchange among youth media makers at more than 12 youth media organizations in the broad Philadelphia region, including the Media Education Lab at Temple University, funded in part by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.  The scope of a regional collaboration will be determined if our proposal advances to Stage 2. Lora Taub-Pervizpour, HYPE co-director, is chair and associate professor of Media & Communication; teaches documentary research, youth media, and new information technologies, and is experienced in program assessment.  She is co-editor of Media and Social Justice and author of  “Youth as Cultural Producers / Cultural Productions of Youth,” in V. Mayer, Studies of Media Production (Blackwell Publishing, forthcoming); “Detours Through Youth-Driven Media:  Backseat Drivers Bear Witness to the Ethical Dilemmas of Youth Media,” with E. Disbrow in Media and Social Justice (Palgrave 2011); and “Digital Storytelling with Youth:  Whose Agenda is It?” in J. Hartley and K. McWilliam, Story Circle: Digital Storytelling Around the World (Wiley-Blackwell 2009). Jenna Azar, HYPE co-director, specializes in healthy youth development and is the Allentown Weed and Seed Youth Coordinator, oversees the Youth Coalition, the Allentown Youth Councils Program and the Strengthening Families Program.  Jenna lead the development and launch of the Allentown Youth Source website, an online resource for youth—planned, organized, and developed by youth --to increase young people’s engagement in the community, provide an avenue for positive self-expression, and promote young people as leaders for a healthier community. HYPE’s logo and the seal of Muhlenberg College will be integrated in the badge system.

Civics/Community/Volunteerism   After School/Out of School   Journalism
Hands on Atlanta Volunteer Service Badge Program

The Hands On Atlanta Service Badge Program develops volunteer leaders that engage and build communities.

PI: Michelle Baldwin (Hands on Atlanta)
Overview Hands On Atlanta (HOA) helps individuals, families, corporate and community groups strengthen Greater Atlanta through service at more than 400 nonprofit organizations and schools. Hands On Atlanta volunteers are at work every day of the year tutoring and mentoring children, helping individuals and families make pathways out of poverty, improving Atlanta’s environment, and more. Hands On Atlanta is an affiliate of the HandsOn Network, an association of 250 volunteer service organizations across 16 countries. As part of our mission to build community and meet critical needs through volunteer service and civic engagement, the Hands On Atlanta Volunteer Service Badge Program was created. The Hands On Atlanta Volunteer Service Badge Program is a way to support learning, validate education, help build reputation, and confirm the acquisition of knowledge for volunteer service providers. This acknowledgement provides an opportunity for volunteer service providers to demonstrate their commitment level and ability to inspire others to engage in volunteer service. The Hands On Atlanta Service Badge Program recognizes individuals, families, and groups that have achieved a certain standard measured by the completion of workshops, service hours over a 12-month period and the completion of key “experience assignments”. This process for recognizing and honoring volunteers sets a standard for service, encourages a sustained commitment to civic participation, and inspires others to make service a central part of their lives.    The Volunteer Service Badge Program  By implementing the Volunteer Service Badge Program, we strive to become a badge granting agency that provides credentials which differentiate our volunteer service experience from that of others organizations. In addition, we desire to help improve the productivity and quality of volunteer services offered in the community. We do this by engaging volunteer service providers to utilize their unique skills, talents and areas of interest to help HOA with its efforts to enhance the education level, leadership skills, appearance, well-being and self-sufficiency of the community.  The badge program supports HOA’s desire to: Provide meaningful volunteer service opportunities Provide opportunities for people to serve together to build bridges and create a platform for mutual respect Create professional value online for volunteer service providers Motivate and inspire continued professional development and growth in volunteers Identify the acquisition of key skills and community service knowledge in specified categories Outline milestones earned during the service experience Develop leaders that make a difference and take action essential to changing the world Foster an environment for growth and development Focus  on the education and nurturing youth which one of the greatest investment in the future Maximize individual talents to affect sustainable change Volunteer Service Provider Benefits include: Obtaining the means for creating a digital brand Establishing a proven track record before entering or re-entering the workforce, Developing specialized skills and building a network Bringing accomplishments close in line with the actual service experience Gaining knowledge Obtaining real-world outcomes (e.g. jobs, internships, etc.) Receiving credit for new skills and achievements     Through volunteer services, individuals are offered the opportunity to experience the satisfaction of being part of a team that is dedicated to helping the community. Volunteerism also offers the chance for personal and professional growth. Volunteer service providers can learn new skills; enhance existing ones, gain knowledge and an understanding of the unique challenges facing the community as well as how HOA programs and services build on community strengths to address needs. Learning Content The primary learning domains for the program vary depending on the service track selected by the volunteer. Each track includes the foundational learning concepts related to serving the community and then the specific learning goals based on each track. The main learning audience is the volunteer service provider participating in a specified HOA program. Learning occurs at the HOA office based on a training calendar. Learning is both in person and online. Learners will receive community service orientation and  track specific training workshops and assignments.   Validated Skills The volunteer service providers will obtain skills and competencies that include: Leadership Development Community assessment and mapping Communication skills Project Management skills Teamwork  The skills and competencies are best understood when measured continually throughout the service performance.   Learner Roles & Identities The learning program for the volunteer service providers will develop skills that build the identity of program and project managers, community asset specialists and team leaders.   Opportunities or Privileges The volunteer service providers will have opportunities to earn badges at each specified badge level. For instance if the bronze level is reached and the volunteer continues to serve, upon reaching the requirements for the silver badge it will be granted to the volunteer. Based on the badge level earned internships and or mentorship opportunities will be available.   Existing Assessments Performance will be tracked through volunteers completing tasks that demonstrate learning, surveys, pre test and post tests, performance reviews.   Partners and Organizations We will continue to utilize the assistance of partners such  as Google, Kingstreets Management Group and Project GRAD to assist in providing training for volunteers.   Badge Administration Hands on Atlanta will administer badges and use partner organizations to support that effort. The badges will be deployed via internet based applications and displayed in house and via the HOA website. This will occur on a quarterly basis and support will be provided by the HOA technical staff.   Branding We plan to begin with a basic badge format that includes the HOA logo and the level of service distinction granted to the volunteer.    The Volunteer Service Badge Program Tracks Because of the growing number of volunteer service providers we are now offering three different service tracks for our volunteer service providers. By offering these tracks, we hope to make the overall experience more pleasurable and conducive to learning and understanding the various facets of volunteer service. The tracks are also designed to enhance the professional development needs and interests of the volunteer servicer providers. Each track includes criteria for workshops, volunteer service hour and special assignments.   Participants can choose courses from the following tracks:   Education Community Engagement Leadership   Volunteer Service Track I - Education This track is designed to meet the needs of children in reading, math and college preparedness. This track includes service opportunities in hands on tutoring, computer tutoring, after school programming and college preparation assistance.   Programs The current Hands on Atlanta programs that support the Education Volunteer Service Track are:   AmeriCorps Schools Program As a Hands On Atlanta AmeriCorps member, you will be given the opportunity to work in elementary and middle schools to transform partner schools into "centers for community." You and your team of one to five members will be committed to community service, supporting the public school system and the individual student by engaging families, teachers, community members and corporations in education. serve as reading coaches plan after-school enrichment programs train and manage volunteers integrate technology into the classroom renovate school campuses encourage parental involvement build corporate sponsorships support P.T.A. efforts establish mentoring programs integrate an ethic of service through hands-on community projects.   DiscoveryOn any given Saturday morning throughout the school year, Hands On Atlanta volunteers provide free tutoring and enrichment activities for elementary students at 14 metro Atlanta schools through the Discovery program. Discovery is run entirely by volunteers who serve as School and Grade captains, as well as general volunteers.   Education Volunteer Service Track Workshops The current workshops that are required for Education Volunteer Service Track are:   Community Service Orientation                   Program Coordinator Workshop         Classroom Management                       Understanding the community you Serve   Volunteer management                         Recruiting volunteers Team Building                                               Understanding Poverty                            The Successful tutor      Literacy 101                                                   Math Literacy 101                                  Tutoring Using technology  The After School Program                     Community Asset Mapping     Volunteer Service Badge Criteria Within a 12 month period participants will complete a combination of Workshops and education related community service hours. The concentration will be tutoring children in reading and / or math and college preparation assistance.   Badge Level Demographics Workshops Workshop Hours Requirements Service Hours Requirement s Bronze Young Adults: ages (15 -25)  Community Service Orientation Program Coordinator Workshop Understanding the community you Serve Team Building Understanding Poverty 15 hours 100 – 174 hours Adults – individual age 26 and up 100 – 249 hours Family & Groups no age requirements  200 – 499 hours Silver Young Adults – ages (15 -25)  Community Service Orientation Program Coordinator Workshop Understanding the community you Serve Team Building Understanding Poverty Volunteer management Recruiting volunteers The Successful tutor 25 hours 175 – 249 hours Adults – individual age 26 and up Hours 250 – 499 hours Family & Groups – no age requirements  500 – 999 hours Gold Young Adults – ages (15 -25)  Community Service Orientation Program Coordinator Workshop Classroom Management Understanding the community you Serve Team Building Understanding Poverty Classroom Management Volunteer management Recruiting volunteers The Successful tutor Literacy 101 Math Literacy 101 35 hours 250 – 349 hours Adults – individual age 26 and up 500 - 600 hours Family & Groups – no age requirements  1000-1200 hours Platinum Young Adults – ages (15 -25)  Community Service Orientation Pre-service Orientation Program Coordinator Workshop Classroom Management Understanding the community you Serve Classroom Management Volunteer management Recruiting volunteers Team Building The Successful tutor Literacy 101 Math Literacy 101 Tutoring Using technology  The After School Program Community Asset Mapping 60 hours 350 hours or more Adults – individual age 26 and up 601 hours or more   Family & Groups – no age requirements  1201 hours or more             Volunteer Service Track II -  Community Engagement   This track is designed to meet the needs of the community through assisting seniors, beautification projects and other community building initiatives. The goal is to ttransform lives, transform communities, improve the environment, and build hope.   Programs The current Hands on Atlanta programs that support the Community Engagement Volunteer Service Track are:   TeamWorks!TeamWorks! is a great way to make friends while making a difference at community-based agencies throughout metro Atlanta. Attend an upcoming kickoff and join a team, then complete 4-6 service projects with your teammates during a two-month round.   SilverCorps AmeriCorps a Hands On Atlanta AmeriCorps Silver Corps Member, you will serve with one of several Hands On Atlanta community partners. Silver Corps members will serve to support programming for senior citizens within residential and recreational facilities. In any given day, Silver Corps member will hold workshops or social activities on health/nutrition, walking clubs, garden clubs, healthy cooking classesor even Meals on Wheels meal delivery.   Workshops The current workshops that are required for Education Volunteer Service Track are: Community Service Orientation Project coordinator Understanding the community you Serve Volunteer management Recruiting volunteers Team Building How to Plan a Community Beautification Project Community Asset Mapping Celebrating Diversity Nutrition Senior Health and Exercise Understanding Aging Understanding the Generations Effective Communication   Understanding Civic Engagement Why We Serve? Service Excellence Understanding Poverty Understanding The Community You Serve Service Learning   Project Management Leading Service projects Project Management 101   Volunteer Service Badge Criteria Within a 12 month period participants will complete a combination of Workshops and community engagement related community service hours. The concentration will be in serving seniors, community beautification projects and other human service projects.   Badge Level Demographics Workshops Workshop Hours Requirements Service Hours Requirement s Bronze Young Adults: ages (15 -25)  Community Service Orientation Program Coordinator Workshop Understanding the community you Serve Team Building Understanding Poverty 15 hours 100 – 174 hours Adults – individual age 26 and up 100 – 249 hours Family & Groups no age requirements  200 – 499 hours Silver Young Adults – ages (15 -25)  Community Service Orientation Program Coordinator Workshop Understanding the community you Serve Team Building Understanding Poverty Volunteer management Recruiting volunteers   25 hours 175 – 249 hours Adults – individual age 26 and up Hours 250 – 499 hours Family & Groups – no age requirements  500 – 999 hours Gold Young Adults – ages (15 -25)  Community Service Orientation Program Coordinator Workshop Classroom Management Understanding the community you Serve Team Building Understanding Poverty Classroom Management Volunteer management Recruiting volunteers Community Asset Mapping Celebrating Diversity How to Plan a Community Beautification Project Project Management 101 35 hours 250 – 349 hours Adults – individual age 26 and up 500 - 600 hours Family & Groups – no age requirements  1000-1200 hours Platinum Young Adults – ages (15 -25)  Community Service Orientation Pre-service Orientation Program Coordinator Workshop Classroom Management Understanding the community you Serve Classroom Management Volunteer management Recruiting volunteers Team Building Community Asset Mapping Celebrating Diversity How to Plan a Community Beautification Project Nutrition Senior Health and Exercise Understanding Aging Understanding the Generations Effective Communication Project Management 101 Leading Service projects 60 hours 350 hours or more Adults – individual age 26 and up 601 hours or more   Family & Groups – no age requirements  1201 hours or more     Volunteer Service Track III  – Leadership This track is designed to meet the needs of the community through developing community leaders. The goal is to prepare tomorrow’s leaders to take up the community service torch.    Programs The current Hands on Atlanta programs that support the Leadership Volunteer Service Track are:   generationOnMake your mark on the world! generationOn is the global youth service movement igniting the power of kids to make their mark on the world. Whether you’re 15 years old or five, there’s an opportunity for you to make a difference locally through Hands On Atlanta.   HOA Adult Leadership Program springBoardHands On Atlanta’s skill-based volunteer initiative, springBoard, enlists talented business and technology professionals to provide pro bono consulting services for nonprofit organizations. Teams of volunteer consultants work with an agency for one to three months to complete projects such as: strategic planning, basic website construction, accounting and finance, human resources and more.   Workshops Community Service Orientation Project coordinator Understanding the community you Serve Volunteer management Recruiting volunteers Leadership 101 Team Building Community Asset Mapping Communication Skills TrainingFacilitation and Meetings Skills Time Management Esteem & Confidence Builders Goal Setting   Volunteer Service Badge Criteria Within a 12 month period participants will complete a combination of Workshops and leadership related community service hours. The concentration will be leading service projects, creating project plans, learning to lead and recruit volunteers, and technology projects.     Badge Level Demographics Workshops Workshop Hours Requirements Service Hours Requirement s Bronze Young Adults: ages (15 -25)  Community Service Orientation Program Coordinator Workshop Understanding the community you Serve Team Building Understanding Poverty 15 hours 100 – 174 hours Adults – individual age 26 and up 100 – 249 hours Family & Groups no age requirements  200 – 499 hours Silver Young Adults – ages (15 -25)  Community Service Orientation Program Coordinator Workshop Understanding the community you Serve Team Building Understanding Poverty Volunteer management Recruiting volunteers   25 hours 175 – 249 hours Adults – individual age 26 and up Hours 250 – 499 hours Family & Groups – no age requirements  500 – 999 hours Gold Young Adults – ages (15 -25)  Community Service Orientation Program Coordinator Workshop Classroom Management Understanding the community you Serve Team Building Understanding Poverty Classroom Management Volunteer management Recruiting volunteers Community Asset Mapping Celebrating Diversity How to Plan a Community Beautification Project Project Management 101 35 hours 250 – 349 hours Adults – individual age 26 and up 500 - 600 hours Family & Groups – no age requirements  1000-1200 hours Platinum Young Adults – ages (15 -25)  Community Service Orientation Pre-service Orientation Program Coordinator Workshop Classroom Management Understanding the community you Serve Classroom Management Volunteer management Recruiting volunteers Team Building Community Asset Mapping Celebrating Diversity Effective Communication Project Management 101 Leading Service projectsFacilitation Skills Time Management Esteem & Confidence Builders 60 hours 350 hours or more Adults – individual age 26 and up 601 hours or more   Family & Groups – no age requirements  1201 hours or more      

Civics/Community/Volunteerism   After School/Out of School   K-12 Classroom/ Common Core

The Health Teams badges project is a learning ecosystem designed for organizing, tracking, awarding and publicizing badges for a broad range of interprofessional activities across the health care professions (medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, public health, etc.) for students, faculty, and practicing health care professionals, collected via a wide range of devices and social media mechanisms, focused on promoting interprofessional engagement and lifelong learning across the health care landscape, including in education, research, and clinical practice settings.

PI: Amy Pittenger, PharmD, PhD (University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy)
  Jude Higdon (University of Minnesota Academic Health Center)
  Barbara Brandt, PhD (University of Minnesota Academic Health Center)
  The challenge: The definition of interprofessional education stipulates that interprofessional learning is constructed within a collaborative and collective process.5,7,13,18,24  Achieving interprofessional education represents an urgent need within the healthcare educational field.  Individual healthcare practitioners can no longer meet the complex needs of today’s patient10,17 and there is evidence that better patient care is delivered when a collaborative approach is implemented; better patient outcomes achieved, lower cost, and fewer errors are among the results consistently documented when a collaborative approach is used.1,2,4, 8,11,17 Interprofessional education, like all meaningful educational experiences, requires community.5,14,15, 16,19  The ability of future health professionals to develop community and social interdependence12 are limited by different academic calendars, remote campuses, packed curricula, and, for some programs, no allowed electives. While there have been some successes in the area of interprofessional education at the University of Minnesota AHC, past experiences have been limited to a small number of students for a limited period of time.  These experiences, which involve only a select number of future health professionals, are not adequate for truly changing the health system culture1.  The literature suggests that health professional students must start working together early in the professional program and collaboration needs to be sustained for extended periods of time 6, 8,16,17,21.  Students come into a health professional program with a projected identity2,9,17,21 as well as stereotypical ideas regarding other professions.6  And yet, without the development of a shared identity and sense of shared responsibility, real team delivery of healthcare does not occur.6,8,16,21 The University of Minnesota AHC is uniquely situated to implement wide-scale, quality interprofessional education.  Within the AHC are six health professional schools and several allied health programs, all within close proximity and within a large metropolitan city with several networks of outpatient clinics and hospitals.    Meeting the need: One solution to this urgent need is the utilization of collaborative technologies; social networking may provide an opportunity for ongoing interaction and community and identity development. Social network usage is a way to incorporate interprofessional education into these content dense, high pressure professional programs, and perhaps the only way currently to facilitate ongoing interaction among a group of interprofessional students.  HealthTeams is a social environment that encourages professional health care students to continue their interprofessional activities beyond the formal curricula, earning badges for engaging with other professional students in their scholarly, curricular and clinical activities as students and budding professionals.   Badges: HealthTeams has already begun as a closed-group social networking environment using the Ning platform. Through this environment we have begun engaging learners in ongoing, informal learning beyond the curriculum with some modest success. We’d like to enhance these initial forays into the space by adding the ability for learners to earn badges as they engage in activities. The badges that we’d like to encourage would fall into three major categories, with badge “levels” for each area as students get progressively more advanced. The three main “categories” of badges for interprofessional curriculum would be interprofessional scholar, interprofessional clinician, and interprofessional educator. The University of Minnesota Center for Interprofessional Education will administer the badges.  Sub-categories would be as follows: ●      Interprofessional scholar: The goal of these badges is to promote scholarly practice around interprofessional health care. ○      Badge: Literature LuminaryAwarded to learners who read (and share) articles from interprofessional journals; more “points” toward the badge are awarded for peer-reviewed articles, but articles from non-peer reviewed and trade publications and popular press also garner points. ○      Badge: Colloquium CommanderAwarded to learners who “check-in” at departmental colloquia (such as grand rounds) outside of their own home profession. ○      Badge: Seminar SkipperAwarded to learners who attend interprofessional seminars. ○      Badge: Workshop WarriorAwarded to learners who attend workshops or conferences in interprofessional health care. ○      Badge: Publishing PrincipalAwarded to learners who publish a paper in an interprofessional publication, or in a peer-reviewed journal outside of their own profession; extra points toward the badge are awarded for publishing a paper *about* interprofessional education or in collaboration with someone from another profession. ●      Interprofessional clinican: The goal of this category is to promote interprofessional clinical practice among budding health care professionals. ○      Badge: Health Practice HeroTo earn points toward this badge, learners can get involved with the interprofessional practice clinical sites and opportunities, such as the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic, attend the immunization tour sponsored jointly by the U of M School of Nursing and College of Pharmacy, participate in the CLARION competition, or identify another interprofessional clinical site and report clinical practice activities at this site. ○      Badge: Clinical Care CreatorLearners earn this badge by identifying interprofessional clinical opportunities and helping to create or promote interprofessional participation. ●      Interprofessional educator: The goal of these badges is to promote interprofessional education activities among learners across the professions. ○      Badge: Facilitation ForerunnerLearners earn this badge by facilitating or helping to create an interprofessional workshop or seminar for their peers or for a national audience. ○      Badge: Publishing PrincipalLearners earn this badge by publishing a paper in an interprofessional journal, or in a peer-reviewed journal outside of your own professional home or in collabration with individuals from another profession -; extra points toward the badge are awarded for publishing a paper *about* interprofessional education or clinical practice. ○      Badge: Learning LeaderLearners earn this badge by maintaining a blog or tweeting actively about interprofessional topics. They get additional points toward this badge by increasing the number of followers and for comments posted to blog posts. Points are also awarded for commenting on other HealthTeams members’ blog posts or Tweets, or for reTweeting.   Part of our desired workflow would include building an app ecosystem that allows learners to log information toward their badges quickly and efficiently as part of their daily learning activities, as well as to follow fellow interprofessional learners from the community to get updated content from them. We include a few use cases as an attached supporting document.

Health   Career/Workforce   Civics/Community/Volunteerism
ICT Quests

ICT Quests - Recognising and rewarding students who follow supported, self-study packages providing opportunities to learn ICT skills not usually encountered through the formal school curriculum.

PI: Ian Guest (Sheffield High School)
Aim To recognise and reward students for developing skills in software applications they wouldn’t normally encounter through the formal school curriculum. Background The ICT elements of the UK National Curriculum have lofty aspirations, but the experiences of students in the classroom is often little more than capability in the use of MS Office applications (background reading). The consequences are that students lack an awareness of how tools might best serve their needs and should they find such tools, they lack the facility to develop skill in their use and implementation. In our conservative, risk-averse education system, the ICT which is taught is understandably (of necessity, given the emphasis on examination success) designed to ensure students achieve in the examinations they sit. But the system on which those examinations are based is inevitably doomed to be behind the latest developments in ICT technology and applications. Why we want to do this To extend the opportunities students have to experience and use ICT in meaningful ways. To provide a framework and environment within which students can be guided and supported to learn and practise ICT skills independently. To provide the means by which the achievements of those students can be rewarded, celebrated and have currency. To develop a community which nurtures, stimulates and supports its members as they progress on their learning journey. The principles A range of ‘Quests’ would be available, each based on a specific application e.g. Prezi ( and arranged thematically (presentation technologies, concept mapping tools, image manipulation applications etc). These applications will largely be online and free (or have a free version) or be downloadable freeware, in order to be as accessible as possible. Each Quest would then take the student through a sequence of tasks pitched at levels of increasing demand (see Figure 1). The levels will be largely based on those within Bloom’s Taxonomy; those at the lower end introduce and familiarise the Quester with the application, whilst those higher up demand greater capability and facility. The topmost task goes beyond Bloom’s, requiring the Quester to demonstrate sufficient expertise as to be able to introduce someone else to that specific application and guide them through their first steps. We are also considering even higher levels, which encourage Questers to write new Quests or become part of the supervisory team. Figure 1 The enormous range of applications available will provide breadth and can be extended as new applications come to the fore. Depth is provided by levelling up, each Quester choosing to progress to the level appropriate to their needs. Badges will be awarded according to the application chosen and the level achieved. Quests can be undertaken at whatever time is suitable and whilst they could form part of a traditional curriculum, the hope is that Quests are undertaken voluntarily as an extension to and enhancement of formal study. We can see a notional route through the system in Figure 2: Supporting technology The technology required should deliver Quests as a series of tasks, guided by instructions and support materials. The means for Questers to submit the outcomes of those tasks for review and sharing with others Progress monitoring and feedback A means to issue the awards and for students to display their profiles. Figure 3 Moodle was chosen to provide the first three points for reasons of practicality and security; we already have a Moodle implementation delivering part of our learning platform and therefore authentication is taken care of. The courses feature within Moodle provides a thematic structure and within them topics deliver the Quests using the Lessons module. A visual representation of progress through the Quest is provided, though this can also be provided by Assignments tracking. Stamps and/or Certificates provide the Badges until the Open Badges system is in operation. Moodle’s open architecture and transferability mean that courses/themes can be exported and shared between different organisations. Alternately the Moodle implementation could be hosted and managed centrally. Still to resolve Assessing progress and achievement through a Quest, culminating in the award of a Badge needs to be undertaken by someone with supervisory experience. This might be a teacher/tutor, but could also be a parent or senior student. Perhaps there is scope for a yet higher level where any Quester achieving Grand Master level in a number of Quests could be offered the supervisory role – ‘Quest Arbiter’ perhaps? We can also envisage an additional, though different, but similarly elevated role for highly experienced Questers: ‘Quest Architect’ - those who design new Quests. Though initially we will be awarding badges internally, it is our hope that the Open Badges Project will provide the means by which awards can be made. In this way the awards gain much more credibility and transferability and offer the potential of extending the scheme legitimately to a wider community. We also hope that the means to surface a Quester’s profile showing his/her experience across a range of applications will become available through the project, rather than at present, where this information is held behind the ‘walls’ of our organisation. Precisely where and how this information can be recorded, retained and resurfaced for the users and their potential audiences has yet to be determined. This is new ground for us and we have neither a full appreciation of what is possible (yet!), nor the in-house expertise to implement a solution. We need a system which produces something similar to Figure 4, but with perhaps a little more … style! Figure 4 We need to devise a set of protocols or standards by which integrity and rigour can be conferred on the validation process, ensuring that those who participate in supervisory roles do so to a consistent set of standards. Summary Our aspiration here is to provide credited learning opportunities beyond the formal curriculum which students opt into as the need arises. In addition to leaving school with accreditation through the national examination system, they will also have a portfolio of Badges showing a range of additional, informal but recognised, self-developed skills that any potential employer could be impressed by.

After School/Out of School   K-12 Classroom/ Common Core   
Innovative Communication Design Badges

Innovative Communication Design (ICD) is an online, asynchronous graduate certificate program at the University of Maine intended for individuals who wish to improve their ability to engage with technology and creativity on a professional level.

PI: John Bell (ICD, University of Maine)
  Rick Corey (ICD, University of Maine)
  Sheridan Kelley (ICD, University of Maine)
  Matt LeClair (ICD, University of Maine)
  Andy Hurtt (ICD, University of Maine)
  Owen Smith (ICD, University of Maine)
About ICD Innovative Communication Design (ICD) is an online, asynchronous graduate certificate program at the University of Maine intended for individuals who wish to improve their ability to engage with technology and creativity on a professional level. ICD is a newly developed program launching in 2012 that is built on the idea that creative problem solving is the most valuable and transferrable survival skill in the information economy. Students learn high-level strategies for creativity and apply them using current design production tools to gain an understanding of cutting edge communication and media contexts. Program Goals ICD recognizes that the survival of many small organizations and self-employed individuals requires skills in problem solving and communication that lie outside their areas of expertise. Upon completion of the certificate, students will have: A familiarity with design models and a hands-on knowledge of industry standard digital production tools and software. An awareness of effective methods for innovation and creative approaches for problem solving. An understanding of and ability to implement the cutting edge communication strategies that are critical to their professional lives. Within these broad goals, ICD targets very specific achievements and skills relating to creativity, innovation, peer evaluation, and implementation. The curriculum is based on project development, critique, and redevelopment – a cycle that has more in common with the professional world than the traditional linear academic model of assignment-response-evaluation-exit. Students are encouraged to release work early and often to receive feedback from one another and evaluated not only on their own work but also on their contribution to the development of their peers. ICD Badges ICD’s model is heavily discussion and seminar based, eschewing easily gradable question and answer assignments. The unfortunate nature of the grade system is that awarding an A or a B fails to reflect the specific achievements of the student within the educational environment. Grading can seem arbitrary as an assessment, and neither life long learners nor their employers care about grade point averages in any case. They are driven by the need for establishing proficiency with new tools and environments, a task much better suited to meaningfully-named badges than abstract letter grades. Beyond the problems of the traditional grading system in general, it is not a good fit for ICD’s specific goals and content. Courses often involve abstract or soft skills that are difficult to evaluate using traditional grading. Even for more tools-based skills where such grades might be possible, ICD’s multivariate production profiles (see diagram) teach a wide variety of proficiencies that are not made evident by the monolithic graduate certificate rewarded to all students upon completion of the program. ICD is seeking to use badges to address this lack of granularity. Faculty will award ICD badges to mark the specific achievements of the individual student and identify their strengths within the program. Badges will reflect skill development in targeted roles including: Graphic design Graphic arts Marketing Infographics Web design UX engineering Server-side development Professional presentation Video production Soft skills like creative and conceptual development, critique, collaboration, and participation will also be marked with the awarding of badges from the program. Keeping with the mantra of peer evaluation, students will even be able to award other students with a subset of the publicly visible badges that demonstrate their contributions to the group effort of learning. A student’s collection of both faculty- and student-awarded badges becomes their representation to the world of what they learned by participating in the ICD community; it is a claim of skills that is validated by the institutional credibility of the University of Maine. Functional Recognition ICD’s badging system is intended to play a functional role within the program as well as acting as a signaling system outside of it. The ICD web site, where all its classes are offered, is currently being designed to support the non-traditional learning environments and interactions developed by the program. Rather than try to fit a new model into existing tools like Blackboard or Moodle, ICD is beginning development with nothing more than a bulletin board skeleton and customizing it to fit the content rather than the other way around. One area of emphasis is that the ICD web site will exist as an online community for its students beyond the classes they take, becoming a persistent resource for everything from new educational material to second opinions on personal or professional work. The badging system will double as a permissions system for controlling access to various areas of the site and feed into privileges for posting and moderating discussions. Users will be encouraged to participate through the awarding of special badges that grant them bonuses like professional or faculty consultation outside of classes for their personal projects. Since badges will be an integral aspect of the ICD web site’s functionality they will be maintained as a part of that system, though tools for displaying them on social networking or personal web sites will be available to students who wish to use them. The ground-up construction of the site will allow for the integration of external APIs to facilitate badge linking. Badges seen on external sites will still conform to the overall look and feel of the ICD site since a unified and comprehensive user experience is a design priority for the entire web site. Conclusion The faculty of the ICD program is made of experienced educators who are trying to redesign an online educational system that is far too often focused on read-write-regurgitate lessons instead of thoughtful analysis and discussion. We believe that using badging as a recognition system is a significant upgrade from standard evaluation and grading. Though badges are often discussed as an alternative for validation of non-traditional learning situations, they are perhaps of even more value within traditional institutions. There, the attitude of a badge–a granular, meaningful and public representation of proficiencies–can work back through the curriculum to ground higher education in application. ICD, as an educational program founded on application, is an excellent place to start. (See for program information.)

Arts/Design   Career/Workforce   STEM
Intel and Society for Science and the Public Badges

This initiative will feature SSP’s premier high school science competitions, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) and the Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS). Intel and SSP believe that a badge system based on the Intel STS and the Intel ISEF will enable and reward independent research and encourage participation in science fairs.

PI: Carlos Contreras (Intel)
Intel and Society for Science & the Public (SSP) are pleased to present a badge system proposal for the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition: Open Badges.  The initiative will feature SSP’s premier high school science competitions, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) and the Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS), which reward independent scientific and engineering research.  Success in either program demonstrates the highest level of achievement in the conceptualization and implementation of scientific research.  Intel and SSP believe that a badge system based on the Intel STS and the Intel ISEF will enable and reward independent research and encourage participation in science fairs.   The Partners Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices. Additional information about Intel is available at  and Intel believes that young people are the key to solving global challenges.  A solid math and science foundation coupled with skills such as critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving are crucial for their success. That is why we promote education programs, ambitious policies, and technology access to enable tomorrow’s innovators. Intel has invested over $1 billion, and its employees have volunteered over 3 million hours to improve education around the world over the last decade. In the United States, we firmly believe that maintaining the country’s competitiveness in today’s global economy will in large part depend on the success of our nation’s students. Intel’s education programs span across the United States and reach students in all 50 states.  Diverse perspectives, abilities and experiences have always been key to Intel’s success. Our education programs reflect a commitment to excellence.  We strive to ensure that all communities including those that are underserved   have access to technology.  Our goal is to inspire students in every community to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). To find out more visit Society for Science & the Public (SSP) is one of the oldest nonprofit organizations in the U.S. dedicated to public engagement in science and science education. Established in 1921, SSP is a membership society which builds understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement. Through its acclaimed education competitions, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the Intel Science Talent Search and the Broadcom MASTERS, and its award-winning publications, Science News ( and Science News for Kids (, SSP is committed to inform, educate, and inspire. For 70 years, SSP education programs have launched generations of science enthusiasts, including Nobel Laureates, National Medal of Science recipients, and nearly 100,000 other distinguished program alumni. The Society believes that supporting the young scientists of tomorrow, whose vision will usher in new solutions to global challenges, is vital to our common future. Learn more at   The Programs The Intel®   International Science and Engineering Fair,®  (Intel ISEF), a program of Society for Science & the Public, is the world's largest international pre-college science competition for students in grades 9-12 and provides an annual forum each May for more than 1,500 high school students from 65 countries, regions, and territories to showcase their independent research as they compete for over $4 million in awards and prizes. The finalists of Intel ISEF have been selected at 443 affiliate fairs. Accounting for students competing at feeder fairs, Intel ISEF affiliated fairs involve annually an estimated seven million secondary school students worldwide.  The Intel ISEF is funded jointly by Intel and the Intel Foundation, with additional awards and support from dozens of other corporate, academic, governmental and science-focused organizations. The Intel®   Science Talent Search® (Intel STS), a program of Society for Science & the Public, is the nation’s most prestigious science research competition for high school seniors. Since 1942, and in partnership with Intel since 1998, SSP has provided a national stage for the country's best and brightest young scientists to present original research to nationally recognized professional scientists.  The Intel Science Talent Search encourages students to develop the skills to solve the problems of tomorrow and to tackle challenging scientific questions. Projects submitted for consideration include all disciplines of science, including biochemistry, chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering, behavioral science, and medicine and health. Students submit a 20-page research paper in the fall of their senior year of high school as well as transcripts, teacher recommendations, test scores and essays.  Three hundred national semifinalists and their schools are honored and rewarded with $600,000 annually; 40 finalists attend the Intel Science Talent Institute in March and compete for an additional $630,000 in awards, including the top award of $100,000. SSP also reaches middle school students through the Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology & Engineering Rising Stars) and publishes, an award-winning site focused on bringing the important content of Science News to students aged 9–14, their parents and teachers.  Moreover, the Society provides training and support to teachers in underserved communities through the SSP Fellowship, enabled by generous funding from the Intel Foundation.    Goals of a Badge System A key goal of an Intel/SSP badge system is to provide an incentive for engagement and participation in independent research and science fair competition for middle school and high school student researchers, teachers, mentors, judges, volunteers and the community at-large.  Currently, winners at the Intel ISEF and Intel STS proudly list this accomplishment in their student resumes and on college applications.  A digital badge system that provides a visual demonstration of achievement will enhance and further elevate accomplishment in the eyes of the students themselves as well as college admissions officers looking for achievements that set these students apart.  Likewise, teachers, who often support student researchers above and beyond normal duties and without compensation, will be rewarded for their dedication, as will scientists and engineers who volunteer by mentoring, judging and supporting the future generation of scientists and innovators.   Scientific inquiry is the basis for the National Science Education Standards published in 1996. Badges will support the larger badge ecosystem by requiring badge earners to articulate the process of independent research.  The 2010 National Academy of Sciences, “Framework for K-12 Science Education” links content knowledge to the skills necessary to explain the inquiry process.  The eight essential practices outlined in the framework are: Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering) Developing and using models Planning and carrying out investigations Analyzing and interpreting data Using mathematics, information and computer technology, and computational thinking Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering) Engaging in argument from evidence Obtaining, evaluating and communicating information Intel ISEF and Intel STS represent the student’s comprehension and execution of the scientific inquiry process.  The existing assessment process for these competitions serves as an excellent vehicle for the assessment and awarding of badges for mastering framework skills as established by the National Academy of Sciences.   The Intel and SSP badge system has immense potential to reward students for educational growth and development in science, mathematics, and engineering.  A badge system that incentivizes independent research, mastery of the core practices of inquiry, and participation in science fairs can encourage an appreciation for science in our daily lives.  It can lead to more interest in science majors, the pursuit of scientific careers and, perhaps most importantly, can result in a citizenry that is better equipped to consider many of the science-based issues facing our global society.   Case Studies Educational content, technical considerations and badge criteria for a preliminary set of badges based on the Intel ISEF and Intel STS follow: Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) Case Study Learning Content The Intel ISEF badge system begins with badges that parallel the current award structure of the competition.  Intel ISEF finalists are evaluated onsite by hundreds of judges, each with a Ph.D. or the equivalent of six years of related professional experience in one or more of the 17 scientific disciplines represented by the Intel ISEF. This thorough assessment and direct competition among the most selected young scientists around the world ensure that winning projects at the Intel ISEF are worthy of the distinction of a badge. Appendix A is a table of suggested Intel ISEF badges with audience, assessment process and potential number of badge recipients in a year. Beyond student finalists, the Intel ISEF badge system will reward the many adults who support finalists: teachers, mentors, judges, interpreters, etc.    A second phase will take advantage of and recognize science fair participation at the affiliated fair level and, by extension, to “feeder” fairs through which students qualify to participate in Intel ISEF-affiliated competitions.  Students win the right to become a finalist at one of 443 affiliated fairs from 65 countries, regions and territories (including fairs in 46 U.S. states).  Each of these regional, state or country fairs represents a population of students, teachers, judges, and volunteers who will earn badges proportionate to those whose badges are earned through the Intel ISEF.  Although the Intel ISEF is limited to students in the 9th-12 grades, many of the feeder fairs also serve middle school students. SSP’s middle school program, the Broadcom MASTERS, engages with this audience and affords a reach into this younger audience.  A badge system for this younger age group will emphasize the skills and practices of scientific inquiry as represented by the NAS framework. This will provide the added value of encouraging the natural curiosity and interest in science and engineering of younger students. Finally the Intel ISEF badge system will include peer-to-peer badges.  One of the core values of attendance at the Intel ISEF is to bring together 1,600 talented science students from around the world who share an interest in math and science.  Peer-to-peer digital badges exchanged among finalists and the broader universe of students doing independent research might represent skills and abilities valued by their colleagues such as collaboration or leadership.  Such a peer-to-peer connection within the existing social media channels used by Intel ISEF finalists is perhaps the most effective means of popularizing and publicizing the entire badge system to its core audience of students. Technical Considerations SSP has developed custom registration software to maintain the records of each finalist and affiliate fair, and to provide the mechanism to submit information required for review and approval of scientific projects.    Likewise, SSP, with Intel support, has developed an active alumni database built within a Net Community website interface with Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge software.  SSP and Intel are positioned to make any necessary technical adjustments to implement a badge system within the current infrastructure and/or to create additional integrated systems as warranted.   Branding Considerations Intel ISEF badges will be distinguished by the look and feel of the Intel ISEF brand, currently enjoyed by those who achieve finalist distinction. This includes the Intel ISEF logo shield, which currently appears on official Intel ISEF publications and signage.  Various levels of accomplishment will be demonstrated graphically through color and/or design. For example, a Best of Category award might be designated “Platinum” or “Gold”; grand award status might be designated “Silver”, or further distinction could be made for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places within the grand awards.  Award rosettes, currently distributed at the Intel ISEF awards ceremony, might suggest a color coding scheme for different levels of accomplishment. Badges awarded by affiliate fairs will also be branded appropriately and differently in turn from badges earned at a”feeder” fair.  Among all badges, some will be more generic designating, for example, a skill or practice, such as “planning and carrying out an investigation,” one of the eight practices in the NAS framework.  In contrast, the more exclusive and custom-branded badges are reserved for Intel ISEF finalists and participants (judges, interpreters, volunteers, etc.).   Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS) Case Study Learning Content The Intel Science Talent Search is uniquely positioned by its long, distinguished history going back to 1942. In the ensuing decades, the Intel STS has established an identity as a launch pad for students who become leaders of our nation’s scientific community.  Because it is limited to high school seniors, being named an Intel STS semifinalist or finalist represents a crowning achievement for students who have most often dedicated their high school years to scientific research. While the Intel STS badge system does not enjoy the reach of the Intel ISEF, it benefits from similarly robust assessment by Ph.D. scientists and engineers of entries. This includes a 20-page research paper, standardized test scores, transcripts, recommendations, essays, other accomplishments and publications of a student researcher.  This comprehensive scientific history provides the opportunity to assess and reward a series of badges that would attest to the skills achieved by the student through the existing review framework. Badges could be awarded at the semifinalist and finalist level, and extended at a tertiary level to those entries not placing in the top 300, but showing exceptional skill and/or vision in particular aspects of the scientific process. While a badge system for the Intel STS would focus on high school seniors who demonstrate mastery of science practices and skills, it could also reach into a broader community of others critical to achievement at this level.  Mentors, teachers, parents, and peers who provide guidance could receive badges through entrant-to-adult and peer-to-peer nominations for their essential contributions. Their role is articulated by Craig R. Barrett, former President and CEO of Intel and current member of the SSP Board of Trustees, as follows: "While the [Intel STS] program provides a showcase for excellent students, it also highlights a formula for success in our schools. The important ingredients of that formula are motivated students, caring teachers, and a supportive education system, community members and parents who stay involved and close to the educational process. There is nothing really magic about that list – and yet some really impressive results come about when those ingredients are combined as they are in the Science Talent Search."  Appendix B suggests Intel STS badges including audience, assessment and potential reach.   Technical Considerations Society for Science and the Public uses the Hobson’s ApplyYourself software for Intel STS submission.  Students are guided through the extensive application process ( which includes uploading a 20-page research paper.  Students are asked to identify those who have assisted them in their science career; badge implementation would build on the identification of these supporting players. This year custom evaluation will be introduced, allowing for easy collection of scoring data that could be used to identify non-selected entries nonetheless deserving of recognition in one or more area of scientific skill and practice.  Alumni of the Intel STS include many distinguished scientists and engineers, including seven Nobel Laureates, two Fields Medalists, and four National Medalists of Science.  The alumni database resides within a Net Community interface with Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge technology. It allows SSP to maintain contact with STS alumni back to 1942, and would allow for potential retroactive awarding of badges.  SSP and Intel are positioned to make the appropriate technical adjustments to implement a badge system within or in addition to the current technical infrastructure.   Branding Considerations Similar to the Intel ISEF badges, Intel STS badges would convey the look and feel of the Intel STS brand, including the shield logo, for those who achieve semifinalist, finalist and top 10 award levels.  These designations could be represented in color or design, for example using a “platinum” designation for a top 10 winner, “gold” for finalists and “silver” for semifinalists.  Badges outside of these existing categories would be branded differently so as not to confuse or dilute the high level of prestige enjoyed by the highest Intel STS achievers.   Extended Badge System Opportunities – Independent programs Intel and SSP administer a wide range of science programs that enables both organizations to extend the open badge system beyond Intel ISEF and Intel STS.    Intel Intel has identified additional programs for students and teachers that could be extensions of the STEM Badge project: Design and Discovery is a free curriculum for students ages 11-15. The inquiry-based curriculum offers an interdisciplinary approach to engineering through design. Design and Discovery can be implemented in a variety of settings—as an after-school club, a summer enrichment program, or as part of a science curriculum. Design and Discovery includes the free, printable curriculum manuals for students and facilitators. In 18 sequential sessions of two to four hands-on activities each, students follow the design process, from identifying a design opportunity to developing a working prototype Intel ISEF Middle School Science Fair  A Guide for Teachers:  This free curriculum offers a comprehensive curriculum and planning guide. It provides teachers with a detailed road map, outlining planning considerations and hands-on activities for the 30 weeks leading up to a fair. Downloadable files include the complete teaching guide, plus an accompanying set of resources and student handouts. The guide has been developed by a team of experienced science teachers and used in middle school outreach efforts in connection with the Intel International Science and Engineer Fair (Intel ISEF). Intel Teach Elements: Intel Teach Elements is a series of high-interest, visually compelling e-learning courses that provide deeper exploration of 21st century learning concepts. Elements courses can be taken online as self-study for personal professional growth experience. Intel Teach also supports integration of the course into online and face-to-face professional development programs, and provides facilitation materials (see links below). The facilitation materials promote a deeper experience for teachers as they work through the e-learning modules. In a facilitated experience, small group discussions and Action Plan sharing builds professional learning communities around the course content.  Whether self-paced or facilitated, the instructional design includes: Animated e-learning tutorials Interactive learning exercises Offline activities to apply concepts Intel will continue to evaluate its programs that may be good candidates for the STEM program. SSP SSP’s Broadcom MASTERS competition, for middle school students, allows the Society to award badges to younger students who demonstrate good scientific practice at a more basic level. Recognition will also extend to teachers, mentors, and parents supporting these students.  The SSP Fellowship provides training and monetary support to teachers in underserved communities to implement a high-quality independent science research program for students in their schools.  The Fellowship requires multiple assessments of student participation in science outside of the classroom.  SSP’s two publications, Science News and Science News for Kids (SNK) could lend themselves to the presentation of badges involving a student’s progress in reading and comprehension of science content through current articles at varying reading levels.  The SNK website would lend itself to being an appropriate portal for a number of science skills badges that would introduce students to the concept of independent research.   Appendix C includes visuals (logos, pictures, etc.) to compliment the content submission.     Conclusion The partnership of Intel and Society for Science & the Public is dedicated to the promotion of the highest level of scientific research for students. The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and the Intel Science Talent Search are ideal platforms to raise the visibility and credibility of student research through a badge system that rewards student researchers and those who help enable their work.    

After School/Out of School   STEM   Civics/Community/Volunteerism
LevelUp: Outpost Edition

Oupost is a video game aimed at 8th grade math that badges will be created to cover math standards.

PI: Lance Christmann (EffectiveSC)
  Jeni Gotto (Adams County School District 50)
  Lance Christmann
  Sarah is a 9th grade  student in Colorado. Like many girls her age, she is getting more and more into video games and spends a large amount of time checking in to Facebook. James is a 9th grade math teacher in Colorado. He has been teaching traditionally for most of his career, but has begun to shift his strategy towards involving and validating the work students are doing outside his classroom. He firmly believes that sharing the load between all the influencers of a child’s life is the best way to teach the whole child. The problem for him is that it is a time-intensive process to sync those experiences with classroom-based educational goals. Sarah is currently in James’ class. As a hands-on learner, she's having a difficult time understanding key 9th grade geometry and algebra concepts. She's also losing motivation, wondering when or why she'd ever use this knowledge outside of class. James is also frustrated, and decides to search the online LevelUp lesson catalog for help. After just a couple minutes of tweaking his search criteria, he discovers a web-based video game called Outpost, which not only makes learning geometry and algebra an interactive experience, but feeds students' scores directly into LevelUp. James quickly discovers that a majority of his class would benefit from Outpost, and decides to host a class-wide team-based competition in the game. Hoping to inspire leadership and teamwork skills, James makes Sarah one of the team leaders. The results went beyond James' expectations. Once Sarah and the other students learn the necessary concepts to master a level, their successes in the game appear in their LevelUp Badge Walls and the competition becomes fierce. Sarah organizes and inspires her team to the extent that they not only dominate the competition, but go beyond and acquire every badge available in the game. James is so impressed, he awards her a Leadership badge as well. Beyond that, Sarah has gained proficiency in a large number of 9th grade Math competencies, and thanks to the LevelUp system, James can quickly and easily mark her work there complete. LevelUp Badges EffectiveSC has partnered with Intific – the makers of Outpost and other games – and Colorado’s Adams County School District 50 to make such a system possible. EffectiveSC will build a badge system that includes the data required for games like Outpost and other extra-curricular programs to tie into education management systems. EffectiveSC is also building a unique education management system called LevelUp. The system validates learner competencies (i.e, leadership, collaboration) and identities (“Outpost Captain”) not recognized by “standards,” while still mapping to the state standards that James is being held accountable to. EffectiveSC will create a digital catalog, using Mozilla’s Open Badge format and system to contain the data while leveraging the Backpack to act as the transfer and authentication between games like Outpost and learning systems like LevelUp. The Outpost badges will be awarded for students’ success at applying algebra and geometry standards from the 8th and 9th grade math common core. Players will need to apply math principles to determine the distances and angles between moving objects at particular points in time in order to correctly laser meteor chunks that threaten human life. Their success at the mission will involve nothing short of saving the human race (virtually). The Outpost badges are specific to the game Outpost which is being created by the game makers Intific with math curriculum experts at the University of Denver. University of Denver will validate the appropriateness and effectiveness of Outpost as a space that enables kids to genuinely apply rigorous math skills and knowledge to solving problems. First, in order for the Outpost badges and other badges like it to be available to teachers and students, EffectiveSC will need to create a digital catalog for all teachers and students. This catalog will tie directly into Common Core standards to allow teachers and students to search for content based on those standards, but it will also allow users to search for other badge data like learning modality. Additionally, EffesctiveSC will provide an extensive API to Intific and any others who would like to post to the catalog, so that their content can track with each student and push relevant milestones and badges back to educational management systems (like LevelUp). When Sarah completes Outpost level 6, James will be notified that Sarah has earned the Shoot-the-Moon badge, which corresponds to Common Core Standard 8.G.7, and James can then give Sarah credit for that standard. More broadly, any teacher from any school will be able to investigate the competencies, standards, and progress that are contained in each badge. They are able to flip the educational model and align their teaching to the activities the kids might be doing outside of class whether it is video games, extra-curricular clubs and organizations,  or other experiences. This closes the divide between the child’s two worlds and strengthens their learning more than either side can do separately. Next Steps EffectiveSC will be applying for Stage 2 of the DML Competition where we will describe the LevelUp interfaces and design that will allow teachers, students, and parents to log on and integrate the learning that happens both inside and outside the classroom. This will provide the framework and model for groups like the Boy Scouts, museums, faith-based programs, zoos and many others to begin building a similar symbiotic relationship. This is an important step in building a child’s learner-centered digital portfolio, transcending the current distinctions of formal and informal learning.

K-12 Classroom/ Common Core   Games/Gaming   STEM

Lifelens is a digital media collaborative for middle and high school students for both formal and informal environments; using the open source digital museum badge schema as curators, docents, researchers and authors, Lifelens learners acquire digital media literacy skills by recording their stories through sight, sound and sensory experience.

PI: Angela Elkordy (Eastern Michigan University)
  Angela Elkordy (Eastern Michigan University)
  Annie Jeffrey (Boise State University)
  Lifelens project: Angela Elkordy and Annie JeffreyTraditional learning and assessment. As educators, we know students learn best when supported by appropriately implemented instructional technologies. We are also aware that our students must master a whole new range of 21st century skills to be competitive in the global market place. Pressure for accountability has lead to the creation of national standards in core subjects and technology usage, but a methodology for accurately assessing the acquisition of key 21st century skills and aptitudes remains elusive. A major hindrance to measuring these skill sets is the national trend towards standardized testing, which ignores the critical performance aspect of many these important skills.Informal learning. Teens are motivated to continue learning any time and anywhere through computers and personal digital devices in collaborative ventures that are meaningful to their everyday context.Proposed project. Lifelens is a digital media collaborative for middle and high school students. Modeled upon a museum, participants assume roles such as curators, docents, researchers and authors to share the stories of their lives through digital media. Learning may occur in structured environments, such as in libraries, after school clubs, youth groups or museums but is expected to take place primarily online. Targeted outreach is planned to encourage participation of students struggling in formal learning environments due to challenges, poverty or at risk for graduation.Adults may mentor participants, but the primary objective is for teens to be peer tutors by teaching or constructing their own tutorials. Badges are awarded by accredited institutions which participate in Lifelens training. Badges are awarded for discrete tasks or for demonstrated competency in levels. Participants are expected to maintain virtual portfolios for assessment.Lifelens, is an online showcase of learning through digital objects or products, which evidence learning, much of which is informal learning; The skills and knowledge gained through the completion of authentic tasks will be assessed using a badge schema based upon roles which define learning activities. The presentation is conceived as a web site or an immersive virtual world. Learning objectives and task badges are designed to develop important 21st century skills, for which there are currently no formal assessments, learning occurs in cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. The Lifelens learner will employ social media and other digital tools to capture the sights, sounds, smells and other sensory experiences to describe their cultural contexts.Learners will be expected to create and share the essence of their cultural context through production of authentic vignettes of topics structured to reveal both differences and similarities with others. Students will learn to create and control an online presence, develop an understanding of the requirements for professional profiles. Lifelens will promote positive values; tolerance, empathy, engagement with community, self-esteem, equality and social justice.Sample media topics: Local history, investigate a building or place Reflect on philosophical or historical question If I could change the world I’d.... Family culture How I’d achieve world peace How technology is changing my world Digital citizenship (global, collaborative, multimedia) What Does This Look Like? Example Vignette: Sound Time Capsules. Participants create a digital object which “captures” the sound of their proximal environment. Sample products: Knowledge management (tagging and organization of digital objects) Animated tutorials for teaching technology skills A curated “exhibit” complete with commentary Blog entries and other public relations/informational texts Videos, soundscape recordings, word clouds, mash-ups, podcasts, presentations, mediographies, simulation, games, virtual world experience, interactive media Badges. Lifelens learning will showcase an open source badge schema based on the concept of a digital museum. It will focus on acquisition of authentic 21st century digital skills and knowledge which are not currently not formally assessed in existing assessments.  Developed around a set of roles and supporting competencies and media skills, the badges are aligned with the tasks necessary to create, sustain and promote growth of the digital museum. Lifelens participants will work their way through individual badges or sets of badges sequentially, assume roles associated with activities and provide peer support for activities.The initial development of assessment criteria and rubrics will be constructed in consultation with an assessment expert; additional faculty support will be provided in the course of Ms. Elkordy’s dissertation measuring the impact of specific badges on student learning. Furthermore, criteria will be aligned with sources such as the ISTE NETS, national technology standards, Bloom’s taxonomy as well as grounded in relevant learning theories including the works of Vygotsky, Bruner, Bandura, Piaget, Krathwohl, Knowles and Gardner. Feedback from the Open Source community will be periodically incorporated for validity and reliability. The schema shown below describes the proposed Lifelens student roles, but we intend to survey students about their choice of terminology before a final decision is made. Objectives/Purpose of the badges:Lifelens standardized assessment tools will be available for the open source community. Lifelens learning will motivate learners to accomplish performance goals along a learning path, engage the learner in the learning process, reward and promote achievements, promote increased belief in self-efficacy, in addition to empathy, tolerance and care for others through collaboration, team work and service. Above all, Lifelens will foster the skills necessary for the 21st century workplace.Proposed Lifelens roles include: Collaborative authoring skills (organise, write) - Author Collaborative editing skills - (organise, edit, manage, negotiate, mediate) Editor Knowledge management (curation, categorisation, exhibition, privacy, selection according to audience) - Curator Awareness of other cultures and life circumstances - Explorer Multiple media (selection, creation and integration) -  Director Storytelling (synthesis, evaluation, socio-cultural skills, higher order skills, creative, empathy, select themes) - Story Weaver Presentation skills (persuasion, narrative, portfolios and self presentation, marketing, digital media use, social media) - PR Specialist Teaching others (team work and consensus building, coaching, peer support in learning activities)  - Docent Information retrieval and search skills Researcher Opportunities/Privileges. Participants will: Engage in authentic learning experiences through roles, creation of digital products, knowledge work Earn social capital Acquire collaborative writing, editing and research skills Work through a tiered badge system Earn meaningful credentials Annie Jeffery, an educational technologist with 12 years experience in teaching, research and instructional materials design. She is currently studying for a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a cognate in Educational Technology at Boise State University. anniejeffery@boisestate.eduAngela Elkordy, a former preK-12 school administrator, is a doctoral fellow, majoring in Educational Leadership with a cognate of instructional technology in the Leadership and Counseling Dept., Eastern Michigan University.  

Civics/Community/Volunteerism   After School/Out of School   K-12 Classroom/ Common Core
MOUSE Wins! Badge-based Achievement System for National Youth Technology Leadership

A national online achievement system that supports youth in building computational, digital, and workplace literacies and establishes the assessment of positive community participation and learning as the bedrock for our programs’ culture.

PI: Michael Capobianco (MOUSE Inc.)
SUMMARYMOUSE Programs facilitate a growing, learning and “action” network of approximately 4,000 youth nationwide. They are mobilized as teams of level-one help desk experts supporting technology and media in their schools by day and thriving as a community of peers whose combined skills and interests are shared and applied while “geeking out” after school and online. After nearly two years of design and development, MOUSE seeks support and collaboration from the HASTAC community of fieldwide designers and assessment experts to scale a national network-wide online achievement system (described below). The system supports youth in building computational, digital, and workplace literacies and establishes the assessment of community participation and learning as bedrock for our programs’ culture.ABOUT MOUSEMOUSE provides young people with authentic situated learning environments that support their school community, increases opportunities to gain experience applying skills, and offers exposure to new interests and a growing community of supportive peers and adults. With that, youth transform “consumer savvy” into skills and dispositions that empower agency for innovation and change.MOUSE Programs aim to affect both skills-based and developmental outcomes that emerge along a trajectory of participants’ experience. One central goal of growing the program’s online achievement system is to help program participants realize and be supported in engaging that trajectory over time. Unlike some youth development programs working with drop-in formats, a key goal of MOUSE in growing our program is to engage more participants beyond a single semester or even school year. Evaluation efforts help support our understanding that the longer youth stay engaged in non-formal programming, the more significant and broad-reaching its outcomes for learning and development.Our focus is, first, to leverage youth’s interest in media and technology. Through this focus we help them to see practical application's for their skills and, by doing so, begin a cycle where authentic and structured leadership opportunities yield positive youth development outcomes. Along this course, a sense of belonging and shared interest deepens engagement in building skills, and rewards both soft and hard skills in ways that make youth’s travel along their learning trajectory transparent, engaging, and significant among their peers.The diverse network of youth participating in MOUSE Squad programs are from middle and high schools in the United States wherein, on average, 73% of students are eligible for the federally administered free-and-reduced-lunch program . To increase the number of diverse opportunities available to our youth, MOUSE partners with schools and other youth-serving organizations in New York, California, Chicago and 15 additional sites/regions. GOALSMOUSE’s goal is to continue to build an learning ecosystem through an engaging, national program culture where skills and savvy earned at the site-level can be valued and leveraged as a broader community.Central to our effort are the following goals:1) support youth in valuing demonstrations of active participation in their learning community2) utilize web-based systems to automate learner scaffolding and trigger human interaction at key assessment points3) introduce learners to a culture where demonstrations of learning and contribution are highly valued in ways that mirror contemporary fields of practice - “cred” not “credits”4) utilize badged achievements to support youth’s growing sense of self-worth and value in a working or learning community; and6) realize the full potential of an online achievement system for assessing domain-specific hard skills while building a broader community and programmatic culture for learners with shared interestsTHE MOUSE Wins! SYSTEMOur achievement system rewards users for two types of participation within our web-based network platform, Community Wins! and Certification Wins!, which are described below:Community Wins! reward network members for actively participating, communicating, and collaborating with one another. For example, the number of blog posts members make get tallied up toward a dynamic 5 Blog Posts Win!, 10 Blog Posts Win! and so on. You also get Community Wins for cases (or project tickets) that members close through our case tracking software, and for comments that they post as they help fellow members to troubleshoot problems or open dialogue on relevant topics.   Certification Wins: are awarded to users for every Certification module that a user completes. MOUSE Certifications are designed to support students by first building basic computational, digital, and “project” or work literacy through our 10-module MOUSE Squad Certification. The curriculum designed for face-to-face facilitation and combines lessons covering hard skills and computational concepts, e.g. networking, hardware, software, peripherals, operating system interfaces and more with soft skills related their work as a functioning help desk, e.g. client interaction, working in teams, documenting and troubleshooting problems, and project management. Through the course of their certification work, youth blog content-related reflection questions, take short “Check Yourself” quizzes for comprehension, and load project-based demonstrations to Squad-based blog posts in the form of graphics files, video, photos, and other documents.   In 2010, MOUSE launched our first ever “Specialist Certification.” Different from MOUSE Squad Certification, these self-led online modules are designed to support youth in leveling-up in content areas that interest them beyond the exposure they’ve had during the school day, e.g. “Garage Robotics” is a foundational exploration of Physical Computing, in 2012 MOUSE will launch “Serious Game Design” a collaboration with partners at Global Kids, and with promising interest from the National Science Foundation, will begin development to create a third specialist certification in “Green Technologies” for launch in 2013.In the summer of 2011, MOUSE also released the Wins!Tracker assessment feature to support the content described above. Wins!Tracker is a tool that helps program facilitators and mentors access an aggregate view of their whole Squad’s work for any given certification. The interface allows check-ins on student progress during certification work, 1:1 communication functionality to offer feedback, and a “award” control that allows the facilitator to approve certification when complete. All Wins! and Certification Badges awarded appear on students’ Profile pages within   PARTNERS AND ORGANIZATIONSIn the Spring of 2011, MOUSE also became a beta partner for Mozilla’s Open Badge Infrastructure (OBI) to connect participants’ profile data to external social and professional network sites online with the goal of releasing public-facing badges for a pilot group of advanced leadership high school students from the MOUSE Corps program. Together, this growing ecosystem for learning, participation, and assessment targets domain-specific outcomes in the areas of technology, digital literacy, computation, and 21st Century skills. Learning in MOUSE programs starts during the school day and supports students in carrying over interests into out-of-school time. The bridge created by this programming represents a practical model for ways that non-formal learning institutions support a vision for learning landscapes that extend beyond the school day.To date, MOUSE has awarded over 12,000 Wins! across it’s over 4,000 national network members. MOUSE seeks participation with HASTAC collaborators to continue growing this system in ways that: enable seamless integration between the programs’ user data and the Mozilla OBI; grow more robust assessment systems; and build smart connections between learning goals and cultural community-building goals BRANDINGMOUSE’s mission is focused on empowering youth, leveraging their skills and savvy to inspire change that starts with their learning environments. Through the utilization of badges (Wins!) we hope to inspire youth, pushing them towards being more engaged both with their own learning but also with the a larger community. Wins! become a tool that enables learners to brand their experiences and achievements, and organizations to brand their contributions to the lifelong learning trajectory of individual users. In doing so MOUSE succeeds on extending our mission and creating a cycle where a unique portfolio of achievements can inspire not just the individual, but the collective motivations of the community to participate, learn, and grow.                

After School/Out of School   STEM   Career/Workforce
Manufacturing Institute: Badges for Informal Learning and Experiences

PI: Jacey Wilkins (Manufacturing Institute)
          Recognizing informal learning of the skills and qualities students and workers need to be successful in today's Advanced Manufacturing workplace.   THE NATIONAL MANUFACTURING BADGE SYSTEM The Manufacturing Institute intends to create a National Manufacturing Badge System, recognizing the wide range of skills, competencies, capacities, qualities and achievements students and workers need to be successful in today’s Advanced Manufacturing workplace and acquire through their participation in a number of world-class youth- and worker-development organizations partnered with The Manufacturing Institute. These are skills, competencies, capacities, qualities and achievements that manufacturing executives and enterprises value and look for in employment relationships.  Many of The Manufacturing Institute’s education partners – high schools, community colleges, and 4-year institutions provide the venues for these partner activities and can be supportive of the National Manufacturing Badge System.  These education leaders recognize that they are providing the formal learning content through their degree programs of study, but the informal learning pursued by students and workers through these other organizational activities contribute significantly to each individual’s expertise and employability. The Manufacturing Institute has built and deployed formal education pathways to manufacturing careers via the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System, now underway in high schools and two and four-year colleges across the country.  These education pathways include nationally-portable, industry-recognized credentials that validate core employability and technical skills for all sectors in manufacturing.  However, the classroom is no longer the only place where valuable skills are honed, and there are important qualities – being a team player or being a great mentor – that are not necessarily reflected in degrees and certifications. Manufacturing employers have typically clung to a limited notion of self-promotion – the résumé – as the primary mechanism for screening potential hires. The National Manufacturing Badge system and the badges it supports will supplement the formal learning requirements and pathways and will provide individuals with an additional platform—based online—to instantly convey to employers what they know and what skills and experiences they bring to the table. There are multiple audiences for this National Manufacturing Badge System.  The primary audiences are students who seek to develop important skills and competencies beyond their formal education, educators and mentors who cultivate these skills, and employers who recognize the value of these informal learning experiences in their future workforce.  Additionally, workers across many related industry sectors can participate in these activities, gaining important recognition of achievements and new skills that are directly applicable to their mobility in employment across multiple sectors in the economy.  The main goals of the National Manufacturing Badge System are to help ensure an educated and skilled 21st Advanced Manufacturing workforce, critical to the innovation capacity and business success of U.S. manufacturers in the global economy; to link and leverage formal and informal learning environments and opportunities benefitting students and workers; and to bring national recognition to world-class informal learning organizations that contribute to both student and business success.   There is no existing badge system or design.   The National Manufacturing Badge System will contribute to the larger badge ecosystem in several ways:  It will serve as a model for other industry sectors in linking and leveraging partnerships with formal education institutions and informal learning organizations; the badges will represent skills, competencies, capacities, qualities and achievements that are applicable across industry sectors, e.g., energy and construction; it will inspire practical use of the larger badge ecosystem by adding value that translates to high quality, middle class jobs.    The National Manufacturing Badge System will emphasize and acknowledge critical thinking, creativity, innovation, real-world problem solving, teamwork, leadership, performance, ethics, and technical and industry knowledge.  These “street smarts” and “book smarts” are directly aligned to the needs of manufacturers, who are looking for the next generation of skilled talent that can drive innovation, invent the next big products, and keep their companies competitive in the global marketplace.      The National Manufacturing Badge System will be an umbrella system that links and categorizes achievements and learning across partners and programs working to engage and educate individuals about manufacturing and prepare them socially, academically, and professionally for in-demand careers in the industry. Partners are chosen based on their programs’ quality, rigor, and outcomes in giving individuals the experiences and skills they need to be successful in advanced manufacturing.  The initial significant partners in developing this National Manufacturing Badge System are The Manufacturing Institute, and its career navigation and recruitment program, Dream It. Do It., SkillsUSA, and Project Lead the Way:     The Manufacturing Institute   The Manufacturing Institute is the non-profit, non-partisan affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers dedicated to changing the face of manufacturing in the country so that policy makers (government), educators, and the public understand its importance and take action to sustain and expand the industry in the United States.    The Institute’s agenda focuses on delivering cutting-edge solutions and services to make all manufacturers globally competitive, deploying the highest-quality education and training for a world-class manufacturing workforce and making manufacturing a coveted career choice of young people.    In partnership with some of the leading consulting firms in the country, the Institute studies the critical issues facing manufacturing and then applies that research to develop and identify solutions that are implemented by companies, schools, governments, and organizations across the country.  Grounding all initiatives are four key elements critical to supporting U.S. manufacturing.   Changing the Image of Manufacturing   Positioning manufacturing as the bedrock of the economy and the creator of a stable middle-class is the heart of the Institute’s message about manufacturing.  Dream It. Do It., the Institute-managed national manufacturing recruitment and career awareness initiative, changes the image of manufacturing in the eyes of students, parents, educators, and decision-makers.   An Educated and Skilled Workforce is Key to Manufacturers’ Global Competitiveness   The belief that talent development drives innovation and economic competitiveness guides the Institute’s education reform and workforce development agenda.  The Institute has designed and deployed the national manufacturing education reform agenda, implementing the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System.  This system of industry-recognized credentials integrated in high schools, community and 4-year colleges and universities, creates efficient, competency-based education pathways to careers ranging from skilled production to engineering and in all sectors in the manufacturing economy.  Recognizing the demographic realities of our current and future workforce, the Institute designs customized education and training strategies from Pre-K to Gray and for each underrepresented population.    Innovation is Manufacturers’ Edge   The Institute believes that innovation is the most critical factor in U.S. manufacturers’ success in the global economy.  The Institute’s Center for Manufacturing Research and Innovation conducts programs, projects, and research designed to help U.S. manufacturers innovate and regions create the support systems needed to encourage that innovation. The Institute is currently connecting manufacturers to the nation’s innovation assets including new technologies developed under the National Science Foundation’s SBIR Program and modeling and simulation capacity at the nation’s universities.   Research Supports Policies   The Institute produces comprehensive, data-based research to enable industry, government, media, and the public to understand the full scope of issues manufacturers face today. Telling the dynamic story of domestic manufacturing is imperative to advocate its strength and value to the economy. The Institute produces a consistently updated library of the latest data around the opportunities and challenges for U.S. manufacturing, including the facts about the economy, the manufacturing image, structural costs associated with market competitiveness, solutions for innovation and market development, and innovative thinking on human resources best-practices, education reform, and workforce development. Widely cited reports include:   The Structural Cost Study, highlighting the 17.6% cost disadvantage manufacturers face in the United States The Facts About Modern Manufacturing, indicating that manufacturers are leaner, high-tech, and the most productive, but need supportive public policies The Annual Public Perception Survey, tracking what the public thinks about manufacturing  The Skills Gap, analyzing the skills shortage in the U.S. manufacturing workforce and what needs to be done about it   SkillsUSA   Founded in 1965, SkillsUSA[1] is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit national association of 300,000 member students and educators partnering with business and industry to ensure that America has a well-prepared skilled workforce.  One hundred thirty (130) trade, technical and skilled service occupational titles are represented among curricula of SkillsUSA’s student membership.  The program is delivered through almost 17,000 SkillsUSA member sections (classrooms) in more than 3,700 public schools in all 50 states, DC and three U.S. territories.  These schools are comprehensive high schools with career and technical curricula, regional career and technical education centers, and two-year colleges. Recently, SkillsUSA also has begun to develop chapters in workforce development agencies outside of traditional schools.     In the 2010-11 academic year, SkillsUSA’s membership was composed of   247,845 high school students 13,682 professionals (educators) from the High School Division 36,469 College/Postsecondary students 2,989 professionals (educators) from the C/PS Division 19,302 registered Alumni 284,314 total students 16,671 total professionals 320,287 TOTAL MEMBERS (including registered Alumni)   SkillsUSA student members pay $8.00 annual national dues and professional members (instructors/advisors/administrators) pay $14 annual dues.  State association dues and sometimes local chapter dues are also collected.  In some cases the school will pay the membership dues for its students.    At the local level, the SkillsUSA chapter carries out a Program of Work.  All SkillsUSA programs are in some way related to the following seven major goals.  The Program of Work, properly executed, is co-curricular, not extra-curricular, and is integrated into daily lesson plans and activities of the classroom and lab.  Each chapter elects a slate of student officers who conduct the chapter’s business meetings.    Professional Development: prepares each SkillsUSA member for entry into the work force and provides a foundation for career success and productive citizenship.  This includes career exploration and the development of communication skills, ethics, teamwork, government awareness, time management, customer service and other employability and citizenship skills imparted through chapter activities and taught through our award-winning Professional Development Program (PDP) curriculum and our college/adult-level Career Skills Education Program (CSEP).   SkillsUSA Championships: offers students the opportunity to demonstrate through competitions their leadership or hands-on occupational skills, to learn current industry expectations, and to receive recognition for achievement.  Winners advance from local Skills competition to district (in some states), then to state and finally to the national SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City during the last full week in June.   SkillsUSA Championships competitions at all levels are designed and managed by technical committees drawn from the ranks of business, industry and labor.  Industry experts also judge these contests.  Involvement with SkillsUSA Championships competitions and chapter Program of Work activities gives industry probably the most direct pipeline to curriculum reform in American public education.  SkillsUSA teachers teach what business and industry preach.   Community Service: promotes good will and understanding through services donated by SkillsUSA chapters, and instills in members a lifetime commitment to community service.    Employment: increases students’ awareness of quality job practices and attitudes through job shadowing, internships, summer employment, co-op programs and apprenticeships while in school.   Ways and Means: promotes chapter fund-raising activities to allow all members to carry out the chapter’s projects, including travel costs to skills competitions and leadership training events.   Public Relations: creates public awareness of the good work that SkillsUSA students are doing to better themselves and their community.   Social activities: increases cooperation in the school and community through activities that allow members to get to know each other outside the classroom or work place.   Partnerships with business, industry and organized labor are SkillsUSA’s lifeblood.  More than 1,000 partners support SkillsUSA at the national level with financial donations and/or in-kind contributions of contest equipment, supplies and prizes and volunteer time and talent.  Thousands more partnerships operate at the local and state levels of SkillsUSA.    There are three basic levels of organization within SkillsUSA: local, state and national.   At local chapters, elected student officers organize and member students carry out the Program of Work under the guidance of a teacher-advisor.    State association directors, usually a state Education department employee or state contract employee, provide chapter membership development and state student officer leadership training, oversee the local chapters within his or her state and conduct the state-level SkillsUSA Championships and leadership conferences.    The SkillsUSA National Office provides Management of the National Leadership and Skills Conference and its highlight event, the SkillsUSA Championships, Leadership and employability skills curriculum development and training, Publications and member communication vehicles such as Champions magazine and the national Web site (, Fund raising and program delivery for national mission-related projects, Service to SkillsUSA’s state associations, Legislative awareness and response, Training and management of student National Officers, and Development of the SkillsUSA WorldTeam, which competes in the biennial WorldSkills Competition.    The SkillsUSA Leadership Center is located north of Leesburg in northern Virginia, about 25 miles northwest of Washington, DC’s Dulles International Airport.    Dream It. Do It.   Why: U.S. manufacturers face major human capital challenges that threaten their competitiveness in today’s complex, integrated global economy.  A highly skilled, educated workforce is the principal driver of innovation success, but a hard asset to acquire.  According to a joint study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, People and Profitability, even at the height of the global recession, 32% of surveyed companies reported moderate to serious skills shortages in the hiring pool.  And, though retirements slowed during this recession, they will pick up again once people “right their economic boats.”  Compounding this challenge is the reality that today’s young students do not pursue careers in manufacturing.  Another study published by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, Public View on Manufacturing, reports that while the majority of surveyed Americans view U.S. manufacturing as a national priority, only about a third of parents would encourage their children to go into manufacturing.  Human capital shortages will persist as the baby boomers retire, technological advances require more advanced skill sets, and our global competitors continue to surpass our educational system in producing a high-volume, high-quality technical workforce.    What: Dream It. Do It. is the public-facing message about high-tech, high-wage careers in manufacturing.  As a national manufacturing careers recruitment strategy, the program’s aim is to inform, excite, educate and employ the next generation of manufacturing talent.  As a workforce and economic development initiative, Dream It. Do It. fosters growth, innovation and jobs by building entrepreneurial, regional alliances and providing youth-oriented awareness and education initiatives designed to capture and prepare the next generation of skilled American manufacturing talent.  Dream It. Do It. is also positioned as an engagement tool that feeds young students into specific educational pathways aligned with career pathways in high-quality, high-paying jobs.  These pathways are specifically accessible through the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System.   The Dream It. Do It. Manufacturing Careers Recruitment Strategy Promotes a clear understanding of advanced, high-tech manufacturing and its contribution to innovation, productivity, economic growth, wealth building, and high-quality jobs; Promotes a modern image of manufacturing aimed at 16-26 year olds, their parents, and educators, that expels old stereotypes of manufacturing; Promotes strong regional, cluster-oriented, pro-manufacturing partnerships among local business, political, education, and civic leaders, and economic developers; Offers an engaging, interactive website that serves as a dynamic resource for students to explore an array of manufacturing jobs and the skills and education levels required for them; and, Serves as an initial channel into aligned educational pathways in post-secondary education and career pathways in valuable manufacturing jobs through the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System.   Dream It. Do It. is a national umbrella brand and strategy that is deployed locally so that programs and marketing can be customized to meet the needs of local industry.  These local programs—tested and proven “on the ground”—are compiled into a library of national resources, which documents and shares best-practices and tools so that other Dream It. Do It. teams can replicate these proven initiatives in their own communities. Some of these replicable programs include: The student Manufacturing Dream Team The Manufacturing Ambassadors Program The Made in (State): Manufacturing Makes it Real Bus Tour A Season of Manufacturing Targeted and Mass Social Networking and Marketing Career Navigation Games   Dream It. Do It. is now active in 20 states or regions across the nation where industry and education-led coalitions are promoting manufacturing careers awareness and aligning education and training opportunities to meet the workforce needs of regional manufacturers.  The Manufacturing Institute also is reaching out to Project Lead The Way and First Robotics to determine their interest in participating in the National Manufacturing Badge System.   Project Lead the Way   Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the national’s leading provider of rigorous and innovative Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum for schools.  PLTW’s hands-on, Activities-, Project-, Problem-Based (APPB) comprehensive curriculum is aligned with relevant national standards and is collaboratively developed and updated by subject-matter experts – including teachers, university educators, engineering and biomedical professionals, and school administrators.  PLTW’s programs emphasize critical thinking, creativity, innovation and real-world problem solving.  The hands-on learning engages students on multiple levels, exposes them to areas of study that they may not otherwise pursue, and provides them with a foundation and proven path to post-secondary training and career success in STEM-related fields.   Launched in 1997 in high schools in upstate New York, PLTW was designed to address the shortage of engineering students at the college level.  Today, more than 4,000 middle and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia will offer PLTW programs, enrolling more than 400,000 students in STEM education courses (2011-2012 school year).  PLTW has also trained more than 10,500 teachers to instruct its courses.    PLTW teachers and school counselors are able to access a nationwide support network comprised of PLTW’s national staff, master teachers, university affiliates, corporate and philanthropic sponsors and state leaders (education professionals employed by state Departments of Education).  PLTWA has more than 40 affiliate colleges and university partners that offer students college-level recognition, such as college credit, admissions preference and scholarships, for completing certain PLTW courses in high school.  These universities also provide an intensive two-week professional development course during the summer that teachers are required to complete before teaching a PLTW course.  PLTW’s corporate and foundation partners and STEM associations and organizations offer materials, mentorships, technology, equipment and grants, as well as internships that allow students to see firsthand how their classroom learning applies to the real world.       Challenges and Opportunities   There are both challenges and opportunities in creating this National Manufacturing Badge System.  Among the challenges are:   The partner organizations are non-profit organizations with extensive education portfolios.  Ensuring the capacity to develop all relevant content will be a challenge; The partner organizations do not have the technical systems or teams to support digital learner interactions or issuing badges; Much of the informal learning content can be validated only by performance.   Modeling and simulation capabilities may be necessary to measure and account for new skills and knowledge.   The opportunities include:   Connecting the Open Badge Infrastructure directly to The Manufacturing Institute’s web-based “Engagement to Education to Employment” Pipeline, which is being rolled out as the U.S. Manufacturing Pipeline.  Thus, badges earned and collected could be “transported” directly to a student’s or worker’s “e-portfolio” to present a comprehensive picture of skills, competencies, qualities, and achievements to both educational institutions and manufacturing employers; The National Manufacturing Badge System will support and encourage participation in impactful, results-oriented youth- and worker-development organizations and their informal learning opportunities, producing a more highly educated and skilled 21st century workforce.   Following are the partner organizations’ initial thoughts about developing content representing specific skills, competencies, capacities, qualities, and achievements.  This includes information on how and where the informal learning occurs.   SkillsUSA Badge   SkillsUSA would require its member students and alumni aspiring to a SkillsUSA Badge to complete Levels 1 and 2 of SkillsUSA’s Professional Development Program (PDP) or its Web version, PDP Online.  These activity-based lessons require students to   1.1 Complete a self-assessment and indentify individual learning styles 1.2 Discover self-motivation techniques and establish short-term goals 1.3 Determine individual time-management skills 1.4 Define future occupations 1.5 Develop awareness of cultural diversity and equity issues 1.6 Define the customer 1.7 Recognize the benefits of doing a community service project 1.8 Demonstrate effective communication with others 1.9 Participate in a job shadowing activity 1.10 Identify the components of an employment portfolio 1.11 Explore what’s ethical in a workplace or school 1.12 List proficiency in program competencies 2.1 Measure/modify short-term goals 2.2 Identify stress sources 2.3 Select characteristics of a positive image 2.4 Demonstrate awareness of government 2.5 Demonstrate awareness of professional organizations and trade unions 2.6 Apply team skills to a group project 2.7 Observe and critique a meeting 2.8 Demonstrate business meeting skills 2.9 Explore workplace ethics: codes of conduct 2.10 Demonstrate social etiquette 2.11 Complete a survey for employment opportunities 2.12 Review a professional journal and develop a three- to five-minute presentation. 2.13 Identify customer expectations 2.14 Complete a job application 2.15 Identify a mentor 2.16 Assemble your employment portfolio 2.17 Explore supervisory and management roles in an organization 2.18 Recognize safety issues 2.19 Employability skills: evaluate program comprehension   SkillsUSA would also require Badge aspirants to either   Win a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal in one of the following competitions at a state-level SkillsUSA Championships. Automated Manufacturing Technology CNC Milling CNC Turning Engineering Technology/Design Industrial Motor Control Mechatronics Precision Machining Technology Robotics and Automation Technology Welding Welding Fabrication   OR   Acquire a Skill Connect Certificate by achieving an industry-defined threshold score in an industry-designed online, interactive test of entry-level technical knowledge in one of the following Skill Connect Assessments. Automated Manufacturing Technology CNC Milling & Turning Technology Engineering Technology Mechatronics Robotics Welding   OR   Achieve an industry certification that aligns with the NAM-endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System.    As an example, in the SkillsUSA Championships Automated Manufacturing Technology contest, the Standards and Competencies require contestants to be prepared to   Perform mathematical and measurement calculations in automated manufacturing situations.  Five measurement and calculation sub-competencies are listed. Design, sketch and plan machine work to U.S. National CAD Standards.  Seven sub-competencies are listed. Create a tool path (CAM file) and CNC code to related duty tasks of the National Institute of Manufacturing Skills (NIMS) Duties and Standards for Machining Skills, Level 1.  Eight sub-competencies are listed. Perform CNC machining functions given a scenario to the related duty tasks of the NIMS Duties and Standards for Machining Skills, Level 1.  Thirteen sub-competencies are listed.  Perform and inspect part(s) using a Total Quality Management process.  Three sub-competencies are listed. Demonstrate safety practices in a working situation to the related duty tasks of the NIMS Duties and Standards for Machining Skills, Level 1.  Three sub-competencies are listed.  Provide an accurate quotation given an automated manufacturing technology simulated scenario.  One sub-competency listed.    Additionally, the Technical Standards for the Automated Manufacturing Technology contest identifies Math Skills, Science Skills, and Language Arts Skills that are embedded in the contest. Each hands-on contest also includes some element of professional (soft skill) assessment and a written test of relevant technical knowledge, both of which are added in the student’s final score.    Related to the above example, the content blueprint for the Skill Connect Assessment in Automated Manufacturing Technology largely mirrors the same set of Standards and Competencies.  In the case of the Skill Connect Assessments, the student must interpret information from written, photographic, and animated depictions in order to interactively answer questions about technical knowledge and hands-on process protocols and procedures.    Both technical and employability skills are delivered by industry-experienced instructors who volunteer to also serve as SkillsUSA advisors within the Career and Technical classroom and lab.  SkillsUSA chapters are found in comprehensive high schools, regional career and technology centers, or two-year colleges.  Technical instruction is supplemented and informed by the SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards.  Employability skills pedagogy embedded in the SkillsUSA Program of Work is delivered through almost 17,000 SkillsUSA member sections (classrooms) in more than 3,700 public schools in all 50 states, DC and three U.S. territories.  The Program of Work, properly executed, is co-curricular, not extra-curricular, and is integrated into daily lesson plans and activities of the classroom and lab.  The Program of Work includes competitions, professional development, community service, in-school employment, social activities, public relations and chapter fund raising.  Each chapter elects a slate of student officers that conducts the chapter’s business meetings and carries out the Program of Work under the guidance of the chapter advisor.    The Professional Development Program (PDP) has long served as SkillsUSA’s flagship employability skills curriculum.  It was most recently revised in 2010.  PDP Online was created in 2008 and updated in 2010.  In both formats of PDP, content was created and periodically updated by teams of SkillsUSA educators and business partners.  The 1991 Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) served as the foundation upon which PDP’s original Transition Skills Matrix was constructed.    The student’s instructor signs off on the satisfactory completion of each PDP lesson and awards certificates for successful completion of each PDP level.   The SkillsUSA Championships hands-on contests are designed and managed by volunteer “technical committees” drawn from the ranks of business, industry and labor. The technical committees are charged with creating a live test of skills and competencies expected of an entry-level worker in the relevant industry.  The contests are judged by other volunteers from business, industry and labor.  Procedures, protocols, competencies, criteria and academic cross-walks for each contest are encoded in a national publication, the SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards, which is widely studied by SkillsUSA instructors and students in preparing for a SkillsUSA Championships contest.   We ask the technical committees to review for industry relevancy and modify their contest’s technical standards every two years.    To participate in a state-level Champions contest, the student must have prevailed in local and district contests, also managed and judged by business and industry volunteers.  State-level Gold medalists compete in the national SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City held at the end of June, part of SkillsUSA’s annual National Leadership and Skills Conference.  Based on scoring criteria, we award Gold, Silver and Bronze medals to place winners in the High School division and to place winners in the College/Postsecondary division of each contest.    Similar to the hands-on contests of the SkillsUSA Championships, the Skill Connect Assessments (B) were also designed by the same volunteer technical committees, but with the intent of creating an online, interactive, media-rich assessment correlating to the hands-on SkillsUSA Championships contests, in this case targeting job aspirants who have acquired their skills informally or through alternative learning (e.g., Web based) sources. Each Assessment has a bank of 200 questions items that have been tested by psychometricians for reliability, resulting in four forms of a 50-question proctored online test.    The Skill Connect Assessments have a Learning Management System that produces instant scoring reports and a printable Skill Connect Certificate (if qualifying) for the test-taker upon completion of the Assessment.  Individual and compiled scoring reports are then available to instructors and administrators.    Our SkillsUSA state directors can report to us on place winners in their annual state-level SkillsUSA Championships.  SkillsUSA would install a process of promoting and reviewing student/alumni applications for badge status that entails verifying with instructors certificates of successful completion of PDP Levels 1 & 2, procuring lists of state-level SkillsUSA Championships place winners from SkillsUSA state directors, and cross-checking attainment of Skill Connect Certificates from our own Work force Ready System database.     Dream It. Do It. Badge   A Dream It. Do It. Badge would be available to individuals who are engaged in programs and activities around advancing the image of manufacturing, recruiting the next generation workforce, and/or serving as liaisons between education and career counseling and the manufacturing workplace.  Dream It. Do It. Badge-holders are ambassadors of manufacturing careers and have key roles in communicating and demonstrating the wide-range of opportunities in manufacturing.  These individuals embody the Dream It. Do It. message: if you can dream it, and learn it, you can do it in manufacturing.   Eligibility Those who are eligible for  Dream It. Do It. Badge include: Current high school or college students pursuing formal education pathways or informal learning experiences in manufacturing career tracks; Current manufacturing employees who work with schools or other institutions/ organizations deploying career services; or Educators, administrators, or executives working to inform, excite, educate and employ the next generation of skilled manufacturing talent.    Roles and Responsibilities Dream It. Do It. Badge-holders must affiliate with the state/regional or national Dream It. Do It. program and engage in at least some of the following activities: Interact with students to promote careers in manufacturing Speak at schools to parents, teachers, and counselors who influence students’ career decision-making Help facilitate student internships and teacher externships at manufacturing employers Help facilitate plant tours for a first hand look at modern manufacturing Assist educators in developing manufacturing career pathways and aligning current and future curriculum with the needs of manufacturers Engage in frequent online engagement activities, including blogging, authoring op-eds or marketing pieces, becoming a prominent voice in social networking communities, participating in online Q and As or discussion forums, and help produce career videos Attend manufacturing conferences, trade-shows, or other industry convenings and report on the latest news and developments in the industry, including new technologies, products and processes, and employment opportunities   Key Informal Learning Content Dream It. Do It. Badge-holders show critical communications, marketing, and social skills as ambassadors of manufacturing careers.  These communications skills are aligned to national standards for effective communications, and include: Speaking Expresses information to individuals or groups taking into account the audience and the nature of the information (e.g., technical or controversial); speaks clearly and confidently; information is organized in a logical manner; speaks using common English conventions including proper grammar, tone and pace; tracks audience responses and reacts appropriately to those responses; effectively uses eye contact and non-verbal expression. Listening Receives, attends to, interprets, understands, and responds to verbal messages and other cues; picks out important information in verbal messages; understands complex instructions; appreciates feelings and concerns of verbal messages. Two-way communication Practices meaningful two-way communication (i.e., speaks clearly, pays close attention and seeks to understand others, listens attentively and clarifies information); attends to nonverbal cues and responds appropriately. Persuasion/Influence Influences others; persuasively presents thoughts and ideas; gains commitment and ensures support for proposed ideas.   A Dream It. Do It. Badge also requires significant knowledge of modern manufacturing, industry trends, required skills and competencies and how to access them, and career opportunities.  Badge-holders must be able to: Articulate a true image of modern manufacturing Understand key principles of technology-infusion, lean and green, automation, quality assurance, safety, and product and process improvement Understand trends in technology or business operations that impact career opportunities and required skills and competencies Know where students can access education pathways to jobs in manufacturing and how they can get the skills needed to be successful in their careers   Process A Dream It. Do It. Badge must be endorsed by a Dream It. Do It. state/regional program, or by The Manufacturing Institute.  A Dream It. Do It. Badge-holder must be validated through a recommendation from a Dream It. Do It. site, or provide ample evidence of manufacturing “ambassadorship” through a written request to The Manufacturing Institute.    Project Lead the Way Badge   The Project Lead the Way Badge would be available to both students and educators engaged in the further development of pre-engineering skills and deeper understanding of the necessary knowledge, skills and experiences to be successful in the 21st century manufacturing workplace.   Students who earn a Project Lead the Way Badge will have scored at least 85% on Pathway to Engineering end-of-course assessments and has or is engaged in one or more of the following: Gaining real-world manufacturing experience through an internship with a local manufacturer.  Participating in an e-mentoring program currently in development that will virtually connect students to major employers for information sharing, networking and learning about the hiring needs, trends and requirements in the manufacturing industry. Competing in a PLTW-endorsed pre-engineering design competition/ challenge such as the Spirit of Innovation Challenge, Real World Design Challenge or the RealWorld-InWorld (RWIW) NASA Engineering Design Challenge.   Educators who earn a Project Lead the Way Badge will have successfully completed PLTW’s Core Training and are focused on the continuous improvement of their craft by: Engaging in PLTW Ongoing Training via the Virtual Academy that offers ongoing professional development training, online forums, communication tools, Assessment and Evaluation instructions, and technical support materials; and Deepening their understanding of the concepts and work environments relative to real-world manufacturing through externships, an in-development e-mentoring platform, and/or collaboration with local manufacturers on various learning opportunities.   For students and educators who meet these requirements, an application for a Project Lead the Way Badge will be submitted to PLTW State Leaders and/or designated PLTW staff.     LINKS   The Manufacturing Institute: NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System: Dream It. Do It: SkillsUSA: SkillsUSA Contest Descriptions: Project Lead the Way: Project Lead the Way Innovation Zone:   [1]  SkillsUSA was known as the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA) from 1965 until July 1999.  

Meet the Earthworks Builders

This project is about the mound and earthworks builder cultures as they relate to current American Indian issues and the interdisciplinary academic aspects of those issues connecting resources and people through the internet, allowing for informal learning that is supported and encouraged through badging.

PI: Michelle Aubrecht (Ohio State University)
  Michelle Aubrecht (self-employed)
  Christine Ballengee-Morris (Ohio State Univeristy)
  Dick Sheils (Newark Earthworks Center, Ohio State University)
  John Hancock (Ohio Ancient Trails)
  Sonya Atalay (Indiana University)
Purpose Project goal:  connect resources and people through the Internet and encourage free-style, informal learning supported through badging. The badge system will encourage learning by connecting identity or motivation for visiting museums and parks with content. John Falk’s visitor experience model, five distinct identities: Explorer, Facilitator, Experience Seeker, Professional/hobbyist, and Recharger. We will build upon existing partnerships and provide an option for others to join and even create a badge. The badge system should be sustainable and not rely upon continuous monitoring in order for badges to be awarded. To achieve this, we must develop and grow a self-sustaining community which (initially) will require a host to encourage people and set the tone, providing a safe way for people to share and participate (much like Catarina Fake did for Flickr), perhaps adopting some strategies developed for Gameful ( The primary website will promote Native American history and culture through studying the earthworks, connecting science and history with culture through the multidisciplinary nature of the earthworks. The video game (see below) will provide an interactive, educational experience that will create a desire to know more, motivating players to use the resources and badge system, allowing for a learner as producer role. Background: Understanding the earthworks is like solving a puzzle without the picture and a lot of the pieces missing.1 Studying the earthworks provides a rich, cross-disciplinary subject, connecting the past with the present, including: archeology, anthropology, cartography, geophysics, astronomy, art history, art education, history, geography, geology, architectural landscaping, and more. This topic supports global education. Even though we are focused on North American earthworks, they exist in counties all over the world including Brazil, Korea, Ireland, and Austria. We have a small team of scientists, educators, and game designers, some of whom are Native Americans. We are making a video game prototype about the earthwork builder culture (funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities). The funding covers creating the prototype only and we are in the process of evaluating content and deciding the learner outcomes and in-game goals. (project blog: Not all of the content identified can be used in the game environment, but it does provide lots of content for a badge system. Through HASTEC funding, we hope to develop a badge system for involving the learner as producer, by encouraging user-generated content via social networking, wikis, blogs, hyperlinks, and the use of mobile devices. James Gee’s explains the idea of Big G and Little G – “The “game” is the software in the box and all the elements of in-game design. The “Game” is the social setting into which the game is placed, all the interactions that go on around the game.”2 Building upon this idea, we want to build out from the game, through the website and develop a free, self-sustaining learning community. This could take various forms, but it has been done successfully (i.e. -caveat: the video game will in no way resemble Civilization. In addition to some of those who are part of the team created to work on the game prototype, a few others have agreed to partner in making an online build out that will support learning about the cross-disciplinary aspects of the mounds and earthworks. (See appendix.) Implementation The website for the video game, (, would host the badge project and provide information about the structure and system of earning badges created, and link to other websites. Significant learning can be demonstrated by creating an ePortfolio, website, or blog. In a personal blog, learners post written work, video, sound, artwork, data visualization, remix, etc. Badges could be collected in the learner’s personal blog. This space will also provide options for others, through a crowd-sourcing of awarding badges, to award a badge. For example, to receive a badge in an specific area about Native Americans, there would need to be 3 people who agree to award the badge, one of whom must be Native American. Learning content and activities supported by badges provided through video, sound recordings, images, and “assignments” on the host website. Gifting Native American perspective on gifting (video of Chief Wallace) The earthworks are a gift from the ancestors Gifting in other cultures (The Gift by Lewis Hyde) Ray Johnson and the artist movement of postcard art Build upon this idea to encourage gifting of original art, sent to someone, the topic must relate to the mounds, posted on the learner’s online space. Displacement Removal Loss Reservations Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Land Earthworks preservation (parks) Identifying earthworks Cartography Lidar data Geophysics Collections - museums Organizing objects, creating categories Should some things be reburied? What do you do when you find something? Visiting the mounds Ruins of ancient places - stirs imagination cultural landmarks and spaces, preservation Ownership Anthropology, archeology Using the idea of pen pals, create ways for people to connect with one another through awarding badges and commenting upon one another’s work Create an ambassador program through badging Understanding modern Native American issues Dual citizenship U.S. Indian policy and it’s history Violence against Native Americans know the history of Native people within your state and if there are none, why Language Lakota Language learning: ( Myaami Project: Awe and mystery Inquiry – prompting people to question and analyze Understanding of a different culture, making a connection. oral tradition – storytelling trickster Native American stories Poetry, performance Dance Cooking Badges would be awarded through learning analytics gathered through website use and crowd-sourcing reviews of blog postings.   An example: For Ohio Ancient Trails ( –      visiting sites - passport badge –       upload a photo, write a comment, share with others, comment on someone else’s post - participation badge. –      confirmed through phone GPS     Partners:   OSU game development team (see appendix)   Sonya Atalya, anthropologist & National NAGPRA Review Committee   Newark Earthworks Center   Ohio Ancient Trails

Civics/Community/Volunteerism   Arts/Design   Games/Gaming
Meridian Stories

Meridian Stories is a digital media platform driven by regularly scheduled competitions between schools and after-school centers, around collaborative short-form storytelling using image, words, film and music.

PI: Brett Pierce (Steel River Productions, Inc.)
  Meridian Stories - Overview Website: THE IDEA Meridian Stories is a digital media platform driven by regularly scheduled competitions between schools and after-school centers, around collaborative short-form storytelling using image, words, film and music. From an international film competition (90 seconds) around gender identity – what’s it like to be a boy/girl in your culture? -- to an intra-national word slam about the aesthetics of the Fibonacci Sequence, Meridian Stories is designed as a tool to help clear some of the intractable congestion that lies at the intersection of youth, digital technology and learning. The goals of Meridian Stories are: to provide youth with media-creation opportunities, as mentored by adults, that allow them to collaboratively explore vital issues – personal, global and educational – in ways that take full advantage of their digital capacities; and to provide teachers/youth leaders with a digital tool that can tap the continually growing power of the new media for traditional, curricular ends and meaningful, immersive learning. THE NEED The problem is this: How do we get adolescent youth to channel the massive energy that is expended online away from extensions of their social lives and toward deeper explorations of meaningful content?  The digital resources at their disposal to explore personal, communal, global and educational topics are without precedent. But the youth are not being guided in ways to use these inimitable resources toward ends that advance social responsibility, global awareness, communal participation and educational mastery. Why? Because the generation ahead often don’t know how. But that same generation of teachers/youth leaders does have experience, maturity and post-graduate education that the youth need to grow and develop in positive ways.  MacArthur Foundation Education Director Connie Yowell recently spoke about the importance of intergenerational learning. She talks about how the older generation is vital in communicating questions around ethics, civic engagement and morality to the younger generation while they can educate the older generations about digital media[1].  Meridian Stories is a common place where adult educators can apply their expertise inside of the new digital literacies where youth can excel. THE MERIDIAN STORIES EXPERIENCE – A SCENARIO When a history teacher first comes to the Meridian Stories website, she will see three distinct areas to explore:  Educators, Storytellers and Challenges. She ventures into the Challenges. There she finds a calendar of media competitions: five new ones every week of the school year in every subject area, including non-traditional areas such as Leadership Skills, Critical Thinking and Service Learning. She searches the Challenges by topic, isolating the history challenges from the rest. She spots a challenge called Talking Landmark Documentary. It goes like this: Identify a key landmark in your community – one that has an interesting story to tell about the community in which you live. The landmark could be a building, a statue, a gateway, a sign -- the choice is up to the team. Create a three-minute video documentary about that landmark as told from the point of view of that landmark. In other words, personify the landmark: give it a voice and let it tell the viewer its story. The documentary must contain interviews with at least two real people from the community. At the same time, a Youth Leader from the Community Center is considering this Challenge as part of a service learning experience for his kids. They both dig deeper. Each Challenge is supported by a working timeline, ‘Essential Questions,’ curricular correlations, an evaluation rubric and clear objectives tied to a Badge System that specifies what students can earn with the successful completion of the Challenge. The Badge System effectively moves the experience beyond a simple win-lose situation and into a tiered reward structure whereby kids are recognized for the attainment of both discrete skills and long-term, comprehensive mastery. In the Educator’s section, they find a range of support material about the 21st Century skills that team-oriented, digital storytelling addresses, as well as practical issues concerning copyright and the doctrine of Fair Use. But what’s there for the youth? In the Storyteller’s section they find documents that offer support on topics such as “How to Conduct an Interview” or “How to Use Sound Effects”. There is also an area that features short videos of professional artists – actors, sculptors, documentary filmmakers and fiction writers – talking about their craft; talking to the storytellers as if they are artists themselves. Concise objectives… Collaborative teamwork…Extensive support material…Clear assessment rubrics…Fun engagement…a Badge system that recognizes discrete skill sets while inciting continued participation in a wide swath of traditional and 21st Century skills. They commit. For more information on what they are seeing and the impending Meridian Stories pilot program (schools only for the pilot), please see the video below.<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> BADGES A Badge System is not a scoring addendum to the project. It is the engine that drives continued participation and educational growth. This leveling system would be designed to account for singular achievements, but also to invite participation in a more comprehensive learning pathway. Premised on content that is attractive to both formal and informal educators, the Badge system focuses on skills related to: Content Mastery (English, History, Science, Mathematics plus select 21st century skill sets); Storytelling, Narrative and Personal Expression; and Media Literacy. Inside of those three content areas – all of which are defined by a deeply rich inventory of skills – would be a series of a) short-term badges that reward the youth for achievements on a Challenge by Challenge basis; and b) trajectory-oriented badges that reward the youth for cumulative success in a series of Challenges. The Meridian Stories Badge System is a reward system that starts and sustains a productive dialogue with the storyteller that will result in rising achievement throughout their Middle and High School years. And, significantly, it’s a singular system that will be recognized in both formal and informal educational settings. The result is a display of badges that represents, to colleges and future employers, a new and provocative window into a youth’s capabilities. Background Information:   [1] Yowell, Connie (July 26, 2010). Connie Yowell: How Digital Media Has Dramatically Changed the Way We Learn. Video. Retrieved January 15th from:      

Civics/Community/Volunteerism   After School/Out of School   K-12 Classroom/ Common Core
Microsoft: Partners in Learning Network Badges

Microsoft is working to teach technology skills so that individuals and society might benefit from this knowledge. We share the ultimate goal of all stakeholders—use technology to help improve education and the learning experience, create opportunity, and raise living standards for people around the world.

PI: Scott Burmester (Microsoft)
Microsoft Partners in Learning Badge System   Microsoft is working to teach technology skills so that individuals and society might benefit from this knowledge. We share the ultimate goal of all stakeholders—use technology to help improve education and the learning experience, create opportunity, and raise living standards for people around the world.    The potential of education to be an equalizer of social disparity is significant and is further enhanced by the current state of the world – economic imperatives and demographic realities make change more necessary, and technology makes change more accessible and scalable.  Given an overall market size of approximately 4M institutions, 77M educators, and 1.4B students, the international ICT (Information Communication Technology) standards which prepare K-12 students for greater success in their professional careers has resulted in an increased global focus on education, a top prioritization by Microsoft, and growing competitive pressure in the education market.   Microsoft’s Partners in Learning was created in order to make this potential a reality.  Partners in Learning (PIL) is a global initiative with the objective of improving learning experiences by supporting educators and school leaders in acquiring the skills needed to incorporate ICT teaching and learning practices which enable students to build 21st century skills.   The Partners in Learning Network (PiLN) serves as the focal point for Partners in Learning; it is the public face of the program and is the engine used to engage and recruit educators and school leaders.  The newly revamped network will drive value for educators and school leaders by focusing on three fundamental themes: Discovery: Enable educators to find resources that can be immediately used in the classroom, such as: access to free software, tools, lesson plans, and other user-generated content.  Collaboration: Provide an opportunity to connect and collaborate with other educators, school leaders, and their classrooms by building global communities of innovating teaching practices. Life-long Learning: Support educators and school leaders in acquiring the skills needed to use ICT teaching and learning practices through a meaningful set of professional development content and curriculum. The environment and context for education is changing at a rapid pace through the commoditization of content, new learning paths to becoming an educator, the influence of social networking, and the pervasiveness of mobile devices and applications. The abundance of knowledge, resources, and accessibility to information available today requires a different approach from the generic one-size fits all engagement models of the past.  New tools, like the use of badge systems as a means to reward, recognize, and motivate behavior, will fast become an essential change agent in capturing one’s skills, competencies, and achievements.   How Badges Work       The Partners in Learning Network will support educators and school leader’s active participation in the Partners in Learning Program by instituting a rewards and recognitions system through the use of badges.  Badges will be achieved by completing a self-defined professional development path, community contributions (posting content, contributing to discussions, providing translation improvement), and obtaining certain designations which represent various skill sets within the program.    The framework for earning badges within the Partners in Learning Network is as follows: Points: teachers earn points for different activities. Activities may include training, participating in IEF, certification, facilitating a discussion group or contributing content Badges: educators and school leaders earn badges by accumulating points Designations: designations can be earned by accumulating required points, badges or set manually based on defined criteria Badges for Professional Development and Training   The PiL Program will support educators and school leader’s efforts to effectively integrate technology into classrooms by awarding merit badges for the completion of training courses.   These badges can be obtained as users demonstrate specific skills and knowledge as part of their learning path.  The training modules will range from: short-transaction based “learning snacks” focusing on how to use Microsoft technology and open standards such as HTML, to a more formalized course of professional development content aligned to UNESCO’s Competency Framework for Teachers (CFT).   Users will acquire points for completing each module.  Once a user has accumulated enough points he/she will be awarded a badge for that course.     The two courses we will award badges for are listed below: Microsoft Fundamentals- which covers Microsoft technologies applied within an education setting and Teaching with Technology –which covers the integration of technology into teaching and learning context using standards-aligned to the UNESCO ICT-CFT, Technology Literacy Strand. Successful study of curriculum is a readiness indicator for obtaining a Microsoft Certified Educator badge found in the Designation Badges.     Designation Badges   Within the PiL Program we will segment our community into different tiers; these tiers will be represented by designation badges earned through the user’s participation and completion of trainings.  We will optimize around the philosophy that everyone is a "winner" just by registering and will be awarded a Microsoft PiL badge. We want to empower an army of educators and some may be evangelists that simply cannot meet the criteria because they cannot participate in training for language reasons; at the same time, those that can and do, are recognized with higher level statuses; i.e. Microsoft Innovative Educator or Trainer, making it easy for us and others to recognize them and their work in the system.                                                                       Activity Badges   The Activity Badges are used to quantify fundamental program activity and interactions within the Partners in Learning Network.  These are points that educators earn by being a good community member.  What constitutes a good community member can be many things such as; adding content, rating content, leading and responding to discussions and recommending content.   All these things improve the overall quality of the experience.  The Activity Badges will also recognizes achievements around the Partners in Learning Regional and Global Forum competitions which help promote the personal identity of an individual’s standing within the community.  The main goal for Activity Badges is to encourage continual engagement and drive activity within the Partners in Learning Network.         Badge Display   Within the PiLN, the profile page captures all of the user’s activities within the system as well as how many badges they’ve acquired.  Anywhere within the Network a member can click on another members name and view their profile.   The visitor to the profile can immediately gain a sense of the member’s contributions, participation level, and status on the Network.  By prominently displaying the user’s achievements and badges, the system helps promote the identity of individuals within the larger community.  Obtaining badges will become the currency by which educators and school leader’s measure and simultaneously create their own personal brand and begin to build a reputation among their peers.   As you can see from the image below, a person’s designation will be highlighted in a marquee within their profile page while their badges are prominently displayed for everyone in the community to see.     Badge Storage   As part of this effort the Microsoft Partners in Learning Team plans to create a framework to record achievements and surface badges on demand.  This framework could be an implementation of the Mozilla Open Badges Platform built on the Microsoft cloud-based Windows Azure platform.  Such an approach aligns our learning platform with a broader system of standards and creates an opportunity to expand the scope of achievements beyond the Partners in Learning Network.  An implementation of the OBP can be used by other groups within Microsoft to support other badge systems and might also be made available to the public as a portal for the storage and authentication of badges created by third-party partners.   How Applicants Can Participate   While the Partners in Learning Team has a loosely defined framework for how badges will work within the Partners in Learning Network, there are still a number of outstanding issues which applicants can help lend their expertise to help solve.  Specific areas of need are: Help determine the semantics around creating a workflow of points vs. badges.  If we have the idea of awarding badges for certain designations (Innovative Educator, Certified Educator, etc.) what is the best way to incent behavior to achieve these designations.  Do we reward badges for all activities, or should points accrue to the designations. How easy do we make obtaining badges/points?  What philosophy should we follow in determining how easy it is for users to gain achievements? What are the total list of achievements we should account for?  How do we showcase mechanisms that demonstrate how close users are to obtaining achievements? Are user’s one thing away or 100 things away? From a design perspective what does the UI look like to demonstrate how close a user is?  What cool, thought provoking, or entertaining names should we call our badges? What imagery should we use, should it be fanciful or more descriptive? There is a broad range of possible partnership opportunities; the PiL Team is open to new ideas for badges but also for partners who can help to build parts of the infrastructure such as widgets, pipelines, tracking mechanisms, etc.    Summary   By participating in the digital media and learning competition Microsoft is joining a larger movement to create a unified and open platform for the creation, storage, authentication and display of badges.  Such an ecosystem has many benefits.  The friction of creating a badge system is greatly reduced as well as the problem of point-to-point integration between many siloed systems.  In addition there is the opportunity for Partners in Learning to import badges from other sources so as to illuminate a more holistic picture of educator achievements and further the awareness for building their personal brand.  Conversely it also enables the Partners in Learning badges to be consumed by, combined with, and surfaced through the offerings of other members of the open badges ecosystem.

Civics/Community/Volunteerism   Career/Workforce   
Military Badges for Civilian Work

Military Badges for Civilian work is a Badge system that serves all active duty and veteran members of the military to identify, document and translate the skills they earn throughout their service to help them win opportunities in the civilian world.

PI: Steve Goldenberg (Interfolio Inc.)
  Soley Somma (Interfolio Inc.)
  Julie Meloni (Interfolio Inc.)
Tough Transitions After their service to our country, military personnel often struggle to re-enter the civilian workforce. Whether serving for two years or ten, military personnel put their lives on hold, move around to fulfill assignments, and can suffer injuries that add to the difficulty of transitioning back into civilian life. When civilian hiring personnel review the resume of a veteran, individuals' skill sets and experiences are often misunderstood; the foreign nature of Military Ranks and Occupational Specialty Codes or unfamiliar military jargon can cause the civilian reviewer to ignore the lengthy set of micro-skills and experiences that should instead set veterans apart in the hiring process. Our Badge System We propose to build a Badge system that serves all active duty and veteran members of the military to identify, document and translate the skills they earn throughout their service to help them win opportunities in the civilian world.   The White House recently launched an initiative to address this issue at the national level; "Joining Forces" is a national initiative to ensure service members have all the opportunities and support they have earned.  This initiative includes online tools such as My Next Move for Veterans, which allows veterans to match their Military Occupational Specialty and skills with civilian careers that put that experience to use. But in this video, Navy veteran Eric Smith explains how his five years of experience as a medic in the military simply did not transfer well into civilian personnel systems, so he works today as a janitor in a hospital limited not by his talents but by hiring practices and screening processes that do not properly account for skills acquired during military service. Companies such as LinkedIn and Google are beginning to provide specialized online services to provide information to military personnel beginning the process of looking for civilian jobs.  However, our DML Stage One proposal is the foundation for a larger system in development that leverages the power of the Open Badges project to provide active duty members and veterans with a platform for: tracking skills learned and certifications achieved before leaving the military, by awarding civilian badges for military skills finding and addressing gaps in knowledge, creating skill trees based on civilian badges, highlighting skills not yet earned, and providing information on how to earn these badges outside of the military showcasing unique skill sets to prospective civilian employers, by providing an online portfolio showing these badges along with personal annotation This system of awarding civilian badges for military skills addresses a need for all veterans, but especially for that subset who attempt to re-enter the civilian workforce with general rather than specialized skills; it is even more difficult for a generalist to translate their skills than it is a specialist such as a physician or pilot.  We believe that skills gained during military service through the long-standing tradition of military coaching and development can be translated in useful ways through a badging system.  Badge Validation This badging system would not require an additional company or agency to oversee the definition and awarding of badges, as the badges will be defined according to freely available information on Military Occupational Specialty Codes; the achievement of rank and certification within the military would be the veteran's requirement for earning specific badges. In addition, we would engage partners from inside the government like the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and Department of Labor, as well as commercial players tied tightly to the hiring markets including major job boards and even college and university Career Centers.  Put simply, this badging system would validate the veteran's skills, competencies, and other achievements, and translate these positive factors to the civilian organizations providing employment opportunities. Example Use Case Consider John Smith, a Marine Safety Officer currently serving in the Coast Guard but planning to return to civilian life within the year.  During his six years as an Officer, John achieved the rank of Lieutenant, and is able to wear the Marine Safety Insignia. To wear the insignia, John had to earn four marine safety competencies and serve five years at a marine safety field unit. The question remains, both to John and his prospective employers: how do these skills and competencies translate to civilian life, and exactly what does he write in his resume? Our proposed system looks at the following elements of a veteran's military job description: tasks performed tools and technology used general knowledge, skills, & abilities required Given a knowledge-base of common responses, our system will apply badges at the micro-skill level as well as higher levels such as certifications. For example, John might be eligible for: toxic material analysis (task) leak detector (tool) compliance software (technology) problem solving (general knowledge) badges  a military certification in pollution investigation John will be able to display these badges to potential civilian employers through an online portfolio. He would also have the ability to visualize his badges (micro-skills) in an occupational cluster -- useful for lateral moves to different jobs within the same general field -- as well as other seemingly unrelated occupational clusters.  In other words, a visualization of his badges will allow John to see completely different occupations that also require some of the same skills that he has gained. Should John want to explore these different occupations, our system will immediately show his knowledge gaps -- badges required but not yet earned -- along with information about how to obtain the skills and knowledge the badges represent.  Next Steps By helping our military personnel prepare for civilian life while they are still on active duty, through the translation of their military achievements into civilian badges using the Open Badges system, we intend to provide these men and women with a bridge to civilian life that is currently an unduly difficult path to traverse. This DML Stage One entry summarizes the current problem and our response to it; our DML Stage Two entry will outline the data sources, systems, and workflows powering our solution.

Career/Workforce   Mobile   Veterans
Minnesota State Smart

PI: Jennifer Sly (Minnesota Historical Society)
  David Gagnon (ARIS, LLC)
  Seann Dikkers (GamingMatter, LLC)
The Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) is the largest state historical organization in the country. Its mission is to “connect people with history to help them gain perspective on their lives,” and its strategic plan identifies students, with an emphasis on grades 4-12, as its top audience priority. To remain relevant as an educational institution into the future, MHS is currently developing new models for learner-centered history education that support the development of 21st century skills, including a new paradigm for museum field trips. MHS recently conducted fifteen state-wide focus groups with teachers, parents and students and has used this and other research to create History in Our Hands: The Field Trip for the 21st Century Learner, which seeks to connect formal and informal learning environments through students’ personalized explorations of history. The Digital Media and Learning badges initiative will help MHS build this bridge between museums and schools by creating an assessment tool that recognizes students’ skills developed across multiple venues and formats.History in Our Hands: The Field Trip for the 21st Century LearnerMHS is in its first year of developing History in Our Hands, a program for students that integrates mobile and web technologies into the school field trip experience to: capitalize on the natural behaviors and learning styles of 21st Century Learners promote the development of 21st century skills bridge the gap between classroom and museum learning environments. In conjunction with Our Minnesota, a permanent exhibition opening at the Minnesota History Center in 2012, students will use  mobile devices to explore the exhibit through narrative-based mobile games that ask students to use 21st century skills to solve clues and advance their investigations.  Photographs, audio recordings, virtual images of historic artifacts (and badges!)  -- all collected on the field trip -- are then delivered to the classroom via a “digital backpack”, where students create written, oral or online research projects to deepen their understanding of history. MHS is using ARIS (Augmented Reality and Interactive Storytelling), a location-based, open-source platform for creating mobile games, to rapidly prototype and test with students. History in Our Hands: Badges!MHS believes weaving a rich virtual badge ecosystem into History in Our Hands would accomplish four goals:   Increase students’ motivation for learning history: With many different badges to achieve, students can personalize their goals for exploring history in the museum and eventually back in the classroom or at home. Bridge informal and formal learning environments: Badges open the door to integrating informal, student-initiated learning experiences into the world of formal school assessment by  documenting non-traditional learning experiences into recognizable outcomes for teachers.  The common language of badges can create an interplay of multiple learning environments and aggregate the different points of engagement into an educational outcome that is greater than the individual encounters. Help MHS build long-term individual relationships with students: As the MHS badge ecosystem expands beyond History in Our Hands, MHS can document individual student achievements and interests and provide a personalized path for deepening engagement with history. For example, a History in Our Hands badge earner might be encouraged to earn badges through History Day and then through participation in MHS’s Teen Advisory Council, and so on. Communicate the value of informal learning to stakeholders: Badges will demonstrate students’ proficiency in learning history, including the development of 21st century skills, that can be shared with parents, teachers, administrators, legislators and funders. Measurable learning outcomes have always been embedded in the museum’s activities, but this model gives stakeholders a more tangible means to recognize the educational  impact out-of-school learning activities. The History in Our Hands badge system will award students badges based on student behavior and achievements: badges for using historical thinking and 21st century skills badges for demonstrating character traits or learning styles (awarded by chaperones or staff to recognize curiosity, teamwork, etc.) badges for completing “challenge” activities While in the exhibit, students will gain badges in their inventory in two ways: (1) badges will be added by the mobile application based on students’ use of the device and their physical interaction with the exhibit, as measured by an Arduino interface (2) badges will be given to students in the exhibit by teachers, chaperones and staff using a standardized set of student behavior criteria and delivered to the “digital backpack” via QR codes or Near Field Communication.MHS plans to use History in Our Hands with 300 teachers and 30,000 students in its first year.Badges: The Future at MHSMHS sees a badge system being introduced through History in Our Hands but eventually becoming part of a larger MHS badge ecosystem.  The following MHS learning opportunities demonstrate potential areas of growth for an institution-wide badge ecosystem:  Teen History HotSpot:  MHS is in the planning stages of designing and opening the “History HotSpot,” an informal technology space for teens to hang out, mess around and geek out  as they “hack history.”  Badges would be used to document students’ progress and interest and allocate limited resources, such as a 3D printer or recording studio, for students’ use.   MHS's 26  historic sites and museums:  MHS intends to expand the use of History in Our Hands at its historic sites throughout Minnesota.  Approximately 260,000 students visit MHS museums and historic sites annually on field trips. Northern Lights:  MHS publishes the state’s social studies textbook, Northern Lights, which is used by over 65% of eligible students across the state of Minnesota.  This badge system could easily integrate into the online digital supplements currently being developed for the next revision of the textbook. History Day:  MHS reaches 30,000 middle and high school students each year through the History Day national program, which supports student-led history research projects. PartnersMHS has been awarded an IMLS National Leadership Grant for History in Our Hands and is now collaborating with four Minnesota schools to test and evaluate the design.   MHS is also working with two partners: ARIS, LLC to implement the ARIS platform for prototyping and GamingMatter on game design

MoneyWizdom - Financial Literacy Badges

MoneyWizdom badges will be built around a small business challenge in order to teach at-risk high school students personal and business finance knowledge & skills, which are critical for their success in post secondary life.

PI: Denise LaBuda (Economic Independence Group, LLC)
  Jonathan Finkelstein (LearningTimes, LLC)
  Joe Saari (Precision Information, LLC)
  Kate Welker (Welker Consulting)
  In a nation where nearly a third of high school seniors already use a credit card, and a higher proportion have an ATM card, fewer than 30 percent of young Americans are given the opportunity to take as much as one week’s worth of coursework in money management or personal finance in high school.  While the importance of financial literacy as a basic life skill has become obvious to many parents, educators and policymakers, how to develop the skills in our children/young adults has remained a challenge.  In summer 2010, EIG developed the financial literacy badge content for use in a college and career readiness badge-based course with the New York City Department of Education’s (NYCDOE) at risk high school students called DIG/IT. The DIG/IT course, developed on the LearningTimes BadgeStack platform, has students complete challenge-based quests for which they earn badges for their work and for positive community behaviors. Based on early results, including positive teacher & student feedback and elevated levels of student engagement, the Economic Independence Group (EIG) proposes to build a complete series of financial literacy badges – called MoneyWizdom, for the at risk high school population to facilitate building the skills necessary to make informed financial decisions as they graduate high school.    Learning content   There are numerous, and often competing, financial literacy standards (FLS) for developing students’ basic money readiness. There are no national standards, so each state elects what, if any, financial literacy curriculum it requires in their k-12 classrooms.  Most FLS’s focus on formal skill inventories and if applicable, graduation requirements. To be successful in managing money, it requires more than just book learning – it also calls for deepening ones experiences in making the ongoing decisions money presents in our lives, everyday. Our intention is to provide relevant, practical and hands-on practice, in conjunction with standards based financial literacy skill acquisition in a “blended” badge-based experience in order to allow students to practice making money decisions from many perspectives. We aim to design a badge-based program for recognizing personal, educational, and professional experiences (drawn from the business world) that make students ready for handling adult money responsibilities post high school.   Skills, competencies, and achievements We propose to organize MoneyWizdom activities around a small business challenge where students will be trained to develop a plan for starting a small business. This focus has proved successful in engaging high school students in the past to acquire age relevant money skills/competencies as well as it offers a real world assessment of a possible career path in an area of interest to them.  Within the proposed set of badges, students can learn business finance (e.g. expenses, revenue, and budgeting), how to market the company, name a product, understand how to price a product, competitive landscape, product development and sales. Offered in conjunction with personal finance basics the students will see how personal and business finances are related and key to our long-term financial health and well being. Personal Finance Basics—needs and wants, saving, spending, sharing money earned, earning, borrowing, financial products, tracking tools, taxes, and insurance. Budgeting—the foundational skill in money management. A “good” budget enables anyone to pay for what they need and save up for what they want – in our personal lives as well as our business lives. We see organizing the badges so that students work through basic and more advanced concepts/skills/experiences with the end goal for each student (or groups) developing a small business plan – where they will be required to present and defend their plan.   Identity and roles Our target population includes high school juniors and seniors at risk to graduating high school. A secondary audience, with as much need to acquire financial literacy skills, will be “main stream” high school juniors and seniors. The students will take on one of many small business roles as they work through the MoneyWizdom badge series – CEO, CFO, CMO, etc., in addition to their high school personas. Our intention with the MoneyWizdom badge series is to create a system by which students; external experts, family members and teachers will work together to help build the financial competencies from within and external to the school setting.   The badges will be organized within the BadgeStack web environment designed to provide a user-friendly place to go and manage their ongoing progress as well as a place for all external participants to manage their input/feedback approval. Any expert on the MoneyWizdom team can award badges to students. A more formal achievement, like setting up an online budget, could be recognized by the student’s teacher. A peer could reward a fellow student for a list of possible names for their new business or the CEO of a small business could approve a badge around their completing a competitive marketplace assessment.   Partners and other support organizations In partnership with LearningTimes, Welker Consulting and Precision Information, we plan to work with a small team of design, instructional technology, financial experts and business leaders to develop the MoneyWizdom badge system and specify the activities and assessments for each of the badges and for the final business plan. Challenges There are no national financial literacy standards for k+ students. We will need to elect a system from existing ones, or develop our own as the basis for our badge series. High schools interested in piloting the MoneyWizdom badges would need to be brought on board. Opportunities MoneyWizdom Badge project helps reach more high school students/young adults who are ready, willing and need to acquire an age-based foundation in money management in order to successfully transition to their adult life and work. The BadgeStack platform will allow for open source test of badges that will be compatible with Mozilla’s Open Badge infrastructure and portable beyond this system – so students can take and showcase their “stripes” on Facebook, or other social media places! Branding We will use existing MoneyWizdom brand, colors, and logos as the basis for the new badge series.          

Career/Workforce   K-12 Classroom/ Common Core   After School/Out of School
My 10:10

My 10:10 is a fun and social website that increases your carbon literacy so you can decrease your carbon footprint. (Kitten videos included as standard).

PI: Susi Owusu (10:10)
  Mike Berners Lee
  Simon Oxley (
  Rob St.John (Oxford University Center for the Environment)
  Olly Willans (Torchbox)
  My 10:10 Learning the carbon future together      Who we are 10:10 is a collaborative community uniting the world around practical action to tackle climate change. We launched in December 2009, at Tate Modern and with the support of The Guardian newspaper. 10:10 focused on getting businesses, organisations and individuals to cut their carbon by 10% in 2010. Before 10:10 launched, experts and analysts said that a 10% target was too ambitious for businesses and organisations, but we’ve shown that this can be achieved.   We achieved our aims in 2010 by changing the narrative on climate change to one that is positive and optimistic. Our collaborative community grew from 10,000 in the first 72 hours to 118,000 participants across 186 countries. We proved that the more people understood their carbon footprint (carbon literacy), the more likely they'd be to reduce it.   Our biggest success to date was inspiring the UK Government to cut their own carbon emissions across the entire central government estate. This effort involved 300,000 civil servants, and saved more than 100,000 tonnes of CO2 and £13million for the British taxpayer. It also confirms our theory of change: if you inspire enough people, businesses and organisations to take action then governments will follow.   Other successes included the following carbon reductions in one year: Science Museum 17% British Embassy Beijing 43% UNICEF 16% Tottenham Hotspur Football Club 14% Ipsos MORI 13% 4,326 businesses globally including L’Oreal, O2 and Adidas 2,258 schools, colleges and universities including Edinburgh University, King's College London, York University and Liverpool University 2,539 other organisations including the National Union of Students, the Womens' Institute and 155 local councils representing over 24m people “10:10 has more momentum and potential than any other UK climate changepublic engagement I have seen in the past 10 years.”  George Marshall, Author of ‘Carbon Detox’   "Brilliant" Al Gore,  The Guardian interview, 2009   My 10:10 Background My 10:10 is our most recent offering for carbon foot-printing and reduction.  Designed from the bottom up to help people learn about how their lifestyles can contribute to, or mitigate, climate change.   My 10:10 is an exciting new platform aimed at growing the impact we have on carbon literacy for individuals aged between 18-35 years. Built in-house by 10:10, we made the platform social to motivate individuals and spur them in to action – so for example, the system connects with Facebook so you don’t need a separate login. We also adopted gaming mechanics and peer nudging techniques to enable carbon literacy development and associated action. The ambition is to use technology to achieve the necessary carbon reduction goals of a global society interacting online.   What we've got ( In My 10:10, the user progresses along a journey towards a low carbon lifestyle while developing higher carbon literacy. We do this by delivering bespoke challenges to each member by asking them a set of questions on signing up and throughout their journey. We can then track engagement and offer a selection of activities and challenges that reflect the user's own unique journey, needs and interests. Challenges and actions can lead to badge achievement which in turn credits learning. Peer pressure and competition is also an element to spur users into learning and doing. Thus My 10:10 harnesses rich opportunities for formal and informal learning and uses the most powerful motivating force available – social networks.   We have a sophisticated and robust carbon engine running at the heart of My 10:10 based on leading carbon expert Mike Berners-Lee (How Bad are Bananas? The carbon footprint of everything, May 2010) input-output model of carbon expenditure. This enables us to accurately plot and chart our member's carbon footprints and the changes their learning (and subsequent action) is having on it. The 10:10 teaching technique differs from most other sites in two key ways. Firstly, our models are truly input-output: if you buy electronics, we count the emissions created on your behalf in China. Secondly, we don't aim to condemn high footprints like other (failing) carbon literacy attempts. Cute illustrations of your footprint have been created by Simon Oxley (of Twitter bird fame). In these fun illustrations we explain the nature of a carbon footprint and through a better understanding by the user see a notable reduction in the size of it.   My 10:10 badge system The strength of 10:10's branding has always been a key part of our success, so making sure our badges tie-in and enhance the brand is extremely important. Badge icons are friendly and useful, the colours used are linked to our engagement strands - people, organisations, schools and businesses - which are all colour co-ordinated.   The current aim of My 10:10’s badge system is multi-purpose. We aim to use badges to: Encourage and challenge participation Develop carbon literacy Drive competition between users and thus drive carbon literacy Reward the user beyond the online platform   Our ambitions Currently our badges reward roughly three kinds of action. Firstly, we reward participation with social badges. Social butterfly can be won by inviting 10 friends to learn with you. Secondly, we reward dedication: our Builder badge can be won by learning and completing three home improvement challenges. Lastly, we award badges for positive lifestyle choices: our Fast Track train badge could be won if you opted to use the train for your holidays, rather than flying.   While we already have a vibrant platform that challenges users to learn about their carbon footprint and how to take action to reduce it, we wanted to go beyond a light weight social engagement tool.   We can see the potential for the following and are looking for funds and partners to achieve our ambitions:   Widigtise our badge display so people can put it on their websites, email signatures and blogs. Port our badges to the Mozilla protocol as we'd like to see them exist in other contexts away from our site both to increase their standing to users as well as to draw in new users who will want to achieve our badges.  Increase the potential of My 10:10 to become part of a badge ecosystem of globally recognised kite marks. Develop our badges into a powerful system that is a globally recognised symbol of climate change education. Develop My 10:10 and its badge system as a mobile application that can serve challenges, award badges and display them on our members' phones. Work with research institutions to better understand the motivating forces in educating people and enabling  behaviour change around climate change (Oxford University and Lancaster University have indicated an interest). Develop My 10:10 and its badge system for use by schools, organisations and businesses to enhance carbon literacy in these institutions.   Why us? Winning the competition and getting a significant level of funding will enable us to take badges from a small feature on one of our websites  to an internationally recognised mark of achievement of lifelong learning.  Through My 10:10 we will develop carbon literacy competencies at various levels of skill and understanding relating to carbon reduction. We feel this is necessary to help current and future generations protect and preserve the planet from climate change.     @1010 (Twitter)

My Girl Scout Sash is an App

“My Girl Scout Sash is an App” is an initiative through which girls, volunteers, educators, and community leaders will gain the skills to build simple Android Apps. The “My Girl Scout Sash is an App” curriculum will allow girls to create and design a mobile App for the Android operating system tied to The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting.

PI: Bryn Reese (Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana)
  Eileen Sweeney (Motorola)
  Carlye Greene (Motorola)
GIRL SCOUTS OF GREATER CHICAGO AND NORTHWEST INDIANA: “MY GIRL SCOUT SASH IS AN APP” Introduction More than 3.3 million girls will have the opportunity to become Girl Scouts this year.  Millions more will not unless Girl Scouts exponentially expands current institutional capacity and bandwidth by creating Girl Scouting as a virtual leadership development pathway through “My Girl Scout Sash is an App”. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE) is an outcomes-based framework for building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place, based on the principles of discover +connect + take action = leadership for girls ages 5-17.  Our badge ecosystem is supported by curriculum, credentials, and experiences that develop 21st Century skills and career opportunities. Our council, the largest Girl Scout Council in the world, serving 86,000 girls and 24,000 adult volunteers and members, will provide girl leadership, professional expertise, and project coordination to the initiative.  Over 22,000 of our Girl Scouts are served through community outreach out-of-school time programming in underserved communities through programs created in collaboration with educators, principals, and parents within the community. Our Council, through the Empowering Communities Initiative, will ensure the program is available to our national movement of more than 3.3 million girls and 50 million women alumnae.  Badge Content Proposal and Considerations “MY GIRL SCOUT SASH IS AN APP”   Girl Scouts will facilitate the “My Girl Scout Sash is an App” initiative through which girls, volunteers, educators, and community leaders will gain the skills to build simple Android Apps.    The “My Girl Scout Sash is an App” curriculum will allow girls to create and design a mobile App for the Android operating system tied to The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting.  The tools are easily accessible via and all software and hardware is free to download.  Learning occurs in a linear manner starting with elementary Apps and progressing towards more complex Apps culminating in the girl’s ability to independently construct Apps unique to her Girl Scout experience.  The curriculum is inquiry-based learning from the start, encouraging participants to extend and enhance the Girl Scout Leadership Experience through technology.  “MY GIRL SCOUT SASH IS AN APP” CURRICULUM My Girl Scout Sash is an App” will teach girls the three stages of App development: Modeling:  Allows girls to be creative and design solutions.  Using various media, participants model a tool to personalize The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting program. Programming:  Girls build upon their model by creating a program with various properties and define the rules on how each property interacts with each other and how they exhibit the Girl Scout leadership experience. Demonstration:  Allows for trial and error in which participants test reliability, usability and performance of their App. Goals Reach the direct target audience of girls, middle to high school, and the in-direct target audience of volunteers, educators, principals, and parents. Partners and Resources GS has long partnered with Motorola Mobility Foundation who has agreed to be our primary collaborator in Girl Scout App development for digital badges and our virtual sash.  Motorola Mobility is a long-term investor and advisor to Girl Scouts locally and nationally.   The resources will be The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting and the Girl Scout Leadership Journey curriculum plus: Instructor Classroom/Computer Lab Laptop with Internet connection Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox browser Google account AppInventor Software (Internet connections required to run) Windows: MacOS: Java 6 plug-in (enables participants to run video based portions of the App Inventor Supplementary media files to create multimedia apps The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting handbook introduces girls to the Girl Scout experience by level.  Girl Scout levels by grade include: Daisy (K-1), Brownie (2-3), Junior (4-5) Cadette (6-8), Senior (9-10), and Ambassador (11-12).  The Guide outlines the national proficiency eco-system for each Girl Scout level.  Leadership Journeys are the age-progressive curriculum for building girls’ leadership.  The three series are: It’s Your World – Change It! is about self-esteem; It’s Your Planet – Love It! is about protecting the environment; and It’s Your Story – Tell It! is about sharing her voice. BADGE IMPLEMENTATION:  IDENTITY AND ROLES Badges are about developing 21st Century skills and career development by learning about and experiencing identities and roles.  Current Identities and roles include but are not limited to Inventor, Computer Expert, Dancer, Scientist, Money Manager, Philanthropist, Business Owner, Musician, Digital Photographer, Product Designer, Entrepreneur, Book Artist, Public Speaker, Digital Movie Maker, Website Designer, Textile Artist, and Adventurer.  Through “Make Your Own” badge Apps, identities and roles become infinite. Opportunities and privileges are provided to girls on a progressive basis through their badge work and outreach into their communities.  Apps extend these opportunities and privileges by connecting girls to each other through a shared experience via technologies.    The existing assessment is the completion of badge work by level of proficiency.  An important element of badge earning is the ability to demonstrate or share a new competency with another girl.  Badging through mobile apps will allow her to gain immediate competency feedback and share her competency with girls locally and globally.

After School/Out of School   Civics/Community/Volunteerism   Arts/Design
NASA Robotics Badges

NASA Education is committed to advancing high quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education using NASA’s unique assets.

PI: Shelley Canright (NASA)
NASA Office of EducationDigital Badges Collaborator Proposal   Introduction NASA Education is committed to advancing high quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education using NASA’s unique assets.  The National Research Council in 2008 stated that "NASA has a unique and important role to play in motivating and inspiring students to consider STEM careers and citizens to become more knowledgeable participants in the scientific arena."  NASA missions are a natural means of interacting with the public and supporting students and educators, and engaging the public in its work has been part of NASA's culture since its founding.  Furthermore, NASA’s extensive use of emerging technology is at the center of the Agency’s mission to understand our planet and the universe around us. These are real tools that NASA uses on a regular basis in its work. NASA Education continually explores where innovative strategies might be identified to reach educators and students, improve STEM retention, and engage community colleges and minority-serving institutions. The NASA Office of Education recognizes the educational values inherent in the Open Badges initiative.  Rewarding students’ learning accomplishments and assisting them in assuming responsibility for their own educational development is directly aligned with the Agency’s focus on inquiry-based approaches to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM education.   NASA has developed several long-standing projects that seek to optimize learning though existing and emerging digital technologies.  NASA Education has conducted an assessment of activities, interests, and needs by the national K-12 projects and has identified the collaboration and communication as two themes for constructing NASA’s initial digital badge set.  NASA is interested in work alongside a partner in the design, development and implementation of a digital badge infrastructure.  The focus for this initial badging project shall be on robotics for middle-high school students. Three technology-focused education projects are well positioned to lead this work for NASA Education -- Learning Environments and Research Network (LEARN), Learning Technologies Project (LTP) and the NASA Educational Technology Services Project (NETS).  The three project managers are prepared to form the core team under this initiative.  These managers have the technical and education expertise necessary and have close relationships with Agency’s mission directorates for content identification and with the Agency K-12 projects well aligned for incorporating badges.     Learning Content NASA is well-known for its robotics efforts over the more than 50 years since the Agency began.  Knowledge of our solar system and universe has increased exponentially with each near-Earth and deep-space mission.  Indeed, in their 33-year journey, Voyagers 1 &2 are even now close to the edge of the Heliosphere as they approach interstellar space beyond the Sun’s influence.  Teamwork is a fundamental requirement for all of NASA’s missions especially in the area of robotics where a diverse array of talents, skills, and disciplines is necessary for success.  Our proposal seeks to develop a Teamwork Badge with a focus on robotics.  Future NASA Teamwork Digital Badges could be developed to focus on other mission and research areas. Many of NASA’s K-12 Projects highlight robotics among other disciplines within their various lessons and activities. The K-12 Project Managers work closely as a unit and thus, under this endeavor, have established a working group to provide guidance to  NASA’s core technology teams and selected badge designer/developer in defining a competency-based collection. Through cooperative agreements with universities and other organizations, NASA has formed partnerships that advance its educational objectives.  A few partners working directly with K-12 projects include the National Science Teachers Association, Oklahoma State University, Penn State University, Georgia Tech, and Wheeling Jesuit University.  These partners contribute to the Agency’s ever-growing body of research, knowledge, and discoveries to enhance formal and informal learning environments using pedagogically effective methodologies.  A concise summary on a few projects and associated web sites are listed in  Appendix I.  NASA intends to explore potential connections with other federal agencies such as 4-H - U. S. Dept. of Agriculture for the purpose of determining synergies that would lead to the development of common standards and equivalences. NASA will integrate a Collaboration (Group) Badge and a Communication (Individual) Badge in Robotics into existing K-12 projects.  The initial challenge shall be to clearly define expectations and levels of engagement and accomplishment that could be shared among a number of projects.   The NASA Collaboration Badge for robotic activities encourages students to work in teams to explore and build skills essential for successful careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or STEM.  An example of  a collaboration activity is Mission Preparation from NASA’s BEST (Beginning Engineering Science and Technology).  Students must collaborate to calibrate and guide a human acting as a robot through a series of obstacles. ( ).  Collaboration to build and improve upon a robotic crane in the Heavy Lifter activity from the On the Moon guide is an example of a more advanced activity ( ).  The RealWorld-InWorld (RWIW) NASA Engineering Design Challenge is an activity where students in grades 7-12 work collaboratively as engineers and scientists to solve real-world problems related to Robonaut 2 (R2).  RWIW is an example of a longer duration activity ( ).   The NASA Communication Badge focuses on the 21st Century Skill of Communication using robotics content with students while concentrating on articulating their knowledge through listening, writing, and presenting using a variety of media and technologies.  For example, a student may produce a robotics blog, podcast, digital storybook, live presentation, video, etc. Badge levels might be determined by the complexity of the communication strategies and technologies used. One example is the DIY Podcast: Robots ( Another example is participating in a DLN: Spacebots event (   Various descriptions and scenarios about NASA robotics education activities are listed in Appendix II. The anticipated outcome would be a badge collection piloted no later than fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012 by subset of K-12 projects; with results contributing towards scaling across multiple projects during fiscal year 2013.  NASA shall seek expansion of the badges system based upon the assessment and lessons learned from a full year of implementation into its K-12 projects.  Internal and external strategic partners shall be invited to contribute to the second badge collection.   Technical Considerations NASA does not have an open badge system.  It has begun investigating the technical requirements with Mozilla and has initiated contact a few Federal Agencies already engaged in this area to seek guidance in the development of a system.  The technical cost for establishing this system is still unknown.  NASA is committed to strategically deploying resources and shall continue to assess the technical and personnel requirements.  The intent of NASA is to develop an open badges system that is interoperable with the Mozilla Open Badge Infrastructure.  NASA does use a number of technical systems to support learner interaction and assessment.  For example, the INSPIRE project maintains a learning management system; the NETS team runs interactive, Flash-based games at the NASA Kid’s Club site; NASA Explorer Schools interacts with teachers through Liferay Portal software; and NASA’s Portal services are provided by a third party vendor.  Understanding the technical requirements and resources necessary to build an open badge system shall be a necessary first step.  The following are important considerations that shall need to be addressed under the development of the system:  1) Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ( Any software or tools developed or implemented for a NASA badge system must be fully compliant; and 2) Privacy, accessibility and age restriction issues. NASA requirements and guidance for online systems can be found at   Branding Considerations NASA is uniquely positioned to contribute to STEM education programs and to the open badges initiative. NASA may be the most publicly recognizable Federal agency and has enormous public access through print, television, and Web-based media. This means that NASA has the capability to inspire students in a way that other education-supporting agencies cannot. There are so many things that compete for the attention of students, and our challenge is to ignite a passion for STEM education.  Part of this challenge is in reaching students, and the people who most influence them, with products and services that will attract learners into STEM careers.  We use the exciting content and results from our missions to develop products and services that support students, educators and national STEM initiatives.  With our resources we foster development of public-private partnerships—collaborations that build communities to support STEM education and provide stability through times of economic growth or decline.  We work cooperatively with universities, professional education societies, national and state-based organizations, and states and school districts to ensure that our products and services continue to meet the evolving needs of formal and informal educators and students, both in and out of the classroom.   The NASA Insignia is one of the most recognizable images in the world (more commonly referred to as the "meatball") and reflects the history and tradition of the Agency and is used in all of the Agency's day-to-day communications materials. Designed in 1959, the NASA Insignia contains the following elements: The sphere represents a planet The stars represent space The vector represents aeronautics The orbit represents space travel The use of the NASA insignia in the actual badge shall need to be approved.  It is but one emblem of NASA, so if the insignia is not available for building within the badge design, then other images shall be investigated.  Participants who earn NASA-related badges will experience a particularly meaningful sense of accomplishment.  It is anticipated that other collaborators under the Digital Badges Initiative shall also seek synergy with NASA given the increased recognition gained by collaborators in sharing an alliance with the US Space Agency.       

STEM   K-12 Classroom/ Common Core   Civics/Community/Volunteerism
National 4-H Council Badges

PI: Bill Regehr (4-H Council)
  The following represents the areas in which National 4-H Council envisions the use of badges to endorse the accomplishments of professional staff and volunteer leaders.   National 4-H Council developed and implemented a multi-year 4-H Science Leadership Academy for State 4-H Science teams in 2010.  The Academy addresses the needs identified in an  implementation study, with tracks around fund development, evaluation, professional  and volunteer development, reporting, marketing, partnership, 4-H Science curricula, and other needs.   The 4-H Science Leadership Academy is a comprehensive program that includes: Assesses the specific needs for professional development, technical assistance, and resources to support state and local 4-H Science leaders.   Provides high-quality training that equips state 4-H Science leaders to implement sustainable and scalable 4-H Science state plans of action (POAs).  Provides 4-H Science teams with training, tools, and technical assistance to develop an individualized fund development plan, identify key donors, create their own funding tools, and secure gifts/resources. Provides ongoing technical assistance, support, training and consultation for state 4-H Science teams, which has started to: Create a system of mentoring and technical assistance for state 4-H Science leaders as they develop, implement, and evaluate state and local 4-H Science POAs. Develop an array of technical assistance and tools that enable state 4-H Science leaders and teams to secure resources for 4-H Science programming. Develop an effective online user interface that contains premium content and is designed to fit within the overall 4-H brand promise. Serve as a conduit for dissemination and integration of resources and strategies, including use of curriculum such as Power of the Wind, fostering urban outreach, and effectively engaging with national partners. Connect state 4-H Science leaders to individuals, organizations, and professional networks that offer cutting edge knowledge, tools, and promising practices that will leverage expanded resources and result in greater impact. Along with training and support, 4-H uses a variety of strategies that foster and recognize innovation.   4-H believes that a system of badges will both validate and recognize leadership and innovation among the professional staff and volunteer community serving youth across the U.S.A.   The strategic delivery mechanism for these professional development tools is being released in the month of October, 2011. National 4-H Council is centralizing a wide variety of tools for the development of professional staff and volunteers into a website known as While we are proposing the 4-H Science initiative for the initial project for the implementation of badges, the following description of will demonstrate that there are a multitude of development applications and arenas that would be ideally suited for the use of badges among the adult influencers working with 4-H youth. A system of badges would add credibility to those participating in the Communities of Practice discussions planned for this social media platform.   my4-H is the web based vehicle for strategic delivery of tools, resources, and communications from National 4-H Council to the field, and as such will centralize resources, activities, and other materials in a single easy-to-navigate platform, giving 4-H adult influencers a more effective way to access these materials. was designed to be a solution platform, with primary goals of boosting efficiency and significantly contributing to skill-building for 4-H professionals and volunteers. This consolidated approach will allow the influencers greater efficiency and more mentoring time with youth. This platform will not only contain and centralize resources and tools, but will also allow audiences to collaborate and communicate on a national level, through social features and communities.    These communities will promote broad conversation around key topics that will enhance everyone's understanding of delivering high-quality positive youth development (PYD). All who come to are asked to register so that we know who is using these tools and how to best support and enhance those resources. When youth deliverables such as Record Books are developed and released, will be where youth will go to access this tool in the future. These record books are documentation of completed projects which again would warrant a system of badges to recognize accomplishment by the youth.   Developing and enhancing the skill sets of adult influencers in 4-H directly increases the effectiveness and impact of PYD. When adult staff and volunteers are able to draw on a larger selection of resources, they maximize their ability to guide youth through 4-H programming in a PYD context.   Another application area to be available on this platform will be curriculum development where authors from around the country will develop curriculum in a wide range of subject areas. All curriculum will be reviewed and approved by teams of State Leaders who are experts in the respective subject areas. This would be a natural environment to implement a system of badges to recognize subject matter expertise. lends itself very well to the “virtual badges” concept, since it is a place where various audiences will come for training and programmatic materials, where upon completion, can be awarded these “virtual badges” as a sign of accomplishment  and can display them proudly on their profile page for others to see. This concept could also be built into a training program, for instance, where a certain number of “virtual badges” are required to go onto the next step.    Summary   National 4-H Council has two ready-made environments with the 4-H Science Leadership Academy and all the applicable leadership credentialing that would be so appropriate on We respectfully submit these for your consideration for participation in the Badges Competition. Additional information is available as needed to respond to any questions that might require clarification.    

Noah Comprende

Noah Comprende is a free, online children’s media project that introduces Spanish to English speakers through a collection of humorous, animated videos with embedded games that help build vocabulary in a rich visual storytelling context.

PI: Laura Gordon (WNET)
  Shannon K. Vesik (PBS (Public Broadcasting Service))
NOAH COMPRENDE ( is a groundbreaking children’s media project that introduces Spanish to English speakers. Produced by WNET, the free online project is supported by PBS KIDS GO!, the PBS portal of online resources for school-aged kids. Although targeted to children 6-8 years old who can access the site at home, in school, in libraries, and through afterschool programs, its enthusiastic users include younger children and adults as well. Since its March 2011 launch, the site has had 3,856,514 pageviews, 1,000,970 visits, and 320,085 unique visitors.          The innovative core of the project is a collection of humorous, animated videos with embedded games that teach children Spanish vocabulary and common phrases. The star is nine-year-old Noah, who is staying with his grandmother in a community where everyone speaks Spanish. In each video, a misunderstanding launches a comic misadventure for Noah, as he tries to communicate with others who don’t speak English. The pedagogical approach that serves as the foundation to NOAH COMPRENDE is based on the idea that children learn language best in context. Although kids – like Noah – may not understand all the Spanish dialogue, they can comprehend the story told through rich visual storytelling. A variety of additional games and related offline activities promote learning through Spanish language exposure. A badge system would be a valuable addition to provide incentives and positive reinforcement to children using the collection of NOAH COMPRENDE resources, which will expand over the next ten months. EDUCATIONAL MISSION Changing demographics in the United States make clear the importance of learning Spanish. Language education experts assert that the optimum time to begin learning a second language is between the ages of four and eight. The Center for Applied Linguistics confirms that learning a second language at an early age: Has a positive effect on intellectual growth; Enriches and enhances a child’s mental development; Leaves students with more flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language, and a better ear for listening; Improves a child’s understanding of his or her native language; and Increases job opportunities in many careers where knowing another language is a real asset. In addition to immersing children in the Spanish-speaking community of Noah’s world depicted the videos, NOAH COMPRENDE uses interactive games to introduce children to thematically related collections of accessible vocabulary words and common phrases. Project advisors Luisa Costa-Garro, Ph.D., a teacher at the Bank Street College of Education, and Mariana Swick, a Spanish language educator, provide guidance for using digital technology in appropriate ways to support sound pedagogy and assessment. Focus group testing confirmed that NOAH COMPRENDE bilingual materials also support English language learning by students whose first language is Spanish. In addition to language instruction, the project promotes 21st century communication and collaboration skills. Simultaneously it provides a rich affective curriculum, which includes teaching/modeling: Self-confidence; Self-worth; Creativity; Curiosity and imagination; and Community roles and responsibilities. WEBSITE FEATURES      Currently the NOAH COMPRENDE website houses eight three-minute videos with an embedded game called “Match It” that helps children learn vocabulary. Two other arcade-style games, “You Catch It,” and “Word Race,” incorporate leveling and racing against the clock to encourage replayability and repeated exposure to vocabulary. “How Do You Say…?” helps kids learn common expressions in Spanish.      From April through August 2012, additional content features will be added to the NOAH COMPRENDE site monthly. In addition to five more videos and vocabulary updates to the current game offerings, we will launch two deeper, more character-driven games that encourage replayability and retention. “Noah’s Adventure” (wt) will take players on a journey through locations from the videos as they play mini-games and collect word stickers. “Coco’s Show” (wt), an open-ended introduction to digital storytelling, prompts players to create a whimsical stage narrative by choosing sets, props, actors, and a title that triggers the payoff – an animated sequence and dialogue. Ultimately, players will have the chance to learn 150 words and 44 common phrases through the website’s games.        Linked parent and teacher web areas offer a variety of lesson plans, hands-on activities, and printables connected to the videos and games. BADGES The NOAH COMPRENDE website is well-positioned to integrate a badge system that rewards children as they build their knowledge of Spanish. Scoring in multiple games serves to provide feedback to children about their language learning. Leveling encourages replayability – which promotes vocabulary retention – and higher scores correlate to the quickness with which the player can match an image with its Spanish name. When a player achieves a perfect score, he/she could receive a badge that reflects mastery of a group of thematically related vocabulary words, such as clothes, food, tools, or furniture. In addition, kids could receive badges for other activities that promote exposure to and understanding of Spanish – watching all thirteen videos, helping Coco create plays, or completing offline activities with parents, caregivers, or teachers. To encourage children to advance through the complete set of badges, the ultimate reward would be a “super badge” that signifies that a child has taken advantage of all the website’s resources designed to provide an introduction to Spanish. Potentially, this could also unlock additional content. PARTNERSHIP WITH PBS To develop a badge system, the WNET NOAH COMPRENDE team would partner with the PBS KIDS GO! interactive team. The badge system would be branded as NOAH COMPRENDE within the larger PBS KIDS GO! initiative. PBS is interested in developing a badge system for multiple properties, so we would need to use an approach that would work synergistically with others on the PBS Kids website. We would utilize the login and registration system used across the website. (Since May 2011, there have been 3,313,956 unique usernames created there.) Players would automatically receive a digital badge when they achieve certain game scores. For offline activities, parents, guardians, or teachers might award badges. Certificates with badges could be printable, and we will also explore the possibility of using a PBS KIDS GO! "leaderboard" feature to tout players’ badge awards. We plan to apply with PBS as a partner for a Stage 2 grant.     Linked parent and teacher web areas offer a variety of lesson plans, hands-on activities, and printables connected to the videos and games.    

After School/Out of School   Games/Gaming   K-12 Classroom/ Common Core
Open Mobile Learning Badges

Open Mobile Learning Badges recognize learning and accomplishment in limitless fields of interest--civic media, community volunteerism, environmental awareness, citizen science, art, and many others--opportunities that are made possible through leveraging the mobile device for creation and collaboration.

PI: Richard Scullin (
The Mobile Landscape Over 83% of Americans own a mobile phone (Pew Internet research, August 2011). For US teens this number is even higher, with deeper, more pervasive adoption at increasingly earlier ages, year over year. Many of these mobile devices now possess computing power that equals or exceeds the average laptop computer. Literally, we have computers in our pockets; we carry the Internet with us. While adoption of more powerful 3- and 4G phones grows, so too does the ability of those devices to access a variety of media through powerful broadband capabilities in diverse geographic locales. Mobile Phones for Learning         Mobile phones open up new learning opportunities outside of traditional educational structures and practices. Powerful mobile tools—applications, handsets, tablets, device add-ons, cloud applications, etc.—already exist, with many more developed each day. These tools expand the ability to collect, collaborate, and create in myriad ways, influencing environmental studies and service, political and civic activism, history, citizen journalism, citizen science, and community volunteerism, just to name a few. Because these learning activities fall outside the aegis of “school,” they go unrecognized. We must acknowledge noteworthy and meaningful achievement in use of mobile phones to pursue fields of learning or civic engagement outside traditional educational structures. To address this need, proposes creation of the Open Mobile Learning Badge program to recognize achievement using mobiles in various fields of interest—both in established learning practices and yet-to-be discovered modalities for learning that are made possible through mobile technology.   Open Mobile Learning Badges: Scenarios Mobile Environmental & Citizen Science As a member of the local river and watershed organization, the Hoosic River Watershed Association (HooRWA), Tony participates in the annual flora and fauna census, collecting data and documenting the health of the local river ecosystem. Tony uses his mobile phone to geolocate, record, and contribute vital data sets to the larger study. Tony has earned two badges for his work with HooRWA—a Mobile Environmental Badge and a Mobile Citizen Science Badge. Tony’s badges appear on his website, social media pages, and in Tony’s Learning Tree, an online dossier documenting his lifelong accomplishments in any number of activities and fields of study—both formal or informal. Mobile Local History Catherine, a college History major, uses her mobile phone to create several key bodies of content that the community now uses for educational and historic purposes. For The Architectural Record, a work that documents noteworthy architectural structures and stories in her small city, Catherine uses an online map (Google, FourSquare, Layar, etc.) to geolocate and photo-document houses and buildings of historic merit. Community members use their mobile phones to tour the city, learn from the tags and audio recordings, contribute details and narratives, and view historic layers over their city. She uses her phone to photo-document and record veteran’s narratives which become living documents on the community Veteran’s Center website. Further, students from the local elementary and high schools contribute fresh narratives each year, thereby perpetuating the growth and relevance of the veterans’ stories to community history. Catherine received several badges for her work in this field: a Mobile Local History Badge, a Mobile Veterans’ Services Badge, and a Mobile Civic Engagement Badge. Mobile Art Ben is a digital and performance artist living in Pittsburgh, PA. His work concerns massive open participatory media events where disparate participants briefly form mobile art communities. Recently, Ben received a grant to implement his latest project: a mobile symphony. Ben set up seven telephone numbers, each with a different note, and another five lines that play found percussion sounds. Using trunking lines from a mobile VoIP (Voice over IP) provider, each number can be concurrently dialed and played by multiple callers. On July 14, over 85 participants gathered at Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning to create a “mobile sound wave” with their phone speakers, and with the local experimental dance collective, create a spontaneous collaborative performance. Part of the artist’s interest lay in if and how a group of strangers could gather and then self-organize to make “art.” The event was a success. Ben earned a Mobile Art Badge and a Mobile Music Badge. Participants also earned Mobile Community Art Badges for their involvement. Mobile Fundraising and Civics Margaret, the first of her family to graduate college, knows from personal experience that early intervention plays a powerful role in helping reverse failing trajectories. To help her Early Childhood Literacy Center raise money for their new initiative in underserved neighborhoods, Margaret collaborated with a local friend who had expertise in advertising and graphic design. Together, the two created a simple yet successful QR and Text For Literacy campaign in the city. They postered and distributed flyers, and they placed PSA ads with various media outlets. Community members, by texting “literacy” to 54454, could contribute $10, $20, or $50. The two women also persuaded a local business to host a coffee hour, where they shared success stories of the literacy program. Attendees could text in their support immediately. Margaret earned two important badges through her work: a Mobile Volunteer Badge and a Mobile Educator Badge. Summary By giving credit to these activities, we encourage learners to engage with their communities, connecting the “classroom” with informal contexts, linking personal interests with communities of interest in new ways. Mobile phones offer versatile options for learners to engage a variety of organizations in robust, meaningful ways. The badge becomes a flavor of engagement, then. A citizen uses a mobile device to help the Appalachian Trail Club (ATC) geotag trails for the visitor center interactive guide. Through the ATC, she earns a Mobile Environmental Badge and a Mobile Volunteer Badge. The participating organization, in turn, documents the citizen’s use of mobile phone for achievement. The participant applies to the administering organization, which then grants a Badge for their accomplishments. The system thereby offers incentive, and enhances the symbiotic relationship between organization and learner, organization and badge recipient. And the mobile badge creates a mechanism for recognition of meaningful achievement.  

Mobile   Civics/Community/Volunteerism   After School/Out of School
OurPlayground: Come Play With the World

PI: Jeanne Century (Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education, Physical Sciences Division, University of Chicago)
  Mark Hereld (Futures Lab, Computation Institute/Argonne National Lab/University of Chicago)
  Tom De Boor (Cotyledon Productions)
  Introduction Citizen science projects have enjoyed increased attention over the last five years. These projects, typically established by scientists, engage the public in collecting data for authentic, current research. OurPlayground, an online environment in development at the Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education (CEMSE) in the Physical Sciences Division of the University of Chicago, is an interactive online platform that harnesses the spirit and excitement of citizen science projects and enhances it by placing control squarely in the hands of ordinary citizens. While citizen science projects typically are established by scientists, using OurPlayground, ordinary citizens of all ages will be able to create their own projects that build from their own interests and questions using scientific principles and processes. Anyone will be able to create OurPlayground Projects (OPs) to enlist individuals around the world to help answer their questions by contributing data, analyzing that data, generating and critiquing hypotheses about the data, and collaborating and communicating ideas with one another; and in so doing, develop a sense of ownership, identity, affinity to, and engagement with STEM.       OurPlayground will use a range of strategies to engage, develop and grow participation in the OPs, beginning with a distinctive voice and visual style (see homepage mockup below). By allowing OP creators to start from their own interests—whether traditionally scientific or not--as part of a larger focus on empowering the user and providing recognition for user contributions in a variety of ways,  OurPlayground will accomplish the following goals: Cultivate an awareness of the role STEM processes play in our daily lives Develop improved attitudes toward and affinities for STEM Generate increased self-efficacy in STEM processes Develop scientific thinking and process skills Contribute to communication and collaboration skills Develop STEM content knowledge Highlight relationships between science and other disciplines/topics/pursuits CEMSE will work with partners Rockman, et al, a research and evaluation company specializing in education, and the Futures Lab at the Computation Institute to bring OurPlayground to completion and establish mechanisms for measuring progress toward these goals.  OurPlayground Projects (OPs) OPs are at the heart of OurPlayground. Any user can create an OP; all they need to begin is a question.OPs can be short- or long-term; they can be exploratory in nature, or targeted to answer a specific question; and they can include different kinds of data ranging from numerical data to images and/or sounds that users upload using a range of tools such as mobile devices, digital cameras, and customized applications. Users will contribute to, play with, explore, analyze and hypothesize about the OP data using a range of analytic and visualization tools available on the site. They can keep notes on findings, communicate with others participating in the same projects, propose hypotheses for public comment, and comment on others’ ideas.             All OPs will share the following design characteristics: 1) allow for data collection from parts of the natural or man-made world that are meaningful to the user; 2) allow for multiple participants to collect data in various locations; 3) include opportunities for participants to engage in scientific thinking and process skills; 4) provide multiple pathways of engagement and options for differentiation; and 5) provide opportunities for social interaction and collaboration. These characteristics are embedded in the design of OurPlayground and the basic templates provided for OP creation (see mockup below).     Initial topic areas will include more traditional science disciplines and typical citizen science offerings such as habitats, energy, light, weather as well as scientific projects pertaining to art, food, sound, architecture, fashion, local histories, simple consumer objects, and physical activity. In all OPs, regardless of the topic or discipline framing the OP question, all users will engage with STEM processes such as data collection, exploration, manipulation, and organization; propose hypothesesto others for review and comment; and share thoughts and ideas with other participants on the project’s Facebook-like “wall.”  For more details about the platform and its features, please see a PowerPoint demo here.   Badges and Plan for Growth OurPlayground is fertile ground for the development and spread of badges as OurPlayground itself grows. Users can receive badges for creating OPs, for participating in OPs in a variety of ways (e.g. adding data, making hypotheses, commenting on others’ contributions), and ultimately for realizing a level of communication and collaboration that warrants recognition, ascending a hierarchy of visibility and recognition in the site in the process. Badges can also be awarded as users make progress toward some of the affective goals of the program including self-efficacy and attitudes toward science.  The viral nature of Our Playground as users engage their networks and followers in their OPs will, we believe, help insure the wide distribution of the system beyond our platform, creating feedback loops in the process. Further, as part of the marketing and growth plan of OurPlayground, we plan to reach out to museums, businesses and organizations to support OurPlayground in underwriting arrangements that would allow them to create OPs to draw attention to particular exhibits or events, and create associated special badges.  We’d also see these ‘sponsors’ contributing prizes, all related to (and therefore supporting) science in some way, that are available to top platform participants with particular badge combinations, and expect both the platform’s core partners and sponsors to be mentoring/supporting top OP creators to take their projects to higher levels. Beyond this, we see an opportunity to take the same approach to badges that OurPlayground as a whole takes to science, using them to teach scientific principles and processes. Specifically, we are envisioning a system in which badges can be exchanged for or converted into other badges through application of scientific processes such as weighing, mixing, germination, application of catalysts and the like, all of which is discoverable and shareable by community members over time.  By creating a chemistry, a physics, a biology of badges, we hope to spur greater awareness and interest in their real world counterparts, and use the system explicitly to do this.

Parsons SDS Badge pilot

PI: Edward Keller (Parsons The New School For Design, School of Design Strategies)
  Evan M. Robertson (Parsons [consultant])
  Parsons SDS Badge pilotThis proposal tests a potential restructuring of courses at Parsons The New School For Design  (PTNSD), and will implement a ‘tiered’ learning system as a concentric expansion of existing curricula, supporting both matriculating students as well as students interested in limited-credit web-based attendance.  PTNSD has a substantial continuing education program [CE]: this is a pathway where badge systems could have substantial impact. We anticipate full-credit and audited versions of the same course offered in parallel, and, additionally, see badges facilitating agile, low risk cross institutional collaborations.Badges will act as a supplement to the existing educational structure and curricula.   Rather than developing content around badges, we will develop a badge system that takes advantage of the long-standing educational practices of an internationally recognized design school.As an initial pilot, we will be focusing on 1-3 courses offered in the School of Design Strategies at PTNSD. For example, a design research seminar which will collaborate with external partners at UCSD and Columbia University. The main target community for this pilot work will be matriculated Parsons students, and a limited population of informal, online students. Learning will take place within a course structure for matriculated students, but will be unscheduled and asynchronous for the online students, and possibly continue through a longer term MOOC structure that the badge system amplifies.  The pedagogy will follow established practices for onsite/blended learning, using wikis, blogs, discussion boards, OSQA, and similar tools.  [See the attached .pdf example course description: Post-Planetary, Ed Keller, Parsons SDS.]Skill ValidationThe typical mode of grade-based assessment for arts & design shifts dramatically with the application of badges.  We are tackling the dual problems of translating an extant credentialing structure to a different scale of measure, as well as applying this new form of credentialing to a set of skills that does not easily conform to “systems of measure” in general.  This is a unique opportunity to demonstrate the versatility of badges as positive indicators of communal identity production.  Badges will be designed as if part of an overlaying badge model to come, rather than as one-off credentials for the specific courses under consideration.Roles and IdentitiesIt is our hope that badges will not act to define or solidify roles, but allow for the fluid exploration of unique identities produced by the loosening and transgression of role-boundaries.  We see an opportunity for badge systems to support ‘design problem’ focused education, and alleviate disciplinary siloing. This approach will support students seeking to define their own courses of study by forging connections to other disciplines [and participants both inside and outside the university], strengthening discipline-centric skillsets while building a sense of community and promoting an elastic expertise that supports both depth of knowledge but also out-of-the-box thinking.  Awards for skills like “Curiosity” and “Synthesis” align with the expectation we have that badges will provide not only a new method of aggregating achievements, but also a new understanding of how they are constituted.Opportunities or PrivilegesThis proposal aims to make an art and design education more accessible.  This should be seen as an opportunity to introduce learners to a wealth of education that might have appeared out of reach given considerations of financing and distance.  It also allows for re-imagining the consequences of a community of life-long learners.  Life-long learning, if supported by a robust badging system, could completely redefine alumni to institution relations, or high school student to college hierarchies- and through global economies of scale, then drive down the overall cost of education.Although it is not part of the initial proposal, PTNSD is exploring the use of badge credentials gained through online or distance eduction as indicators of high-performance, and potentially as a metric for offering scholarships and funding to students that take a particularly active role in pursuing their own education by these means. Over the next year we will be exploring ways to leverage this kind of data in the context of crowd and microfinanced funding models [Vittana, Lumni, etc.]Existing AssessmentsPTNSD is a long-standing institution with deeply embedded techniques of assessment that draw on decades of design education and pedagogy across multiple disciplines.  The challenge we face is a restructuring of these assessment protocols against the context of PTNSD’s rapidly expanding online, distributed, and global education initiatives.  We do not see badges as “primary alternatives” to existing methodologies, but expect that in 10-15 years they will play a significant role.PartnersThe Badge systems we are proposing will not require partners; however, PTNSD is planning partnerships with other institutions as part of other initiatives. A collaborative, onsite and online course cluster in the School of Design Strategies, for SP12, is in development; OpenBadges are a substantial part of the collaboration platform/infrastructure for this and other collaborations.  Badge AdministrationThe infrastructure to support badgeserving and delivery will be handled in house at PTNSD and is already in place. During the FA 2011, we set up a badge server as part of the Beta pilot work with Mozilla. Badges will be deployed from PTNSD to students both at Parsons and at collaborating institutions and externally; after SP12 we will share this task with partner institutions. Badges will appear on our website and will be displayed by students on their own sites [Facebook/LinkedIn/Blogs/personal sites].BrandingPTNSD has a very strong, globally visible brand in arts and design education. However, in the contemporary global  education/economic landscape, a new modality of branding is necessary. PTNSD is in the process of a comprehensive reassessment of the Distributed Learning and Technology landscape. Our team sees the badges initiative as a key component of our work to develop a contemporary platform for education. Collaborative affiliations, brands developed through dialogic platforms, and design challenge oriented learning are all part of this re-thinking of ‘branding’. In this sense we mean branding more as a broad spectrum of engagements with a student, as well as graphic design and UI.

Pathways for Lifelong Learning

PASA's Pathways for Lifelong Learning badge system would recognize, motivate, and validate learning interests of youth beginning in 6th grade, creating a seamless system of learning pathways that usher youth through middle school, high school, and onward to college and career.

PI: Damian Ewens (Providence After School Alliance (PASA))
  Michael Braithwaite
    PASA’s mission is to expand and improve quality expanded learning opportunities (ELO) for Providence youth by organizing a citywide public/private system that offers multiple pathways to learning. PASA’s middle school initiative—the AfterZone—knits together a network of partners from the public and private sector including the city, school department, community providers and businesses, and serves nearly half of the city’s middle school youth.  By maximizing cross-sector strengths and resources, PASA engages middle school youth in a varietyofELO that spark their curiosity, connect them to real world experiences, and allow them to explore their interests.  Building on the success of the AfterZone, PASA and 10 community partners including the Providence Public School District (PPSD), created a similar after-school system for high school youth called The Hub. As a system, a program space, and a web tool, the Hub connects Providence youth to opportunities throughout the city, hosts new programs and builds policies and processes with PPSD that provide course credit for ELO that occur after school.   Recognized nationally for its innovative, replicable approach to coordinating systems to better serve youth, PASA’s collaborative spirit has engendered a commitment to share its practices and materials with cities across the country building systems and youth ELO. As a result, nearly 20 cities are implementing elements of the AfterZone model. There remain challenges, however. There is no uniform way of documenting, tracking, and validating ELO experiences from middle through high school graduation. PASA’s Pathways for Learning badges would address this and target three audiences: 1)    Youth in PASA’s after-school system 2)    Program providers 3)    Cities interested in replication Youth badges would be introduced first, followed by program badges. As these badge ecosystems are refined, they could expand to systems-level badges for cities. Learning Goals A comprehensive look at PASA’s youth learning goals, outcomes, and impacts is in the attached logic model. Among the youth learning goals PASA has for its Pathways for Learning badges are: Increased participation in AfterZone and Hub programs for multiple years Improved school attendance and behavior Improved learning engagement Improved social/emotional competencies Improved grades More youth attaining on-time promotion to 9th grade More HS youth completing ELO credits More youth graduating on time Program level learning goals include improved program quality, more and varied ELOs, a better trained workforce, and better connections with school curriculum. System level learning goals include building a strong practice model that formal and informal educators could share, support, and deliver; creating better integration between the AfterZone and The Hub so youth enter a direct pathway to graduation starting in 6th grade; better integrating programs between PASA and PPSD.   Pathways Badges          Youth are "graduating" from the AfterZone in middle school looking for ways to connect to dynamic ELO in high school. By thetimeAfterZone participants reach 8th grade, they have taken programs ranging from environmental science, to sports, video game design and more. Some youth explore multiple interests or take part in leadership opportunities, but many repeatedly take the same “types” of programs, reflecting an interest in a particular learning pathway. Badges that reflect and enhance ongoing behaviors in middle school programs—passion, perseverance, etc.—will act as goals and guides along learning pathways extending through high school and beyond. As 8th graders and high schoolers attain certain badges they would receive special privileges—8th grade-only programming, paid internships through The Hub, personalized tutoring, etc.  As the badge ecosystem develops, opportunities and privileges would expand significantly, supporting healthy behaviors, college access, leadership development and more. Badge branding is critical to adoption. PASA used youth input and voice to design a respected AfterZone brand and The Hub Youth Team co-created The Hub programs, logo, website and collateral materials.  Similarly, badge design competitions in PASA’s after-school system could build badge designs incorporating elements of AfterZone and Hub branding.                                                     With support from Badges for Lifelong Learning and the MacArthur Foundation, PASA would be able to leverage its successful brand into an orchestrated, replicable system of learning pathways for Providence youth and beyond. Assessment PASA uses the Rhode Island Program Quality Assessment (RIPQA) tool to set consistent standards for good youth development practice and to engage all AfterZone program providers in a continuous quality improvement process. For daily management and participant tracking, attendance, and monitoring participation trends, PASA uses a web-based program management tool——in boththeAfterZone and the Hub.  Using the RIPQA to conduct regular program assessments, offering aligned professional development, and holding providers to high attendance/enrollment benchmarks ensures that PASA’s program providers continue to offer rigorous, high-quality content. As such, each provider would be qualified to set badge benchmarks and nominate youth for badges, while could easily log progress along a pathway. By making some simple changes to how youth data is entered into the system, PASA could note benchmarks, run reports to track participation trends, and identify repeated interests for each student, enabling us to assess possible pathways and privileges. At the high school level, would integrate with to automatically update youth profiles when they qualify for a new badge within their field. Badge opportunities and accomplishments could be shared as “news items” on HubProv’s home page and other online networks.   Badge Administration PASA would identify and administer most badges.  However, some would be administered by youth or program providers. Youth seeking “Program Reviewer” badges, for instance, would only qualify following feedback from the program provider and peers. Developing a badge system that reflects, motivates and validates learning interests of youth beginning in 6th grade creates a seamless system of program pathways that usher AfterZone participants through middle school, to high school and the Hub, and onward to college and career. An online badge system that allows youth to capture their learning when and where it happens will also provide a systemic, replicable model for cities that want a systems approach to building engaged learners.   ​Hub ELO Film Transcript ​"An ELO provides students, community members and teacher to work together to really help a student learn beyond the classroom and have some hands on experience in an area of expertise or in areas for which they know nothing about. Its an opportunity to grow and learn beyond the calssroom walls. Learning happens 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, weherever you are. Our first pilot was incredible. We had 4 students from PAIS. They worked with a very experienced web developer.  trained them on web development. These students knew nothing about web development. No, I didn't know nothing about html, CSS, or none of that stuff. I learned to build a website using html. It doesn't limit students. Students could be interested in photography, biology."         

After School/Out of School   Civics/Community/Volunteerism   K-12 Classroom/ Common Core
Pathways to Global Competence: A Badge System for Students

Asia Society will create a badge system containing five badges that progressively denote globally competent youth leadership, awarded to high school students who demonstrate proficiency in a set of performance outcomes.

PI: Jessica Kehayes (Asia Society)
  Eric Docter (Show Evidence)
  Summary Statement Asia Society proposes the creation of a badge system containing five badges that progressively denote globally competent youth leadership. The badges will be awarded to high school students who demonstrate proficiency in a set of performance outcomes.  Through a careful process of articulation and validation among education, workforce, and civic leaders worldwide Asia Society, in collaboration with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), has defined global competence as the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance, which requires that students master four domains of knowledge and skills, described below. Therefore, on the pathway to reaching the ultimate badge of Globally Competent Youth Leader, students must earn four smaller badges articulating identities aligned to these four domains: (1) Global Researcher, (2) Global Integrator, (3) Global Communicator, and (4) Global Contributor. All badges will be acquired through both in- and out-of-school learning experiences and measured via performance-based assessments.  Building on the work Asia Society is pursuing as a Gates Foundation Project Mastery grantee, these badges will also reflect and draw upon Asia Society’s decade of leadership in the field of global competence.  Rationale The growing global interdependence that characterizes our times calls for a new approach to education that engages learners in more powerful, relevant, and self-directed way, enabling them to live, compete and collaborate in a new globalized world.  Put simply, we must nurture students’ global competence to prepare them to participate fully in today and tomorrow’s world demands. Students demonstrate global competence through awareness and curiosity about how the world works—informed by rigorous disciplinary and interdisciplinary study. As defined by Asia Society in collaboration with CCSSO and as vetted through the process described below, globally competent students can: Investigate the world beyond their immediate environment, framing significant opportunities and problems, conducting well-crafted and age-appropriate research, and analyzing, integrating and synthesizing credible evidence drawn from sources worldwide Recognize perspectives, both their own and others’, articulating and explaining such perspectives and the influences of people, groups and schools of thought on their development Communicate effectively, using appropriate language and behavior, as well as non-verbal and technology-supported strategies, to engage diverse audiences Take action to improve conditions, viewing themselves as players in the world, they will act personally or collaboratively, in ethical and creative ways to contribute to improvement locally, regionally and/or globally  (See Appendix 1 and for more detail) This definition and the accompanying performance outcomes have been vetted extensively by experts in the field of education and by those who are thought to exhibit the characteristics of global competence.  We seek to ensure that what we are teaching is in fact what students will need to know, working with those who apply these outcomes in their lives now.  See Appendix 2 for a description of the vetting process. Work Completed to Date In order to help schools and educators develop global competence and college readiness in youths, Asia Society has developed a performance based assessment system, the Graduation Performance System (GPS).  This system is being piloted in 34 public schools across the US as part of Asia Society’s International Studies Schools Network. The GPS is designed to support and assess students’ progress towards global competence and college readiness, as well as teachers’ capacity to teach for global competence.  With funding from the Gates Foundation and Hewlett Foundation, we are in the process of integrating the GPS within a digital platform called ShowEvidence. ShowEvidence is specifically designed to support the performance assessment process at every stage, including task design and development, production and uploading of student work, scoring, generation of feedback, calculation of inter-rater reliability, and aggregation of work in portfolios.  For students, the GPS provides a process, in response to performance assessment tasks, to produce work that demonstrates their proficiency in relation to performance outcomes (See Appendix 3 for example of performance outcomes and rubrics).  The performance outcomes establish graduation level (i.e. 12th grade) criteria for the dimensions of global competence within six core subject areas (ELA, Math, Science, History, Arts and World Languages).  Across these subject areas, criteria are aligned to demonstrate the ability to produce college level work and, where available, Common Core State Standards.  The GPS also establishes the Global Leadership Performance Outcomes for interdisciplinary learning in global leadership, which align with the definition of global competence outlined above (see Appendix 3).    Asia Society trains educators to both design engaging global tasks appropriate to the online system, as well as reliably assess student work, calibrated to the levels of the GPS rubrics and for inter-rater reliability.  The system is designed to allow tasks and student work produced both in and out of school, including digital environments, and enables proficient work to “count” within a student’s portfolio, regardless of when or where it is produced.  With this new technology platform for GPS provided by ShowEvidence comes the potential to embed incentive structures and promote community participation, track and award progress on milestones towards larger goals, and rigorously and reliably recognize and validate the knowledge and skills that are achieved in a variety of settings, for a variety of purposes (academic credit, college admissions, employment applications, etc.). Badge System Using the GPS assessment process and working with ShowEvidence, we propose a badge system to recognize attainment of the Global Leadership Performance Outcomes. High school students will have the opportunity to earn badges of progressively greater stature as their work demonstrates proficiency at established milestones along the pathway toward these specific outcomes.  In this system, the highest value badge will be that which validates a student’s identity as a Globally Competent Youth Leader, having successfully demonstrated proficiency in all of the Global Leadership Performance Outcomes.  The process by which to do this will be partially determined during the funding period, but will include earning smaller badges along the pathway to Globally Competent Youth Leadership in the four domains/identities of: Global Researcher Global Integrator Global Communicator Global Contributor Students will earn badges by demonstrating proficiency in a variety of learning experiences. In turn, proficiency will be gauged by at least two trained educators using four-point rubrics derived from the performance outcomes (see Appendix 3).  The number of student artifacts/work products required to attain a badge is to be determined, but will accumulate in a portfolio of work for each of the four domains/identities.  In order to ensure that all the content of the badges aligns to the skills and content student need to actually be globally competent, and to further bolster the considerable vetting and validation work Asia Society has already completed, we will collaborate with both Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and US Fund for UNICEF.  Their expertise as organizations that demonstrate global competence (see Appendix 4) will provide validation of the real-world application of the skills learned in the badging process.  The portfolios will allow students to showcase their mastery through proficient work pulled from multiple disciplines and anywhere/anytime opportunities, enabling them to reflect on the development of their identities, share with a broader community both online and offline, and get feedback from other educators, peers, mentors, and family.  For example, in service of becoming a global researcher, a student might watch videos and read blogs from protesters across the Middle East to better understand Arab Spring; study the history of protest, revolutions, and non-violent demonstrations; and compare with (or join) protests happening for Occupy Wall Street across the US and the world.   In the process of accessing these different resources to complete tasks and create their portfolio, students can invite comment from teachers and peers, as well as invite other community members to view the portfolio. A holistic assessment of growth and proficiency demonstrated in the portfolio will be the final step in order for a badge to be awarded. We envision piloting these badges within the Asia Society schools; allowing validation of achievements on the pathway to global competence (which is not reached until 12th grade in schools currently), with plans to expand to recognize students outside the Asia Society network after launch. Funds will be used specifically to:  1.  Finalize the 5-badge system and determine the badge networking, including mapping exactly how the 4 smaller badges add up to the larger badge and the number and type of tasks, artifacts, and portfolios to be completed; 2.  Design tasks specific to the global leadership performance outcomes and its four domains; 3.  Create addenda for existing trainings for teachers, educators, after school providers, etc. on what badges are, how they are useful, and how to further engage students in these activities; 4.  Determine options for an additional incentive system, especially for students outside of the Asia Society network (for whom determining proficiency in all performance outcomes is not already part of their requirements); 5. Allow ShowEvidence to display badges and link student work to badges within the existing system.  

After School/Out of School   K-12 Classroom/ Common Core   Career/Workforce
Planet Stewards

PI: Peggy Steffen (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
  Molly Harrison (NOAA National Marine Fisheries)
  Atziri Ibanez (NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserves)
  LuAnn Dahlman (NOAA Climate Office)
  Ron Gird (NOAA National Weather Service)
  Nina Jackson (NOAA National Environmental Satellites )
www National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Digital Badges Collaborator Proposal  Introduction  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a bureau of the United States Department of Commerce with a vision “to understand and predict changes in Earth’s environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet our Nation’s economic, social, and environmental needs.”  As the Nation’s leading oceanic and atmospheric science and service agency, NOAA has a responsibility to coordinate and collaborate within the ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, weather, and climate science and education communities.  NOAA’s education mission is to “advance environmental literacy and promote a diverse workforce in ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, weather, and climate sciences, encouraging stewardship and increasing informed decision making for the Nation.”  An active and well-coordinated NOAA education community conducts a variety of educational activities and provides leadership across the federal government in strengthening ocean, climate, and atmospheric science education.  The foundation for NOAA’s educational content is based on the agency’s scientific work. Often referred to as NOAA sciences, the core of this work is the investigation of patterns, features, and interactions of Earth’s ocean, coasts, Great Lakes, weather, and climate. The study of these physical systems requires a broad array of scientific disciplines, technology, mathematics, and engineering. Observing coral reef health, for example, is a lesson involving global climate, hydrology, land use planning, oceanography, fisheries management, and marine economics. Likewise, projecting future climate is a product of computer science, statistics, sociology, meteorology, climatology, and other sciences. Infusing the findings and research processes of this work into education, and training new generations of scientists to continue the work, are central to the NOAA education mission.  An environmentally literate public is critical to achieving NOAA’s mission goals of managing coastal and marine resources, providing for society’s needs for weather and water information, and enhancing society’s ability to plan and respond to climate variability. Global climate change, rising sea levels, changing weather patterns, collapsing fisheries, and habitat losses are real threats to the American economy and way of life.  An educated public is needed to serve as stewards of the natural environment, take appropriate action in the case of severe weather, and participate in the national debate on complex issues such as climate change. NOAA cannot manage these issues alone; the public must be actively involved in stewardship of these shared resources. NOAA embraces effective educational methods that promote stewardship and environmental problem-solving efforts; strategies that are well-suited to the Digital Badges initiative. Building public understanding and appreciation of the interconnectedness of people and the environment is a critical part of the development of stewardship responsibilities.  Educational efforts at NOAA are managed and delivered through a structure of programs and projects distributed throughout the agency. Several programs, such as the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Estuarine Research Reserve System, National Sea Grant College Program, and the Coral Reef Conservation Program, have existing, long-standing mandates for education. To assist in the coordination of these diverse entities, the agency established the NOAA Education Council. The Council serves as a forum for the NOAA education community and works to leverage existing capabilities within the corporate infrastructure to provide a comprehensive and targeted education program. NOAA is interested in working alongside a partner in the design, development and implementation of a digital badge infrastructure for educators and for students of multiple ages. NOAA’s vast data resources and educational materials will be useful to other entities developing badges for audiences of many ages and levels of knowledge.  Some of these resources are listed below.  In addition, a Planet Stewards badge would provide an opportunity focused on learning, online and local investigations, and community action planning and implementation. Bringing together digital resources in a wide variety of environmental issues, it would allow for the customizing of a project to fit interests and local needs of individuals or collaborative groups. Due to the wide breadth of content and ongoing programs available for inclusion it would be possible to design a robust badge for students in grades 4-12 and adults, especially educators. Learners would be challenged to learn about and document a local environmental issue through photography, video, storytelling, interviews, and data-gathering with the help of NOAA resources and then develop a plan of action that could be accomplished by an individual or a collaborative group.   Technical Considerations  NOAA does not have an open badge system but would be happy to join other federal agencies who are engaged with Mozilla to investigate the development of a system.  NOAA has an active Facebook and Twitter presence and is in the process of launching an iTunes University system.   Flash-based games can be found at our portal site,  NOAA will also require that materials developed be Section 508 compliant (Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, http:// with considerations for privacy and age restriction issues.  Branding Considerations The use of the NOAA insignia in the actual badge will need to be approved but digital resources are considered in the public domain.  Learning Content  NOAA’s vast infrastructure for monitoring Earth’s systems and modeling future trends uniquely position the agency to provide citizens with the most current information available on the ocean, weather, and climate. To provide for the lifelong learner, NOAA’s comprehensive education programs can provide a critical connection between the agency and the learning public.  Citizen science networks, comprised of volunteers who often have limited scientific training, assist NOAA in a variety of settings. These groups monitor coral reef health, collect climate and local weather information, assist with maritime archaeology, and conduct estuarine habitat studies, to cite a few examples.  NOAA science provides unique opportunities for students of all ages to learn more about potential career paths. Vehicles for exploration on Earth require operators, technicians, and engineers with specialized knowledge to chart the ocean floor, monitor ocean currents, investigate fish populations, or explore new habitats. Computers and information technology are integral to gathering, processing, interpreting, and publishing data on the ocean and atmosphere. Public safety, a global concern, is strongly supported by the scientific research and environmental monitoring conducted by NOAA. Meteorology, hydrology, remote sensing, statistical modeling, satellite communications, and information technology allow for the science of weather events, water supply, river level, and flood forecasts, climate projections, and tsunami warnings to be integrated into actions that save lives, protect property, and enhance the economy.  Protecting, restoring, and managing coastal and ocean resources require scientific investigations to understand the complex processes at work in these natural systems. Responding to the specific demands of air, sea, and surface transportation with consistent, timely, and accurate science information aids in safe, efficient, and environmentally-sound transportation systems that are crucial to the Nation’s commerce, and thus, to the Nation’s economy. The disciplines of engineering, weather and marine forecasting, coastal planning, and marine charting are all integral to this work.  NOAA embraces two educational methodologies that have been shown to have great potential in enhancing experiences for digital badges: experiential education and place-based education. Experiential education programs engage learners in constructing meaning by using real-world issues and hands-on interaction with natural phenomena. Place-based education immerses the learner in local heritage, culture, landscapes, opportunities, and experiences as a foundation for the study of language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, history, and other subjects. This interdisciplinary approach encourages participants to use the schoolyard, community, public lands, and other special places as resources, turning communities into classrooms.  NOAA has many excellent place-based locations that serve as “living classrooms,” applying real-world contexts for learning and stimulating “hands-on/minds-on” educational opportunities.  Education resources are distributed across many websites and program offices at NOAA and on NOAA partner websites. provides a sampling of materials from across NOAA.  NOAA's Satellites and Information Service (NESDIS) provides K-12 teachers, students, educational professionals, and the public with satellite information and educational tools.  The Coral Reef Conservation Program works closely with states and U.S. territories to address climate change, adverse impacts of fishing, and land-based sources of pollution that damage reef ecosystems.  National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) protects more than 1.3 million coastal and estuarine acres in 27 reserves located in 21 states and Puerto Rico for purposes of long-term research, education and stewardship. Reserves serve as "living classrooms" that provide, on an annual basis, meaningful experiences for students and adults.  Teachers on the Estuary introduce teachers to information, research, and classroom activities about watersheds, estuaries, and coastal systems. The course incorporates investigations in the field and using on-line data.  Data in the Classroom is an online resource for K-12 teachers interested in using real scientific data in their teaching. This Web site is the current home of the NOAA Ocean Data Education (NODE) Project, which is creating curriculum and online tools that demonstrate the use of real-time data.  The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) provides students and educators with  research experiences and materials that support the NMFS mission: stewardship of living marine resources through science-based conservation and management and the promotion of healthy ecosystems.  National Ocean Service Education team provides tools and professional development for teachers and environmental games, mysteries and resources for students on two websites the and the  Climate Stewards Education Program (CSEP) is a national NOAA project for educators with sustained professional development and support for stewardship projects in their local communities.  A national network of over 60 educators from elementary school through university and includes informal educators from nature centers, science centers and zoos. Educators agree to participate in at least 15 hours of professional development in climate science and then apply their learning in local stewardship projects. The project uses online learning tools and a wiki to facilitate collaborative learning. One recent event used Second Life. The Virtual Climate Change Conference included presentations and discussions on climate misconceptions, stewardship projects, health effect of climate change, and visualization tools.  The National Weather Service (NWS) provides weather, climate and water information to the nation and education programs for teachers and students, grades K-12. A new Young Meteorologist online game provides students with information about being prepared for weather emergencies.  The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network and is a non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail and snow). By using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive Web-site, the aim is to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education and research applications.  Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) has been federally mandated to promote environmental education through thirteen national marine sanctuaries and one marine national monument. Ocean Guardian programs are designed to encourage children to explore their natural surroundings to form a sense of personal connection to the ocean and/or watersheds in which they live. The NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research strives to engage broad audiences through the excitement of ocean exploration and discovery. An established network of Sea Grant educators, located at universities across the Nation, is committed to NOAA's goal of advancing environmental literacy and educating future environmental professionals and leaders NOAA’s Climate Office produces and distributes a range of products to help NOAA fulfill its climate goal.  NOAA Paleoclimatology is a branch of NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. Paleo data come from natural sources such as tree rings, ice cores, corals, and ocean and lake sediments-- and extend the archive of weather and climate back hundreds to millions of years.  


PlantingScience is an online learning and research resource, bringing together students, scientists, and teachers from across the nation. Students engage in research investigations, working with peers and scientist (as research team mentors) to build collaborations and to improve their understanding of science.

PI: Bill Dahl (PlantingScience/Botanical Society of America)
  See Figure 2
PlantingScience – Experiencing science is a critical component in UNDERSTANDING science The online learning community called PlantingScience is a collaboration among 14 Scientific Society partners designed to improve the understanding of science and overall science literacy. PlantingScience embraces collaborative learning with digital communications. (Please note: all images link to student research pages) We greatly appreciate the potential opportunity to establish new partners in the technology and design fields through the DIGITAL MEDIA AND LEARNING competition. Our program is a direct response to a challenge from The National Academies to the Botanical Society of America (BSA) to provide leadership inquiry-based Science, Math, Engineering and Technology (STEM) education. The BSA tested the online research community concept in 2005 and began inviting peer Societies to partner in the program in 2006. The BSA continues to administer the program. The PlantingScience platform supports teachers to engage students in hands-on scientific research using plants as model organisms (see How It Works). Working with our partners, we connect online scientist mentors with teams of 3-5 students who are tasked to design and conduct research based on inquiry materials the program provides the teacher (science content such as germination, genetics, pollination, etc.). We hope we fit your criteria for support in developing a badge system in that we have: The ability to reach a diverse and dispersed demographic A current and growing cadre of credible, field-tested materials co-developed by scientists and teachers as a foundation to the program (Steering Committee) The ability to build direct linkages between specific inquiries and the new National Science Education Standards Highly credible partners in developing future resources and assessment tools Mechanisms for assessing how student participation/achievement is rewarded with pre- and post-tests and evaluations from scientists and teachers Criteria for assessing how badges are awarded for various topics and lelvels of participation A program with significant history, growth potential and international scope A long-term view of how badges will fit within our environment and the expereince needed to adapt as things evolve The ability to add/develop a badge program for our professional participants (teachers and scientists) Over 11,000 students have been engaged in the online research and mentoring program to date. The long-term capacity is estimated to be over 200,000 students per year. The impact of adding a ps-eBadge system to the program will be significant. Program Summary In PlantingScience, middle and high school students assume the role of scientists. They develop research projects spanning a 3-10+ week period. Their teacher leads the process using inquiry-based materials written by the PlantingScience team designed to encompass core biological principles (in keeping with national science standards). Within the PlantingScience community, a scientist from one of the partner societies supports the teacher to engage students in the scientific process. Scientists then participate as mentors on student research teams. The program is provided cost free for teachers/schools. As the students conduct their research, they post data and engage in conversations with their scientist mentor on a web page established for their specific research project. The scientist guides the students by posing questions designed to help them discover the answers they seek. Assessments PlantingScience software has been designed to make student thinking visible, providing rich opportunities for formative assessment.  Through online dialogues and science journals, students develop scientific reasoning and communication skills. Scientists facilitate student thinking and provide insight into what scientists know and how they think. Students and scientists have opportunities to ask questions of each other. This dialogue encourages critical thinking, evaluating evidence, cooperative learning, and reflection. Posting work online for feedback is highly motivating to students. All student work is archived on the server, so that students, teachers, and scientists can browse completed projects and the project team can assess outcomes. Texas A&M University (Dr. Carol Stussey’s lab) serves as our assessment partner for evaluating PlantingScience and student learning.  They measure the quality and impact of the dialogue and collaborations between the students and scientists. The Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) organization evaluates the goals, tools and resources offered by the program and measures students’ understanding of and attitude toward science after participation. PlantingScience contains a pre- and post-test system to capture data on understanding and attitudes. In addition to the standard system questions, teachers are able to add questions specific to the learning goals they have set for their class. The PlantingScience Badge Program We are in the conceptual phase of establishing an electronic ps-eBadge as a means of rewarding students for specific achievements and to encourage further skill development within the science community (see Figure 2, Conceptual Badge and Level Structure). Future plans include extending the ps-eBadge program to recognize teacher and scientist achievements. We anticipate creating a tiered system to encourage and support ongoing interactions with science experts. The introductory badge recognizes productive participation in science, one of the four strands of science learning proficiency recognized by the National Research Council.  Badges above the introductory level will be administered through the PlantingScience platform by Scientific Society partners (and potentially industry partners) as they relate to special achievement in particular content areas. An L1 ps-eBadge will trigger an invitation to the next level of research experience and indicate to the Scientific Community the attainment of a foundational experience / skill / knowledge set.  Each subsequent level/project will have a specific ps-eBadge for science research skills and understandings.   PlantingScience and its partners provide a significant brand portfolio, representing leaders in diverse scientific fields. With a combined societal membership of over 250,000 scientists, the collaboration provides a mentor base for an extensive digital outreach program. Partners share a similar history and commitment to science and science education. Some, like the BSA going back into the 1800’s. Please note: In early discussion related to the creation of the PlantingScience system, we wanted to find a means to build towards an after school experience that allowed students to gain a deeper understanding of science upon each engagement. We also wanted to establish a potential pathway for interested students and scientists to build relationships for ongoing education opportunities. The ps-eBadge system allows us to achieve these aims. Thank you for considering the PlantingScience program. We sincerely look forward to the opportunity to develop our collaboration further through inclusion in the Digital Media and Learning Competition.

After School/Out of School   K-12 Classroom/ Common Core   STEM
Preparation for Volunteer Service

Before students volunteer, they will earn badges demonstrating their preparation to serve ethically, knowledgeably, skillfully, and responsibly in the communities around their colleges or universities.

PI: Peter Levine (Tisch College, Tufts University)
  Eric Gordon (Emerson College)
  Shirley Mark (Lincoln Filene Center)
  Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg (CIRCLE)
The learning content, programs, or activities that will be supported by badges: Nationally, 43% of college students report that they volunteer in their communities, and most colleges and universities (95% in a recent Campus Compact survey) have at least one center devoted to service. Student volunteering is a mass phenomenon with great potential for public and community good. But often students are not properly prepared to benefit their communities or to learn from their service. Volunteering without preparation can be a waste of time or can even burden community organizations, and in a worst-case scenario, do harm to those intended to be served. At Tufts University, where 54% of the senior class reports volunteer service, we have been working since 2009 to develop a set of interactive learning modules that students will have to complete before serving in communities, both domestically and internationally. This has been a broadly collaborative process, led by the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service and also involving students, community groups, and other parts of the university. The precise mix of knowledge, skills, and values that students need is still being discussed, but would-be volunteers certainly need information about the particular communities where they will serve, a basic understanding of the issues they will address, skills for listening to community members and understanding organizations, background information on the relationship between campus and community and their positions as student representatives of the university, and critical awareness of their own values and identities. We now propose to develop a system of badges to prepare college students to ethically and effectively serve communities. Badges could be awarded by Tufts and by student or community groups who have received permission from Tisch College to develop badges with appropriate measurements. Students who earn lots of badges and effectively build their reputation within the University will be deputized to authorize the distribution of badges to other students. The system could then be shared with other institutions across the country, and their students could play leading roles in defining what “preparation for service” means in their communities. The basic system would be easily transferable and customized to each institution as appropriate. Badging would propel a best practice model in which both student learning and community benefits are maximized through consistent preparation. The skills, competencies and achievements badges will validate. Students will receive separate badges for different forms of preparation to serve, including demonstrations of local knowledge, ethical research practices, trust building, mapping power relationships, etc. Identity and roles. Identity is an important and contested issue for active citizens; people who are prepared to serve need to develop clear and defensible understandings of their own identities in order to be effective and ethical contributors. In this project, the umbrella identity is an “active citizen.” For college students, active citizenship often takes the form of “student volunteer” or “service-learning participant.” Students may also see themselves as “activists.” Specific roles include solo volunteer, team member, team leader, project designer, etc. These roles differ in commitment and difficulty, and we would give students some guidance about how to proceed from one to another. Opportunities or Privileges. At Tufts, a whole range of paid, credit-bearing or volunteer community service experiences (those supported or offered by Tisch College) would be restricted to students who earned appropriate badges. The need to earn badges would encourage students to devote attention to the preparation modules. Community partners might also reserve their internships--including paid internships--for badged students, just as they now require Criminal Offender Record Information reports for students who work with minors. Certain Tufts academic departments that require service-learning or have an option of community based senior capstones for majors would adopt the badges as requirements. In just over 3 years, the CITI certification for research has become a student standard for all undergraduate majors, minors and programs. We expect a similar, rapid diffusion for the badge. Existing assessments. Tisch College has developed tools that will be useful for the badging project. We regularly survey students to measure the quality and impact of their service experience. We have created a questionnaire for students to use to assess whether they understand a given community; a tool for learning about a particular organization; and other such instruments. For a badging process, these tools would be substantially revised, put online, and made more interactive and game-like. Partners and Organizations. Tisch College is closely connected to major student groups that organize large-scale community service, notably the Lincoln Carmichael Society and Hillel. The Tufts University Medical School requires community service hours for all MD students. We have already developed online modules that the MD students are required to complete before serving. CIRCLE, based at Tisch College, is the nation’s leading center for the study of civic engagement and can help with evaluation. The Lincoln Filene Center for Community Partnerships connects Tisch College and Tufts students to many community organizations that use volunteers and some that could ultimately award badges. Eric Gordon, a visiting fellow at Tisch College and an associate professor at Emerson College, has expertise in gaming and computer-aided civic education and will be working on this project. Administration of the badges. Tufts would maintain a central data base of badge recipients and develop a system for students to authorize sharing their badge status with a prospective community organization or with their academic department/program. In addition, students would be able to share their badges with their departments, or other units within the University, as proof of completion. Branding. We would avoid a strong Tufts “look” so that the badges can be adopted elsewhere. Community service evokes generally positive and youth-friendly images. We would collaborate closely with undergraduates on design, partnering with both Computer Science students and students from the Graphic Design dual degree program of Tufts and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.

Civics/Community/Volunteerism   After School/Out of School   Career/Workforce
Quilt Index Badges Program

For people aged eight to 80, whose life experience has created potential to see complexity in what seem to be simple skills, to rethink material human expression, to discover continuity/shifts in culture, and to see where art and family and community meet, "Patches", the Quilt Index badges program, will harness the power of social engagement to facilitate cognitive development by building an incentive and certification system for lifelong learners in which they acquire skills in questioning, reflecting, and translating knowledge and in sharing their developed knowledge about textiles, social history and material cultures, social media, and digital library and metadata curation.

PI: Justine Richardson (MATRIX/Michigan State University)
  Dean Rehberger (MATRIX/Michigan State University)
  Marsha MacDowell (MSU Museum/Michigan State University)
  Steve Cohen (MATRIX/ Michigan State University)
  Amy Milne (Alliance for American Quilts)
  Mary Worrall (MSU Museum/Michigan State University)
Content and Programs:  The Quilt Index Badges program will offer a certification and incentive system for lifelong learners engaged in Quilt Index (QI) activities, gaining knowledge and skills related to quilts and textiles, social history and material culture, social media, digital library and metadata curation. The badge system will appeal to the broad range of potential user communities, both those knowledgeable about quilts whose passion drives them to learn via digital tools and media, and savvier digital users seeking to learn about the art, history, culture and meaning found in quilts. The scale, tools, and features in the QI provide an array of material for the needs and uses of both groups. The Quilt Index ( is one of the largest thematic digital repositories of cultural heritage and a resource for scholars and quilt enthusiasts alike, providing ample opportunity for learning. An ideal test bed for developing lifelong learning applications, we know that the QI audience includes mainly adult women, is globally dispersed and diverse in culture, education, vocational and avocational interests, and facilities with digital media. As documented in workshops, focus groups, and annual evaluations, these lifelong learners engaged in the QI develop advanced research skills, acquire complex knowledge that they seek, and engage with a community of academic and citizen researchers. Through successful completion of increasingly complicated activities, individuals will earn badges that both award personal competencies and contribute to the QI. Potential activities include completion of tutorials on documenting quilts, learning about cross-walking database metadata, completing an online QI Scavenger Hunt, researching local museums or quilt collections and contributing to the QI Wiki resources, and writing and posting reflective statements on quilts and quilt stories posted on the QI Facebook. Some activities will also surprise and engage novices as well. Quilt Matcher (QM), is an application-in-the-making designed to provide stunning insights into a single quilt, on the spot, instantly comparing it to 50,000 others in the QI and relating implicit connections to history, culture, and technology. Technology makes the process straightforward: Take a picture of the quilt you’ve found. Via mobile device, send to the QI; using High performance computing (HPC), it is analyzed and compared to the growing database of more than 50,000 quilts in the Index, each described by reams of cultural, historic, and geolocational metadata.  Receive results of visually similar quilts, providing an immediate sense of the quilt’s history, close relatives, social genesis, craftsmanship, etc. Implicitly begin to learn about what quilts are, how experts experience quilts, and why quilting matters. QM uses supercomputing to execute domain specific algorithms, compare against the database of quilts, and infuse meaning into the quilt you found. As a bonus, QM users contribute to the Quilt Index by adding a new quilt/data point. The QM approach is based on research funded by NSF & NEH through the Digging into Data program. Skills and Achievements to be Validated:  Skills and achievements gained from engaging in the QI include historical research, object-based learning, reflective and analytical writing, and basic experience with the Internet and social media. QM users learn about the complexity of everyday objects -- a profound lesson in epistemology and the richness of personal expression. Roles: Participants include citizen scholars who are helping to construct new knowledge and understandings about our world. They are individuals helping to make new connections between collections held in local museums and a global community of learners and researchers. They are writers, community cultural activists, artists and makers, teachers, and genealogists. Opportunities: The development process will include opportunities and privileges that increasing participation will unlock. Incentives will target a range of user interests and may include privileges such as: Discount on quilt books purchased from MSU Museum or other museum contributor stores; Free or discounted fees for tutorials; Free participation in webinars; Reduced or free submission of quilts; or Showcase of badge earners’ own work in section of QI site. Existing assessments: QI badges will incorporate existing tutorial activities, such as QI researcher training modules, digitization and image preparation, and QI digital library management training, as well as new assessments to be developed, such as Quilt Matcher use and specific assessments of increased understanding of quilts as cultural and historical artifacts. Partners: The QI badge program will utilize the strengths of three Quilt Index institutional partners : Michigan State University Museum (with expertise in quilts, art history, history and folklore, informal learning environments, and community engagement in object documentation and collections use), Alliance for American Quilts (with membership of quilt enthusiasts and existing quilt contest program), and MATRIX: Digital Humanities Center at MSU (with expertise in technical project development and online mediated learning and assessment.) Partners could expand globally to include additional quilt-related organizations, museums, and research societies. Administration: MATRIX and MSU Museum will develop and administer the badge system, in consultation with existing standards. Successful completion of tasks or skill levels will result in an automatically generated digital quilt block badge, sent to the individual for use in their online signature or blogs, as well as added to an online “quilt” hosted at the QI website. As more individuals are awarded quilt block badges, the quilt will grow and thereby visually show the type and numbers of engagements with the QI. Branding: The QI badge system design will draw on the community’s visual expertise and real-world quilt-making traditions. Quilt contests have served as a major incentive for makers over the past century. For the actual brand elements of the badge system, we anticipate a visual design contest administered by the Alliance for American Quilts that will build on their successful annual quilt contests.  Badge elements may contain dates and names (in the tradition of Signature Quilts). Sets of competencies will have coordinated badges, perhaps building towards a larger, unknown design in the tradition of “mystery quilt” piecing challenges, and providing an additional visual incentive for fulfilling more badge awarding activities.

Civics/Community/Volunteerism   K-12 Classroom/ Common Core   Arts/Design

Reticulator is a dynamic civic media badge system of accreditation, peer interaction, and public engagement that tracks and rewards the twin values of media literacy and media production.

PI: Marisa Jahn (People's Production House)
  Julian Rubinstein (
  Natalie Jeremijenko (Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Development at New York University)
EXECUTIVE SUMMARYReticulator is a civic media badge system that rewards and evaluates participants’ contribution to accurate, nuanced, and well-crafted journalism. Reticulator is a framework predicated on the belief that what’s said is as important as who’s saying it — Reticulator lets the public evaluate who’s saying what. Reticulator’s name derives from the word ‘reticulate’ which refers to the act of forming a net or network. By incentivizing compelling and informative non-fiction stories, Reticulator bolsters a network of citizen-journalists. CONTEXT AND NEEDReticulator arises from the crisis in journalism that has heralded a new era of possibilities for civic media. The shuttering of newsrooms has demonstrated the need for new forms of reportage, storytelling, and distribution. And recent events around the world—including the Arab Spring and the current Occupy movement—have shown that with increased access to technology, individuals and communities are responding to this need by independently finding and sharing vital information and telling their own stories. There's a collective, grassroots vision for the future of journalism, and it’s already being realized in revolutionary ways. At the same time, it has become increasingly difficult to sift through the glut of information and to determine which sources to trust. SOLUTIONWhat’s needed now is a two-part system that on the one hand empowers and incentivizes citizens to take the responsibility for reporting important events and providing first-hand information to the public sphere. And to complement that, what’s needed is a peer-to-peer system whereby citizens can collaboratively evaluate these sources of information and appraise the information that’s valuable to them. PROJECT DESCRIPTIONReticulator is a dynamic system of accreditation, peer interaction, and public engagement that tracks and rewards the twin values of media literacy and media production. Reticulator operates on an open-source model and is intended to be cross-platform and portable to different programs and systems. Reticulator builds towards participatory media literacy, in which the deepening of skills and sharing of information is rewarded. Based on the principal tenets of community-based journalism, badges would be attained to honor levels within each of the following pillars: the ability to work with others (collaboration); the ability to collect and source data (accuracy); the ability to synthesize different news stories (curation); the ability to create technically thoughtful stories (craft); the ability to break new stories (reportage); the ability to highlight under-represented voices (inclusion); and the ability to tell a story in new ways (innovation). Additionally, Reticulator incentivizes learning and creation that builds bridges between journalism, art, and science, thereby enabling users to explore interdisciplinary roles and build multifaceted identities. Examples of privileges that users would earn either through reputation or advancement along a training trajectory include the capacity to comment on sources of information, suggest sources, evaluate other users’ contributions and comments, individually and collaboratively curate newsmedia streams, and produce and share media. An increase in numerical rank, visualized through badges, within each category would reflect a user’s continuous deepening of skill and experience. The visibility of these badges, and the rankings they convey, is a critical tool that allows learners to identify the other users they'd like to seek out as mentors, or to further engage and curate content with, thereby bringing together formerly disparate media makers. The attainment of portable, higher badge levels would also be useful forms of currency for media consumers as well as in vocational settings. QUALIFICATIONSReticulator comes from People’s Production House’s ten years of pairing seasoned journalists with low-wage workers, teens, and immigrants to produce stories distributed through independent as well as traditional news outlets (BBC, NPR, PBS NewsHour Extra, etc.). Our team comes from these communities and has a first-hand understanding of what it will take to ensure that the voices and feedback of underrepresented people are represented in the media. Reflecting this awareness, Reticulator enables underrepresented communities to create and participate in a new form of civic media that builds confidence in their capacity to comparatively analyze stories and sources, meaningfully contribute to the debate, connect with others like them, leverage expertise, and produce impacting stories missing from the current media landscape. As users evaluate and suggest sources of information, and eventually become sources, which are in turn open to peer evaluation, learning occurs throughout Reticulator via comparative analysis. IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATIONWe intend to pilot this badge system first on our own multimedia news and storytelling platform, Visitors will see the badges integrated throughout our website; clean design and simple instructions will encourage them to create user accounts, enabling them to engage in various kinds of civic media activities according to earned privilege. In this initial pilot phase, Newsmotion would structure the badge levels and the attainment of new badges but we seek to engage users in providing feedback to develop a framework responsive to public needs. We ultimately see ourselves as contributors to a larger ecology of citizen journalism initiatives and platforms, and seek to bolster this proliferation by creating a scalable and portable badge system that can be plugged in to other citizen journalism sites. EVALUATIONWe will build Reticulator using Participatory Action Research methods, in which participants are continually asked to evaluate and reflect on each step in order to inform the next. With the intent of building an open-source system that encourages the thinking of others, we will document our steps in order to build a legacy that invites others’ contribution. This analysis will then inform the ways in which we build self-reflexivity and evaluation into the platform itself. The evaluative mechanism will be led by a think tank of expert civic media evaluators from international academic institutions, journalism professionals from independent and established general interest media outlets, scientists, artists, community organizers, and engineers, and educators.

Journalism   Arts/Design   Civics/Community/Volunteerism
S2R Badges

S2R Badging will recognise and reward the 21st Century skills gained in the Supporter 2 Reporter project, where young people learn collaboration, communication and social media production by working as sports journalists.

PI: DigitalMe (Digitalme)
  Cliff Manning (Radiowaves)
  Tony Archdeacon (Liverpool Hope University)
  1. The learning content, programs, or activities that will be supported by badges. DigitalMe is UK-based non-profit organisation passionate about using social media and new technology to create life-changing learning experiences. We run a number of national and international programmes benefiting thousands of young people, who gain confidence and 21st Century skills through our experiential learning approach. Supporter To Reporter (S2R) is a flagship activity that we wish to badge. The programme trains young people aged 13-19 to report for real at sports events, with journalist accreditation, working on briefs to quality standards and deadlines. Their training takes place online or face-to-face and can last from hours to weeks. Reporting missions range from a pair of students covering a school sports match to a team of 10 young people forming a team at a multi-day event like the Paralympic World Cup. Learning is by practical assignments in the field. Participants learn in different ways and at different paces. We therefore need (to respond to clear demand from young people and educators) a flexible, portable way to recognise and celebrate learner progress that is and in keeping with our digital, open identity. Open badging fits our need perfectly. S2R operates in nine UK Hubs, out-of-school learning venues (often sports clubs) where trained facilitators take cohorts of young people from local schools through the programme. Alongside the Hubs, any school or young person’s learning organisation can join S2R, benefiting from free online resources and publishing space at To date,  1739 young people have become S2R reporters. Between them they have created over 11,000 stories and blogs - and many have had life-changing experiences. As well as S2R we run other key programmes Safe (social networking safety) and MyWorld (global citizenship through social media) where we will apply our badging knowledge 2. The skills, competencies and achievements badges will validate. Skills With S2R, young participants learn a set of skills and competences that we divide into three categories: Technical Skills: audio and video recording and editing; social media publishing; research and journalistic skills; interviewing and storytelling; writing for target audiences. Workplace Competences: teamwork, collaboration, time management, planning, communication. Life Skills: Resilience, confidence, interpersonal skills, intercultural understanding, leadership, taking responsibility. Achievements Through S2R, participants achieve noteworthy experiences such as: Reporting to a professional brief from a media centre at a sports event Creating media for a professional broadcaster (e.g. BBC) Interviewing high-profile athletes Levels Reporters progress through the programme, gain new skills and experiences, take on new responsibilities and push themselves. The journey has four levels: Level 1: Gaining and demonstrating competency (content production) Level 2: Using skills (interviewing, reporting and publishing) Level 3: Understanding the workplace (reporting for real) Level 4: Mentoring others 3. Identity and roles. S2R learners assume roles that mirror the professional media and social media environment. Examples are: Reporter, Producer, Technician, Researcher, Editor, Director, Blogger. To operate effectively in any of these roles, participants will at times need to demonstrate the characteristics of Leader, Creator, Collaborator or Mentor. 4. Opportunities or Privileges. S2R offers opportunities and privileges that we would like to structure more carefully and ally more closely with badge: Reporting experiences - participants who have shown motivation and ability gain access to high-profile events Mentoring - by professional volunteers from the media industry Masterclasses - reporters gain specialist training in advanced skills Courses - we have organised entry to accredited media courses for some reporters. 5. Existing assessments. Every S2R participant has their personal Reporter Page on This serves as an e-portfolio and permits their educators, supporters, friends, family and peers to see and evaluate their work. The page records: Numerical data - numbers of stories, blogs and comments Qualitative data - content impact, style, appropriateness, creativity. We therefore envisage different badges to represent different these different measures of achievement. We will borrow assessment tools from Safe, our social media safety programme, which uses step-by-step pupil assessment based on detailed criteria, resulting in the issue of Safe certificates and badges (physical at present - we know they work!). Assessment in general is currently delegated to the professional educators we work with and in some cases the reporters’ peers. We use this distributed model to allow each participant to be judged according to criteria set by people who know them and give ongoing support. We would like to explore how to make this distributed model work with badging. Can we collaborate with local experts in issuing or assessing for badges? 6. Partners and Organizations. S2R operates through Hubs, schools and other learning centres and organisations - professional educators who we have trained and resourced. A key S2R partner and funder is the Youth Sports Trust, a body that brings together over 400 English ‘Sports Colleges’. They are keen to assess and reward S2R participants. Advising S2R is Tony Archdeacon, an education expert at Liverpool Hope University who has offered to analyse and map S2R skills. DigitalMe’s team includes: an Education Director who also works as a teacher so regularly assesses a Development Director who has assessed vocational media courses for the national awarding body OCR two team members trained in Arts Award, a competency-based assessment for non-formal education. 7. Administration of the badges. DigitalMe would administer the badges, potentially in concert with partners who would co-develop our assessment criteria. Our badges would be designed for deployment anywhere, but we have a close working partnership with, where content from S2R is published. However, we encourage the use of other  social networks and expect our badges to be displayed wherever recipients decide, whether that be LinkedIn, Facebook, any other social network or a school website.   8. Branding. S2R and DigitalMe’s programmes have strong visual identities with distinctive and recognized logos, colours and styling. Our badges will retain these identities while being adapted to the badge format.   S2R Badging Presentation   S2R Content Example

After School/Out of School   Journalism   Career/Workforce
Scholar’s Quest: Game Layer to Address Needs of Higher Education

PI: Joey J. Lee, Ph.D. (Teachers College, Columbia University)
  Joey J. Lee, Ph.D. (Teachers College, Columbia University)
  Yoo Kyung Chang, Ph.D. (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Scholar’s Quest: Game Layer to Address Needs of Higher Education DML: Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition - Stage 1 ProposalJoey J. Lee, Ph.D. and Yoo Kyung Chang, Ph.D. Introduction                        Research shows that student success in higher education depends on quality of collegiality between students, mentoring between faculty and students, and a clear understanding of program structure and expectations by students (Boyle & Boice, 1998). However, many higher education settings are characterized by a lack of collaboration and collegiality, poor mentoring, and lack of clarity of the steps to academic success. The Scholar’s Quest: Gamification of Higher Education project employs a game layer (including a system of badges, action cards, and missions) to create an innovative game-based experience in higher education to address these challenges through the encouragement of: peer-mentoring and advising pro-social behavior collaboration effective use of available university resources Using game elements in a real-world setting can be an effective and fun way to encourage students to solve problems, complete challenges, share knowledge, and collaborate in productive ways (e.g., Sheldon, 2011), promoting self-directed, active learning. In this way, the game experience takes Collins, Duguid, and Brown (1989)’s theory of cognitive apprenticeship and uses game mechanics to bring tacit practices of success (e.g., from faculty mentors and advisers) out to the open, and provides a community of modeling, coaching, scaffolding, reflection, and articulation to help students become more successful through their time in higher education.                       Scholar’s Quest: Gamification of Higher Education Scholar’s Quest is an ongoing real-world “game layer” consisting of quests, missions, badges, events, and structured activities to promote scholarship, community, and contributions to the higher education experience. The quests, missions and badge system provide structured, clear guidelines and feedback for the steps necessary for effective navigation through higher education, such as the use of various existing institutional resources at Teachers College, Columbia University, including the Office of Student Activities, Career Services, Diversity and Community Affairs, Office of Admission and Financial Aid, International Student Services, etc. These offices participate as active partners of the project, co-designing relevant activities and quests. In addition, the experience helps guide students to academic success by using the properties of games to structure and scaffold the processes of research, teaching, writing, service, interpersonal skills, and other important areas.  In addition, the game layer promotes self-directed learning strategies for lifelong learning beyond higher education, and the promotion of prosocial behaviors, collaboration and peer mentoring, the important components of successful higher education.           Figure 1.  An example of real-world missions to address various needs of higher education.   Participants and Roles The Scholar’s Quest experience encourages students to take on new identities and roles that are essential for active learning and promoting a community of support and scholarship.  For instance, students use Action cards such as the ‘Mentor card’ to encourage peer mentoring.  The ‘Creativity card’ can be used to recognize creative contributions.  All students in the participating higher education institute are welcome to participate in the project. The students will assume the role of learner, mentor to their peers, collaborator, and evaluator as part of the Scholar’s Quest project.            Administration and Assessment of Badges Certain badges are awarded by approved Game Masters (e.g., Teachers College faculty and directors of various offices), while others are awarded by students. Badges can be given in 3 ways: automated - upon completion of missions designed by Game Masters, all students receive the badge.  For instance, when new students complete a series of missions that comprise the Orientation quest, they automatically earn the ‘Oriented! badge’. peer awarded - students can give badges (as a scarce resource) to each other. For instance, a student may give a Mentoring badge to another student to facilitate mentoring behavior. juried - Game Masters can review submissions and identify a small number of winners to receive a badge.  For instance, the Office of Diversity and Community Affairs can implement a Social Justice badge to award to contributions to social justice that they wish to highlight (Table 1 below). Table 1. Examples of Badges. Actions As part of the gameplay, students can also interact with each other using “Action Cards.” These cards are designed to encourage collaboration, peer knowledge sharing, mentoring, encouragement, etc. Examples of “Action Cards” include Friendly Challenge (giving a player an extra boost if they are able to accomplish mission), Mentor Me (requesting mentoring a particular area or skill), Mentoring (offer mentoring in a particular area or skill), and Like! (which provides peer recognition for a completed mission). Actions can be given on the website, or issued in the real- world in the form of an “Action card” passed from player to player. The Scholar’s Quest project is currently designed for Teachers College, Columbia University. However, most of the activities (e.g., quests, missions, badge system) in the project address the common goals of all higher education, and the project can be easily adapted to other institutions.  As part of the game experience, an online website and game-based tools have been developed.  These can also be repurposed for other educational contexts. Students redeem Action cards and achievement badges online. Recent achievements are publicly displayed among all members of the university community. Earning badges and experience points may include prizes or new privileges, such as a printing codes, coffee at the university coffee shop, free textbooks, vouchers for the cafeteria, etc. The badge system will be assessed by tracking student achievements throughout their experience in higher education (e.g., participation in activities, scholarly achievement), including student perception, understanding, and regulation of student life (e.g. collaboration, mentoring) and resources. While the badges will be developed in collaboration with diverse organizations in the higher education institute, the distribution of the badges will occur as part of the online Scholar’s Quest project, administered by the participants of the project.   References Boyle, P., & Boice, B. (1998). Best practices for enculturation: Collegiality, mentoring, and structure. In M. S. Anderson (Ed.), The experience of being in graduate school: An exploration: 87–94. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Brown, J. S., Collins, A., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18 (1), 32-41 McGonigal, J. (2011). Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World.  Penguin Press. New York, NY. Sheldon, L. (2011). The multiplayer classroom. Boston, MA: Course Technology.      

Smithsonian Learning Quests

The Smithsonian is building learning quests—in both physical and digital spaces—that inspire students to explore their own ideas and interests online, in school, at home, and across the nation.

PI: Stephanie Norby (Smithsonian Center for Education & Museum Studies)
  John Walber (Learning Times)
  James Bernard (Microsoft Partners in Learning)
  Mark Nieker (Pearson Foundation)
  Elizabeth Fish (ePals)
  Gene Wilhoit (Council of Chief State School Officers)
The learning content, programs, or activities will be supported by badges. The Smithsonian is building learning quests—in both physical and digital spaces—that inspire students to explore their own ideas and interests online, in school, at home, and across the nation. The quests will provide a platform that connects learning communities of different ages and in different regions as they learn through discovery and collaboration.   Learning Goals and Domains:  The primary goal is to inspire youth to explore their own interests through a series of online interactive conferences, quests, and related incentive badges (currently called SHOUT). The second goal is to enhance students’ cognitive capabilities by incorporating knowledge and skill-building into the quests.  The online conferences and quests will cover a broad range of topics and content areas, offering students the opportunity to choose what they care about most.   AUDIENCE:  The target community is K-12 youth, with an emphasis on intermediate/middle school grades.  All quests will engage students in exploring a topic of interest either as part of a formal standards-aligned school curriculum or as a student-driven after school activity.   An important secondary audience is educators, whose support is vital in connecting with students. To this end, educators will also be offered badges that will document their participation in Smithsonian online conferences, online professional development sessions, and the completion of class projects.   SCHEDULE:  During regularly scheduled live online interactive conferences, experts tell stories about their own research investigations, problems they encountered, and how they confronted these problems; and educators and students pose questions and express their own ideas.   All conference sessions are archived for later viewing  (see . Unscheduled learning takes place during quests related to these conference sessions.    Learning Experience:  Some quests will be highly-structured citizen science or civic action projects, some will be open-ended investigations and creative exercises, and others will be developed by students and educators and shared with the larger online community.    In 2011 the Smithsonian piloted highly structured environmental quests during SHOUT online conferences ( ). The quests included citizen science projects with specific protocols on tree-banding (Attachment A), training videos for oral history challenges (Attachment B), and demonstrations and how-to instructions for scientific illustration and herbariums (  A downloadable teachers’ guide included additional, less structured, quests using free technology tools .  Other quests may be contributed by educators.  A Colorado teacher watched an online conference session with her second grade students on the environmental impact of deer populations.  She posted her students’ investigations and civic actions and this work could become a new quest (Attachment C).   The Skills, Competencies and Achievements Badges Will Validate  Badge Type 1 is for participation within the online community—posting comments on other students’ projects, collaborating online, or serving as an online mentor.   Badge Type 2 is for demonstration of skills in the cognitive domain.  Students will increase their knowledge during online interactive conferences with experts; they will increase their ability to apply, synthesize, analyze, and evaluate information as they complete quests; and their accomplishments will be recognized through the acquisition of badges.   Identity and Roles:  Students will assume different roles—scientist, artist, anthropologist, or historian—depending on the content of the quest.  They may also assume different identities as collaborators completing a citizen science quest, as leaders taking action in their own community, or as creators making a documentary movie.    Opportunities and Privileges:  Smithsonian subject matter and evaluation experts in collaboration with Learning Times will design quests for the 2012 online conferences on “Water Matters” and a series of digital badges recognizing increasing levels of student achievement (Prototypes A and B).  Students may earn status as mentors, rights to access curators and collections, and higher level badges.  Educators may be invited to co-present during online conference sessions, have their “quests” published by the Smithsonian, or attend week-long Pearson funded workshops during the summer to develop new quests.    Existing Assessments:  Formal assessment of conference outcomes is currently conducted through participant surveys.  A discourse analysis of 4,000 conference interactions revealed that critical thinking was fostered in the earlier stages of problem solving (problem identification and definition) and confirmed the facilitator’s role in promoting critical thinking. The findings support the need to complement online conferences with activities—such as quests—that encourage post-conference problem exploration and application.   Currently, participants post quests on partner websites and receive feedback from Smithsonian staff but no badges.   In the future, participants will post on a Smithsonian website that includes self-correction mechanisms for data entry, rubrics with guidelines for age-appropriate responses, and badges to validate accomplishments.   The Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies has two full-time evaluators on staff who will supervise the development of assessments.   Partners and Organizations: The Smithsonian collaborates with Microsoft Partners in Learning, TakingITGlobal, and ePals to deliver online conferences and related quests.  Educators and students posted over 500 projects on partner websites in the first year. The Smithsonian also partners with the Council of Chief State School Officers to promote Smithsonian resources and opportunities through their networks.  The Smithsonian works closely with Pearson Foundation’s New Learning Institute to offer week-long summer workshops for teens and educators. During these workshops, teams collaborate on crafting learning experiences based on their interests and needs; some of these experiences could become quests. (See videos of workshops at )   Administration of Badges: In 2012 the Smithsonian will pilot a badging system for the online SHOUT conferences titled “Water Matters.” The badges will be deployed and displayed on, with an emphasis on supporting different ways of participating and recognizing levels of participation and skill development.      Branding:  The Smithsonian’s brand tagline is “Seriously Amazing,” reflecting that the Smithsonian is both serious about the work it does and amazing because of its potential to inspire everyone on their own learning journeys.   The Smithsonian seeks to “excite the learning in everyone” through an online quest and badge system that publicly rewards students and educators who will be our future leaders, innovators, and problem-solvers.      

After School/Out of School   K-12 Classroom/ Common Core   Career/Workforce
Smithsonian Natural History Badges

PI: Rebecca Bray (Smithsonian Institution - NMNH)
  Smithsonian Natural History Badges The National Museum of Natural History has been considering instituting a badge-type system for a year or so now, as part of a broad rethinking of how we engage with our audiences. We are in the midst of building an exciting new Science Education Center, which, when it opens in 2013, will be the largest dedicated education space in a natural history museum in the world, filled with 20,000 specimens and objects—making it the largest visitor-accessible collection in the world—along with working examples of the tools that scientists use. We are also leading the various Smithsonian units in developing a pan-Smithsonian consortium committed to lifelong STEM education efforts. We are committed to lifelong learning, and a well-thought badge system can help our audience engage with science over time, more fully comprehend the science skills they are gaining, and demonstrate to others the skills they have gained, all leading, we hope, to more informed and science-aware citizens. To that end, we propose a family of Smithsonian Natural History Badges that engage our audiences at the museum and online in a dynamic set of science activities that will expand over time.   What will participants gain? As visitors participate in the missions that make up the badge program, they will build science, communication, and technical skills. Whether they embark on the Forensic Mystery Mission or the Dino Tracks Quest, they will be engaged in a tiered set of activities that encourages them to try more challenging projects, and acknowledges the science skills they are gaining. We envision four tiers of the system. At the first tier in the badge system they will learn important fundamental science skills, such as how to collect evidence and how to generate and read data accurately. The second tier of learning will introduce more advanced science concepts, such as understanding how to restructure environments using data or how to identify mystery specimens. At the third and fourth level, participants can choose to take part in the Naturalist, Lab Science, or Science Communicator strands. The names are not final, but the concept is that the Naturalist badges will focus on skills that replicate scientists’ field work, such as observing behavior in the wild. The Lab Science badges will build on skills such as using specimens to do in-depth science, and the Communicator participants will build on technical and media skills such as creating data visualizations, mobile games and videos to communicate ideas.   How will it work? In the Education Center, people will develop skills by doing activities. At the end of an activity, they can talk to a volunteer or use a touch screen to take a digital survey that measures their level of understanding. If they demonstrate sufficient understanding, they get points and a recommendation for a next step activity. After gaining a certain number of points, the participant gains a badge, which can be automatically rewarded by the content management system.   Who is the audience? A primary audience for the Smithsonian Natural History Badges will be visitors to our museum, who will be introduced to our badges through the Education Center. Our diverse audience of seven million a year will have opportunities onsite to participate in the badges system. Visitors can participate in hands-on activities during their visit and then continue to engage with us when they get home, by working on our website to gain more points and badges. Also, our successful teen programs would become part of this badge system, so that the youth are more clearly acknowledged and rewarded for their participation.   What, exactly, will people get? In our grand vision, at all levels, badge recipients can be honored on our website. At the first two tiers of engagement, participants gain points, as evidenced by a digital certificate sent by email or printed. If they gain a badge at the first or second level, they get a digital badge emailed to them along with a real badge if they are at the museum. They also get their own personal spot on our website, where they can save, curate and create their own content. At the forth tiers, participants have an opportunity to take part in a mentorship at the museum and gain behind-the-scenes access. Some work will be displayed in the museum and the individuals who reach the forth tier will have special status at the institution as advanced citizen scientists.   What do we already have in place? As part of the Education Center design and development, we are building some of the infrastructure to support this system, for example, A personalization and content management system that will allow us to keep track of what visitors do both onsite and online and give recommendations. Digital tools for people to use both onsite and online and a mobile app that visitors can use as their own Field Notebook to curate and create their own work and share their accomplishments and badges with others. A range of activities that will form the tiers of the Education Center learning program. Assessment tools for measuring the educational impact of our programs. What we do not yet have, and are looking to this competition to help figure out and fund, is a fully fleshed-out, well-designed badge system. The badge system, if we are able to develop it, will fully connect the onsite and online experience and enable an online badge system, in order to reach a broader audience.   How might this grow over time? We see a lot of potential for this to expand to the other Smithsonian museums, so that the badge system might grow to include art and history museums and international field stations, as well as Smithsonian partners, such as the Encyclopedia of Life. To that end, we are looking for a badge design that takes advantage of the name recognition of the Smithsonian brand, leaves room for partnerships and is expandable to a family of badges with infinite grown potential.

Solar Racers

Solar Racers introduces high school and middle school students to green technologies by building and showcasing desktop solar cars with a program of four (4) forty-five (45) minute lesson plans and additional pull-out activities that expose students to the basics of solar energy, photovoltaic technology, electricity, and green tech career opportunities, culminating in a solar car race!

PI: Lonny Stern (STEM Council at Skillpoint Alliance)
  Drew Scheberle (Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce)
  AMD (Ward Tisdale)
  Steve Amos (Green Ribbon Schools)
  Michele Walker-Moak (Applied Materials)
  Leah Smith (Office of the Governor, Texas Film Commission)
STEM Council at Skillpoint Alliance Skillpoint Alliance is a workforce development non-profit in Austin, TX that partners with industry, education and the community to improve college and career success and build a qualified workforce.   The Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Council is a consortium of high tech and education executives that address education and workforce development for the engineering and technology industries in Central Texas.  The STEM Council offers project-based, K-16 STEM programs in Robotics, Green Tech, and Digital Media with a focus on: Connecting classrooms to industry applications, and Reaching students under-represented in STEM fields. Solar Racers was initiated by Applied Materials, an industry partner interested in preparing students for engineering careers in silicon-based technologies, such as semiconductors and photovoltaics.  The Austin STEM Council will deliver this web and tablet-based program in partnership with Green Ribbon Schools and develop a badging system with Kalani Games, who will work with twenty high school interns to design, develop, and test this system during our GameOn! Velocity Prep program this summer.  Learning Content The STEM Council proposes a badge system recognizing “Green Technology Achievements” in conjunction with scaling Solar Racers across the Green Ribbon Schools network.  Current Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards don’t require students to study electricity or green technology; Solar Racers empowers Instructors to include Energy Education in core curriculum and recognize student achievement in this specialization.  Our current curriculum addresses Cognitive, Psychomotor, and Affective domains of learning across four lesson plans and a “Solar Car Smackdown” hosted by Applied Materials, and it is aligned to meet TEKS for middle and high school science.  Solar Racers introduces students to practical applications of Energy Science and Mathematics, using CAD, designing electrical systems, the engineering design process, and group presentations.      Skills, Competencies, Capacities, Qualities and Achievements Solar Racers develops STEM skills that support a Green Technology college and career path.  The program will benefit from a badging system by providing students a way to earn recognition for “Green Technology Achievements” beyond the core science requirements.  As students demonstrate proficiencies they will receive milestone badges that “unlock” privileges and activities while ensuring Students have “leveled up” to the skills needed to join a Project Team, go on Industry Site Tours, or design a working Solar Car.       Identity and roles Classrooms participating in Solar Racers are given car kits, and each car is designed and raced by a team of five (5) students.  Racing Teams are comprised of a Project Team Lead, who “hires” an Electrical Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Design Manager, and Business Analyst based on who has “unlocked” skills necessary for those roles.  All team members share responsibility for delivering a scientific journal, CAD sketches, and final presentation.  Team members use a 360-review process so individual work is evaluated by Team Members, Instructors, and the Student; and evaluations could result in reassignment to another role within the team.  Course completion will provide students with a “Solar Racer” badge.   Opportunities or Privileges A badging system will positively reinforce student engagement by recognizing skills before “unlocking” hands-on activities, eligibility to be “hired” by a Racing Team, and an “invitation” to an Industry Site Visit or Solar Race.  Student milestones will be publically posted on, with individuals and teams earning recognition on the leaderboard, invitations, and a lasting record of accomplishment.      Existing assessments Solar Racers is designed to meet TEKS in Sixth Grade and several High School Science courses.  Quantitative assessment can be achieved through game-based play, as students identify: Renewable vs. Non-renewable Energy; Active vs. Passive Solar; Kinds of photovoltaic (PV) panels and their function; Types of PV energy storage; Electricity vocabulary; and The importance of solar orientation.  Qualitative assessments can be captured through 360-review, as students earn recognition for: Leading or participating in a design team; Submitting a scientific journal; Delivering a presentation; and Completing CAD sketches. Students are not acknowledged currently on their transcripts for participation in energy education.  Developing a public “Solar Car” badge will provide verifiable proof of this achievement.   Partners and Organizations  AMD:  Semiconductor design innovator that powers PCs, game consoles and servers.  Currently Chair of the STEM Council, AMD hosts the Game On! Texas Conference, focusing Texas' existing digital media education programs and using game development for STEM learning.    Applied Materials:  Provider of innovative equipment, services and software for manufacturing semiconductor, flat panel display, and photovoltaic products.      Green Ribbon Schools:  Web-based award program encouraging and recognizing schools working to promote students’ STEM skills and healthy lifestyles.       Kalani Games:  Game design studio focused on innovative entertainment titles for tablet, mobile, Facebook, console, PC, online and handheld platforms.      Texas Film Commission, Office of the Governor: Provides industry and educational support for Digital Media, including a liaison for the Animation & Video Game Industry   In addition to youth programs offered through the STEM Council, Skillpoint Alliance offers rapid adult workforce training through Gateway; which issues industry-recognized certifications for adult learners within 6 to 8 weeks of intensive training.       Administration of the badges The STEM Council will launch Solar Racers on, where students can interact with core content, and integrate web and tablet-based content delivery.  Instructors will oversee design work, journals, racing performance, and professional presentations and award student performance with Milestone Badges.  Student achievement will be displayed on regional leaderboards and teams will compete for invitations to special events.         Branding Skillpoint Alliance is a workforce development agency specializing in Rapid Skill Training for adults and College and Career Awareness programs for youth.  We are developing a badging system for Solar Racers because we believe successful implementation will enable Skillpoint to deploy a badging system across our entire family of programs.  The game mechanics of badging provide a more compelling user interface for youth to be recognized for their achievements in our STEM programs, while badging could support Adult Certification programs with a permanent, public record of achievements and industry-recognized certifications.    

STEM   Arts/Design   After School/Out of School
Student Union

PI: Stephen Gilman (Center for Creative Education)
  Student Union A Stage One Proposal for Badges for Lifelong Learning   WHY WE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT BADGES The open badge system is highly complementary to the Center for Creative Education’s (CCE) approach to learning. Over the past 20 years, CCE’s core strength has been in after-school arts and technology education school day academic remediation and acceleration programming project-based, experiential learning curriculum design and teacher training new school incubation Our strategic focus is “engagement before learning”—a young person is not likely to take ownership of their learning if they are not passionate about it first.   This badge proposal introduces a new and transforming secondary school model for American public education. With this plan, CCE intends to create an alternative high school program that serves at-risk students and acts as a prototype for how badges could be implemented at the school/district/system level. Our longstanding partnership with our local Kingston City School District gives us a critical platform in which to reach our target student audience: at-risk students. We have already demonstrated our great value to the District in incubating the Carnegie Learning Center, a 10th-12th grade alternative, project-based learned school-within-a-school in a once derelict but now newly renovated 1904 Andrew Carnegie library. We are ready to take our expertise and experience to a new level in prototyping what a badge-based learning community would look like within this school district and beyond. Our ongoing and award-winning programs in hip hop, break dance, street art, electronic music production, drumming, ballet, parkour, acting, fashion design, painting, theater, sculpture, movie making and more have sparked levels of engagement in kids that motivate them in school, college and their careers beyond. As our Teaching Artists have been working with kids in these specific fields for years, CCE would create an initial model round of badges in these areas.   CHANGING THE LEARNING PARADIGM: THE OLD SYSTEM VS. STUDENT UNIONTraditional schooling is based on the “the three R’s” and a standard battery of teacher-designed, lecture-based, state-mandated curricula. In this industrial-era model, compulsory attendance required students to be in the seats, to exist in a state of “being told.” In Student Union, there are no required seats and learning starts with passion and inspiration. Students readily state “I want to be here because...” In the old model, lecture, note-taking and assessment are the soul-killing norm. In Student Union, project-based inquiry, demonstration of ability, and exhibition of mastery are everyday experiences. In this new model students can say: ”This is where I failed and where I learned and how I achieved mastery.” In the old model, students react to teacher questions, tests, and state exams. In Student Union, students practice, share and exhibit their learning by earning skills-based badges. Students create their own learning objectives and self-assessment based on those standards. They also continuously revise and improve their work as they pursue their badges.   Our audience is the kids who public education has left behind. Sure, kids who excel will totally get our model. But what about kids who are dropping out and falling through the cracks? Those are kids who CCE has had success with for over two decades. What if these kids could be part of a new educational model that will transform learning, community and creativity in America? CCE believes we should educate these students, not to take tests, but to transform their chosen learning spaces and workplaces into the next economy through teamwork, transparency and innovation. We’re focused on these kids—the kids who “school” doesn’t work for. That’s as much as 90% of young people, especially in inner-city districts (where, Student Union, like CCE, will work the best). What we want to achieve ultimately with Student Union is a unique and compelling learning experience, one passion at a time--owned and operated by the students.   THE BASIC SYSTEM Instead of classes, Student Union is rooted in three domains of learning, called Core Competencies (based on the Partnership for 21st Century Skills): Communicator: Communication & Collaboration (nonverbal, verbal, written, interpersonal, media) Builder: Critical Thinking & Problem-Solving (research, scientific method, innovation) Creator: Creativity (brainstorming, revision, invention)   OLD WAY TO WORK OUR WAY* WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE? Not talking, not sharing, not critiquing with care, working alone COMMUNICATOR: Communication & Collaboration   ·          listen for meaning ·          ask clarifying questions ·          articulate thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written and nonverbal communication ·          use communication to inform, instruct, motivate and persuade ·          utilize multiple media and technologies and assess their impact ·          be understood in diverse environments ·          respect diversity in people, talents and shortcomings, ·          be flexible and willing to compromise ·          assume shared responsibility ·          value each individual contribution ·          leadership Somebody thinking for you and telling you what to do BUILDER: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving   ·          reason inductively & deductively ·          analyze how parts interact to make whole ·          evaluate evidence, arguments, claims, points of view and beliefs ·          make connections ·          synthesize various ideas into a new idea ·          interpret ·          draw conclusions ·          reflect on learning experiences and processes Relying on teacher for ideas CREATOR: Creativity ·          brainstorm ·          contribute ·          elaborate ·          refine ·          improve ·          maximize ·          fail frequently ·          seize opportunity ·          invent * Which companies want to hire young people with these skills? Adobe, Apple, CISCO, Crayola, Dell, Ford, HP, Intel, Lego, Microsoft, Verizon, Disney--learn more at  The only “classes” or “courses” in this model will be in these three Core Competencies. Every teacher, or Guide, helps to facilitate growth in these core skills. It is critical to note here that teachers earn badges as well. In addition to an initial core set of badges in the arts and technology, CCE would use its experience in teacher development to create another set of pedagogical badges in areas such as project-based learning, experiential learning, service learning, student self assessment and exhibition, etc.   Early on in their participation in Student Union, each student self identifies in a Core Competency, a decision that can change over time and in the long run should align with skills performance in the pursuit of badges. Core Competencies are skills learned and reinforced with each badge pursued.   EARNING BADGES The Student Union badge system is open source and students, teachers, parents and community-members are encouraged to create new badges. Badges are open-source and will evolve similar to the way a Wikipedia page changes and improves over time. Students, with advice from team members and Guides, assign themselves Independent Study based on badges they wish to pursue or create. Because badges are earned through demonstrations of Core Competencies in the prospective badge’s field, every badge represents a real opportunity and attempt to improve in ones Core Competencies.   Each badge is earned through a demonstration of learning, called an Exhibition. Exhibitions are multimedia and must include a Standard of Learning which includes Key Understanding points in knowledge (what one must know) and application (what one must be able to do with that knowledge). Knowledge will be primarily from readily available resources such as Wikipedia, Kahn Academy, iTunes University, MIT's OpenCourseWare, Peer-2-Peer University, and of course, the online badges of other students.   Independent Study is done During Design Time, blocks of time that begin with a brief planning period in which Learning Objectives are defined with a key criteria being the ability to complete a Learning Objective during Design Time. Badge applications are created in Design Time and delivered during Independent Study Check Ins at the end of Design Time. During Design Time planning and check in times, team members are consulted by their peers based on Core Competency strengths. Teams of three (one from each CC) plan together. Teams of six (two from each CC) make up check in groups.   Badge applications are posted online anonymously and can be refreshed continuously until final submission during the application process in the form of videos, websites, nings, prezis, etc. Each badge must contain a: thesis in the field of study a new idea contributed in the form of a product of art and or commerce (NOTE: CCE’s model will follow Mozilla’s badge infrastructure model and component criteria.)   Badge Applications are evaluated in three ways: Self Assessment: Rubrics for a badge are created along with Learning Objectives by the student creating the badge Peer Evaluation: an online rating system of five stars possible in each of the Core Competencies, much like the rating systems for products in online stores or review sites Panel Review: led by a Community Expert in the field, similar to a doctoral dissertation board   It is important to note that students do not fail in their badge application—they establish Revision Points through the critique of peers and experts as noted above. Guides aid students in the revision process until the student submits a badge that meets the criteria as outlined below. Critically, this process merges assessment with the learning moment (“formative assessment”).   Badges have color-coded borders corresponding to Mastery Level:   BADGE BORDER COLOR MASTERY LEVEL KEY ACHIEVEMENT Bronze Novice Student has begun badge application and has created badge Learning Objectives Silver Journeyman Student has earned an average three star rating across Core Competencies according to Peer Evaluation and Panel Review Gold Master Student has earned an average four star rating across Core Competencies according to Peer Evaluation and Panel Review Platinum Guide Student has students shared their badge learning with another learner and that person has become a Novice in that badge ( a key component in propagating the badge learning system)   Applications are shared online as a start to the badge application process and are evaluated on the Core Competencies:   Communication and Collaboration must be demonstrated through self-assessment, peer critique in trial panels, and a process of revision in which demonstrations of learning are saved and mastery points are notated. This will allow students reference points to show specific advancements in Key Understanding and Application during Panel Reviews. Critical Thinking is demonstrated through the process of the scientific method, SWOT, rhetorical development, etc. Creativity is demonstrated through a student’s ability to produce a unique and compelling product based on the badge subject.   A critical and final stage of badge mastery is in sharing one’s badge learning with peers in an effective way. The final criteria for badge attainment is in ensuring that another student begin the process of earning that badge themselves.   LEVELLING UP Grade levels and matriculation in general within the traditional public education system do little to represent a student’s knowledge, abilities or passions. The Student Union program will instead allow students a more self-guided, organic path toward learning. As fast or as slow as they go, every step of every badge application will reinforce the same Core Competencies. To level up in a Core Competency a student must earn a certain number of Required and Elective badges in that area. More basic badges would be earned first with knowledge and skill building toward abilities to apply for more advanced badges as one levels up.   SUPPORTING IDEAS This system takes advantage of key components of technology and communication such as: social media-like seeker profiles status updates in the form of badge achievement and revision advancement based upon a video game-like trial and error and retrial application self identification and personification similar to guild selection in MMRPGs workflow based in the scientific method, Kaizen and Scrum methodology open source knowledge evolution and sharing as exemplified by Wikipedia and OpenCourseWare--students who excel in certain Core Competencies actually contribute to the body of knowledge and everyone else's ability to understand

Sweet Water Aquapons (AQUAPONS)

The Sweet Water Aquapons program (AQUAPONS), will utilize a badge-based learning system to support the next generation of innovators in the field of aquaponics, an innovative sustainable farming technique.

PI: Jesse Blom (Sweet Water Foundation Inc. )
Sweet Water Aquapons (AQUAPONS)     The Sweet Water Aquapons program (AQUAPONS), will utilize a badge-based learning system to support the next generation of innovators in the field of aquaponics, an innovative sustainable farming technique.  The program will be administered by Sweet Water Foundation (SWF), an organization that offers educational programs in the field of urban agriculture, for the purpose of building resilient, food secure, urban communities.  AQUAPONS will build upon SWF’s development of a comprehensive set of “Kindergarten to Career” STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning opportunities in partnership with K-12 educators and post-secondary learning institutions.  Such learning opportunities are being developed through the Midwest Aquaponics Expertise Development Initiative (MAEDI).         Curricular Focus Since its inception in December 2009, SWF has been developing and implementing innovative hands-on educational programming in the realm of urban agriculture.  A key focus of this programming is education around the topic of aquaponics, the symbiotic cultivation of plants and fish in a re-circulating water system.  Aquaponics is a promising, sustainable food production technology for urban communities.  For K-12 education, aquaponics is a dynamic interactive teaching tool that integrates environmental science, biology, chemistry, agriculture, mathematics, engineering, economics, and other disciplines.  SWF has helped install over fifteen miniature aquaponics systems within schools in Milwaukee and Chicago since 2010.  This number will continue to increase as aquaponics continues to gain traction as a valuable teaching tool.  Aquaponics can illuminate and reinforce core curriculum in schools, as well as be taught as a standalone subject. Currently, thorough MAEDI SWF is designing curriculum units around aquaponics.  AQUAPONS is a training and assessment program to ensure that teachers and students are aware of the complex interactions between physical and biological components in aquaponics systems.  Teachers and students who are responsible for building and maintaining aquaponics systems must know how to manage and manipulate the system so that it is healthy and well-balanced. The AQUAPONS training is flexible in form, so that it can implemented at any site, as long as there is access to a functional aquaponics system. Trained SWF staff, coaches, or teachers will implement the AQUAPONS training.  The target audience for the AQUAPONS program are K-12 teachers and students, who are learning aquaponics as an integrated aspect of their school’s curriculum.   Earning a Badge                               The AQUAPONS training program integrates content-based instruction with practical, hands-on training.  Participants learn the information behind aquaponics as well as how to build and maintain such systems.  There are a number of different badges that will be awarded through AQUAPONS: 1) Concepts of Aquaponics 2) Growing Styles 3) Bacteria 4) Plants 5) Fish 6) Water Chemistry 7) Habitat Maintenance 8) Design and Construction 9) Presentation of Learning Furthermore, there will be four different levels of each badge.: Badge Level 1) Advanced Beginner Badge Level 2) Competent Performer Badge Level 3) Proficient Performer Badge Level 4) Expert Someone who earns Fish Badge Level 1 will demonstrate a beginner’s knowledge of fish, whereas Fish Badge Level 4 indicates a mastery of content knowledge as well as effortless proficiency and creativity in caring for fish. Participants who earn badges will increase their capacity to serve as “AQUAPON Associates,” who hold increasing responsibilities in maintaining, and eventually, designing and building aquaponics systems.  As the students and teachers continue to earn badges, they will gain access to volunteer and work opportunities at the Sweet Water physical site, including serving as a tour guide, educational aide, or farm assistant. The badges for each curricular area will be earned through written assessments, photo and video projects, and in-person demonstrations of proficiency.   Digital Enhancement of AQUAPONS The AQUAPONS training program would be significantly enhanced by a digital media component.  SWF and MTEC currently utilize Moodle as a tool for online dialog and for document and data sharing.  Possibilities for digital enhancement include more interactive online tools that allow AQUAPONS participants in various locations to share information and communicate freely with one another. There is also great possibility for an interactive virtual simulation of an aquaponics system. Participants would be able to adjust variables within the system in order to test hypotheses without harming live organisms in the process. The simulation could also provide relevant “mini-lessons,” puzzle activities and interactions with other learners and could serve participants without direct access to an aquaponics system.   Collaborations True to the nature of urban agriculture and aquaponics, AQUAPONS will be a dynamic and interdisciplinary program, bringing together a variety of partners for mutual benefit.  Milwaukee Teacher Education Center (MTEC) MTEC is SWF’s principal partner in K-12 education, and the lead agency behind the Midwest Aquaponics Expertise Development Initiative (MAEDI).   MTEC provides expert educational coaches – mostly retired teachers, to help teachers with curriculum development and delivery. Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) and Alverno College MSOE and Alverno College represent SWF’s strong connection to Milwaukee’s higher education community.  MSOE will provide a team of student mentors to help with structural and functional elements of aquaponics at the K-12 level.  Alverno College will provide an interdisciplinary team of “Data Viz” interns, who will help to gather data from aquaponics systems and translate it into visual representation for the student audience.   These mentors and interns will work as liaisons between their professors, SWF staff members, and K-12 students and teachers.  This intergenerational collaboration will serve as a critical bridge between students and STEM learning opportunities that will form a “Kindergarten to Career” Pipeline, increasing students’ access to jobs in the field of food sciences as well as other STEM-related occupations. Sweet Water Organics (SWO)  SWF operates within the same re-purposed factory building as the SWO urban farm.  SWO’s industrial application of aquaponics provides AQUAPONS participants a real-life example of a community-based food production facility. Aquaponics Association SWF is a member of the recently formed Aquaponics Association, which provides best practices and guidance for practitioners of aquaponics around the world. Snowfall Creative Operating out of SWO/ SWF’s facilities, Snowfall Creative is a digital media group that will manage AQUAPONS branding materials, providing design for the badges.  

K-12 Classroom/ Common Core   STEM   Career/Workforce
TIG Badges: Inspiring Global Learning and Citizenship

Enhancing and expanding TakingITGlobal’s badge system, by developing badge “quests” and integrating badges into internal and partner initiatives, would further our mandate of empowering youth to understand and act on the world’s greatest challenges.

PI: Michael Furdyk (TakingITGlobal)
  Terry Godwaldt (Centre for Global Education)
  IntroductionTakingITGlobal (TIG) is an international charitable organization which serves youth worldwide through a multilingual online learning community and innovative education programs. Our mission is to empower young people to understand and act on the world's greatest challenges. We do this through our social network for social good (, various learning and engagement initiatives for youth, and through our platform for educators ( launched an automated badge system in early 2011 with 24 badges to recognize member contributions to our programs and online community and to promote the use of our site’s features. Over 9,000 Badges have been awarded to date, for online actions such as building global contacts, uploading videos, artwork or sharing comments and resources, as well as for participating in specific initiatives such as the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS,  Tread Lightly and our volunteer and multilingual teams. The overall learning goals of the badge system are to inspire global awareness and civic participation in line with our vision: youth everywhere actively engaged and connected in shaping a more inclusive, peaceful and sustainable world. TIG badges recognize skills such as sharing and collaboration, communication, and critical thinking, serving to encourage and normalize online behaviors that expand social capital in the area of civic engagement. (Mejias, Ulises A. (2010). The Limits of Networking as Models for Organizing the Social) TIG's badges are built to align with the aesthetics and structure of the site. Visual elements such as bright colours and site icons direct members to corresponding site sections. For example, the resourcefulness badge shares a yellow file icon with TIG’s resources site section, and the artiste badge is a purple paintbrush to correspond with TIG’s youth media site section. Multiple actions are required to earn a badge, with certain actions (like signing a petition) approved automatically, and other actions (like the submission of content)  subject to approval. Administration of badges is supported by volunteers who review content before badges are awarded and displayed on member profiles.   This proposal outlines TIG’s plans for developing our badge system to advance our mandate of empowering and supporting youth in driving positive social change. Success in this competition would enable us to: enhance the badge system to  facilitate deeper, more continuous learning journeys; integrate badges into more of TIG’s initiatives as well as our platform for educators; and support our partners to utilize the badge system in their programming.Looking AheadBadges reward independent engagement with our site and initiatives, and there is currently no option for advancement within badge categories. Expanding on this, the new badge system would facilitate "quests," including levels which incentivize ongoing learning and engagement over time. Quests could also provide a system for ongoing recognition and competition within our community. Certain badges could afford members privileges such as submitting content without being subject to the usual approval process and receiving special consideration for internships and volunteer programs with TIG. Moving forward, we would also like to integrate the badge system into even more initiatives and make it available across all of the site’s 13 languages.Badges could also be integrated into the TakingITGlobal for Educators (TIGed) platform to support both teacher and student engagement.Paralleling the use of badges on the TIG site to recognize, reward and incentivize online contributions, educator badges could be developed and awarded in relation to: The TIGed Community, with badges given to educators who complete their profiles, are active in discussion boards, and share their stories to inspire others; The TIGed Resource Database, with badges offered to educators who have contributed lesson plans and activities, shared resources, and rated or reflected on content; The TIGed Virtual Classroom and Collaboration Platform, with badges earned by actively using classroom spaces to engage students in online learning and international partnerships; and TIGed Professional Development, with badges awarded for participation in our accredited e-courses in global education and project-based learning. Moreover, since many of the online tools used when acquiring badges through the TIG site are also available within TIGed virtual classrooms, badges and quests could also be integrated into the virtual classroom platform. For example, the Artiste badge could be adapted for use in the virtual classroom by having the artwork contributed to a class gallery rather than to TIG's Global Gallery. Ideally, educators would not only be able to enable and customize badges as a classroom tool but also design their own learning quests. Student badges would reinforce the roles and identifies highlighted through the existing badge system on TIG, such as  communicator, ally, and artist, helping students to identify and appreciate their strengths and abilities. They can also be used by teachers as an indicator and measure of students’ online engagement and participation. Without core funding to support operating costs, TIG partners with like-minded organizations to develop custom web solutions that use TIG’s tools, supporting the sustainability of the organization. Because many partner websites already use TIG tools compatible with the badge system, there is great potential to support these organizations to integrate badges into their programming. We would also like to see our badges appear in a Mozilla "badge backpack" to increase the compatibility of our badges with other badge-granting platforms to make our system relevant to a wider audience.     ConclusionTakingITGlobal already has the beginnings of a solid badge infrastructure designed to develop 21st Century skills, build global citizenship, and increase civic engagement. With support from the MacArthur Foundation, we hope to build upon this system by creating guided badge quests and further integrating badges into TIG initiatives, bringing badges and quests to the TIGed platform, and sharing them with partners and networks. Considering the broad cultural and linguistic reach of TIG’s network, we believe that our badge system would make a meaningful and significant contribution to the Mozilla badge backpack, one uniquely dedicated to supporting youth to take local and global action to shape a better world.

Civics/Community/Volunteerism   K-12 Classroom/ Common Core   Environment
Teen Tech Badges

High School students select and complete tasks within Career, Academic, Technology and Service curriculum tracks to earn badges and to demonstrate mastery of a wide range of 21st century skills.

PI: Dolly Joseph (Computers4Kids)
Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000206 EndHTML:0000038261 StartFragment:0000021926 EndFragment:0000038225 SourceURL:file:///Volumes/officeshare-1/teen_tech/recommendation_letters/C4K_dml_app_word_count.doc The learning content, programs, or activities that will be supported by badges Since 2001, Computers4Kids (C4K) has offered award winning technology training and mentoring programs for 7-12th grade low-income students in Charlottesville, Virginia. Students work in collaborative one-on-one relationships with adult mentors to develop technology and life skills. Students commit to a 9-12 month mentoring program; graduates of this program then participate in Teen Tech (T2), a program designed to aid the transition to post-high school life. Student enrollment and orientation take place year round in C4K’s lab space. As students progress through the C4K programs, they have the opportunity to work alongside peers, with mentors, and C4K staff members to complete program requirements, learn and apply valuable computer skills, complete their regular school homework and enjoy free access to the Internet in a safe and supervised environment. Badges are currently implemented in the Teen Tech program; a schedule for implementation in the mentoring program is in place. The skills, competencies and achievements badges will validate Teen Tech students currently work within Career, Academic, Technology and Service curriculum tracks to earn badges. Students select a track and consult with a staff member to choose appropriate content and goals. Students practice and develop 21st century skills through their badge activities. Some representative examples include: Academic Badge: Students improve their SAT score by taking 3 practice tests, charting their progress, analyzing the growth and presenting the summary of their accomplishments and needs.  (Core Subjects, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving Skills, Information Literacy, Life Skills) Technology Badge: Students use software applications to create interactive portfolios of edited photographs using Adobe Fireworks, Photoshop and Dreamweaver. (Innovation Skills, Communication, Media Literacy, ICT Literacy, Career Skills) Academic Badge: Students improve their English writing skills through essay-writing. Their essays contain compelling written arguments and defend them with concrete examples. Their work is checked for proper grammar and spelling.  (Core Subjects, Critical Thinking, Information Literacy, Life Skills) Service Badge: Students share their technology skills by planning and conducting an hour-long workshop for peers with a clear product. (Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Communication, Collaboration, Information Literacy, Media Literacy, ICT Literacy, Life and Career Skills) Career Badge: Students create a portfolio of work that includes a cover letter, resume, and brochure for a real world client. (Creativity, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Communication, Collaboration, Information and Media Literacies) Students accomplish these tasks by setting clear and discrete goals with staff, and working with volunteer adults and alongside peers. Students describe their activities within the framework of Plan, Learn & Practice, Critique & Revise, Reflect & Explain and Present (see attached). The badge framework is designed to allow flexibility of subject matter and technology tools, while ensuring that students work within a range of learning domains, choose relevant activities, and create high quality products. Students can earn badges across multiple tracks and multiple badges within one track. Badges are not hierarchical. Identity and roles As students complete Badge activities they assume different roles depending on their individually set goals. Common roles students assume include: Peer Tutor - students assist others with school homework or technology projects, Teacher - students facilitate workshops and/or assist with technology training, Graphic Designer - students design magazines, logos, and web icons using software applications such as Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Fireworks. Students demonstrate fluency in Adobe software by completing Adobe Certified Associate Program, an industry-regarded certification program, Author - students author blog posts critiquing and reviewing topics of interest.   Opportunities or Privileges Badge recipients are honored at the C4K annual graduation celebration. Other opportunities and privileges map to different badges depending upon the track. For example, students who successfully complete the Internship class, earn a Career Badge, and become eligible for competitive paid internships. While completing badges, students  work with caring adult volunteers who are experts in their fields, including Graphic Designers, Web Professionals, Educators and Librarians.    Existing assessments Evaluation is guided by C4K’s logic model (see attached), which was designed to align with the International Society for Technology Education’s National Educational Technology Standards (ISTE-NETS) and the standards of the National Youth Employment Council (NYEC). Program activities are directly tied to comprehensive evaluation tools. All Teen Tech badges are tracked by progress forms which students update regularly. This data is stored in a custom-built FileMaker database. The existing assessments and tools were created by C4K staff and volunteers. As badge development and refinement occurs, curricula changes can be mirrored in the data collection and storage tools. Partners and Organizations C4K manages the development of the learning content, program framework and activities. C4K’s Program Director, Dolly Joseph, holds a PhD in Instructional Technology and has 10 years experience in curriculum design and implementation. Dr. Nancy Deutsch, an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education sits on the C4K Board. Her research focus is on evaluating after-school programs for at-risk youth and informs C4K’ curriculum strategy. C4K has applied grant funds to engage a consultant, Christian Smith of m3 Consulting and Services, to refine the FileMaker database. Her continued services would be invaluable in further refinement of the database and creation of student input forms.  Administration of the badges A goal for C4K is to create an online portal that would allow students to view what program benchmarks they have achieved over their years’ long relationship with the program. The badges would be a natural fit for this page, and achievable with existing technology that C4K has and maintains. While C4K will display achievable badges on their website, due to safety concerns, identifiable information about students will not be displayed. Branding C4K has four colors for their logo and branding: purple, green, black and white. C4K has a clean, graphic style to its website and print publications with an emphasis on geometric shapes. There is a great deal of room for visual play and communication within these few constraints.

After School/Out of School   STEM   Career/Workforce
The Arcadia Badge Program: Measuring High-School Science Through Games

The Arcadia badge program will use public, free-choice games to acknowledge and reward mastery of high-school science content and inquiry as well as Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills like collaboration and digital literacy.

PI: Jodi Asbell-Clarke (TERC)
  Elizabeth Rowe (TERC)
  Teon Edwards (TERC)
  Nancy Trautmann (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
  Susan Gill (Stroud Water Research Center)
  Scott Kirk (GameGurus)
The Arcadia Badge Program: Measuring High-School Science Through Games   The Educational Gaming Environments group (EdGE) at TERC is uniquely positioned for the DML Badge Program. EdGE holds several National Science Foundation grants to imagine ubiquitous learning environments 5-10 years in the future. EdGE is studying how social digital games can bridge formal and informal learning. With its game development partner, GameGurus, it designed two prototype games, Martian Boneyards and Canaries in a Coalmine, to learn to engage a public audience in science and scientific inquiry (please see Figures 1 and 2 in Appendix). Currently, EdGE is focusing on supporting and assessing core high-school science learning goals through public, free-choice games. Researchers, game designers, educational materials developers, teachers, and students are working together to build Leveling Up game modules that the public will play in their free time and that contain advancement structures which will be validated against in-class, high-school performance science assessments. EdGE is also building a game environment, Arcadia, to surround these games within a web-based community that offers cross-game collaboration for larger, integrated meta-games spanning the entire U.S. high-school science curriculum. EdGE proposes to the MacArthur DML program to embed a badge system within this growing social digital gaming environment. The Arcadia badge program builds on EdGE’s significant work already underway with its game design partner, GameGurus, and leverages federal funds to design and validate game-based high-school science learning assessments. Badges for High School STEAM Learning The Arcadia badge program will offer a new way to acknowledge and reward mastery of high-school science content and inquiry as well as Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills like collaboration and digital literacy. Players will earn badges as they advance through the games. Each badge will focus on a learning goal from common core and national science education standards, with meta-games across topics building communication, collaboration, and scientific inquiry skills. Each module will have milestones to be accomplished and players’ advancement through the modules and the community-wide meta-games will mirror their understanding of the science content and development of ICT skills. For example, one game might enable players to make and fuse atoms to learn how elements are related to one another (different elements have different numbers of protons) and how the numbers of electrons and neutrons make the elements behave differently under different conditions. Players will play an atom navigating obstacle courses, encountering other atoms, electromagnetic fields, and settings that react to the properties of the player’s atom. They will be able to change their atom’s properties as they level up, becoming a new element or isotope that may facilitate the next challenge. Players’ success will rely on their understanding of the structure of the atom and the relationship of the elements on the periodic table. Each challenge will target the learning outcomes of typical high-school physics and chemistry curricula. Similarly, a game module on microbial science will address the formation, adaptation, and evolution of cells and microbial life. This might be an action game where players start as a basic cell and accept or reject mutations over generations so they evolve with particular strengths as they try to survive and reproduce while combating disease and increasingly difficult environmental conditions. Successful players will repeatedly apply understandings of evolutionary biology and the requirements for cellular life under increasingly complex conditions. A meta-game that ties these two games together might be a collaborative game where players who are producing atoms in the nuclear lab might exchange them for “food” generated in the microbial life game. Players will need to understand what the other has to offer and why developing a fair currency system is important to the story. This overarching game introduces the larger understanding that matter comprising life and nutrients is made of combinations of elements on the periodic table, as well as engineering design, mathematics, artistic, and ICT skills. This cross-disciplinary approach is rarely found in high-school curriculum, but is a natural opportunity for game design. Validating Science Learning Badges Under a current grant, EdGE is designing an initial set of game modules to serve as assessments for validation studies in a national sample of high-school classrooms. For each module, EdGE is identifying core content to be assessed. Students in science classes will be recruited to play the game, voluntarily, outside of class. The players’ content understandings will be assessed both within the game and in class. Not only will EdGE and GameGurus create a game-based advancement system that awards badges for various science and ICT content understandings and skills, but these badges also will be validated by game-based, high-school science assessments shown to be equivalent to classroom-based measures of science learning. Building Towards a Larger Badge Program EdGE is recruiting teachers nationwide from school districts that seek to transform their educational programming with technology. While it will ensure a diverse and representative target audience, EdGE is also using educational online spaces like Edmodo and EdSurge to reach innovative educators ready for new learning tools. While designing and testing game modules with teachers, EdGE will work with school administrators to establish criteria for equivalence between game-based assessments and high-school science credits. For example, reaching the 75% level of advancement in the atom game might earn a credit that replaces the atomic structure segment of a physics course. Advancing that far in six modules plus the meta-game may be enough to place out of the entire physics class. Developing the details of this equivalence is proposed for this DML award. Because Leveling Up and Arcadia are new projects for EdGE, the branding and functionality of the site can grow along with the DML badge program (see Figure 3 for an example). This allows maximum flexibility for branding and administering the badges. EdGE is eager to work with DML to make the Arcadia Badge system part of the Mozilla platform. This cross-project, large-scale, badge program is necessary for making strides in transforming how science learning is supported and measured in future learning environments.   Supplementary Materials   Figure 1: A screenshot of players searching for bones in Martian Boneyards     Figure 2: A screenshot of a players office with the activity feed in Canaries in a Coalmine   Figure 3: A mock up of a badge site that shows the points you can earn in each topic area (yellow stars), the player profile, and the commodities the players can sell across games and within the social networking community.  

STEM   Games/Gaming   K-12 Classroom/ Common Core
The Curiosity Machine

The Curiosity Machine challenges children to assume the role of creators, engineers, tinkerers and inventors as they make their way through a robust online curriculum of hands-on, kid-friendly engineering design projects.

PI: Tara Chklovski (Iridescent )
  Dr. Norman Fortenberry (American Society for Engineering Education )
  Erin Lenhert (
  Prof. Toby Cumberbatch (The Cooper Union )
  Ben Esner ( Director of K-12 STEM Education, NYU-Poly)
  Prof. Shri Naryanan (University of Southern California)
Learning Content and Activities/Identity & Roles   The Curiosity Machine challenges children to assume the role of creators, engineers, tinkerers and inventors as they make their way through a robust online curriculum of hands-on, kid-friendly engineering design projects. Through an interactive website and corresponding mobile phone apps, children can: Learn about science and engineering topics, from the biomechanics of breakdancing to boat design, through videos and a visually appealing, user-friendly interface See step by step instructions for related experiments and design projects  Conduct their own experiments and submit videos and photographs of the process and results Receive feedback and reviews of their experiments from scientists and engineers Participate in a collaborative community of learners, where peers share, comment and build on each other’s work Earn badges as they master various skills, progressing from “Builder” to “Engineer” to “Inventor” Earn internships, scholarships to summer camps and even college   The Curiosity Machine’s content, delivery and badge framework is currently designed primarily for students in grades 4-7 to encourage self-directed learning and foster curiosity, creativity and persistence. Learning can happen anytime, anywhere.   Overall learning goals are to develop children’s ability to 1) articulate scientific questions; 2) use models, diagrams, photos and drawings to elaborate on and present their ideas; 3) execute the engineering design cycle (articulate problems, identify constraints/solutions, build/test solutions, analyze results); and 4) persist in redesigning and testing models.   Instructional videos ( and lesson plans are derived from Iridescent’s successful “Engineers as Teachers” program, through which engineers learn to develop and teach hands-on lessons to elementary school children and their families. Our vision is for the Curiosity Machine to be the primary source of hands-on science and engineering lessons for all grades (providing ~850 lessons, we currently have ~50). The comprehensive breadth of content will be achieved through a crowdsourcing model of curriculum development. Iridescent will partner with the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and invite its 12000+ members to create content. Contributing engineers will have a badge framework as well, which will lead to a cash prize and award at the annual ASEE awards banquet. The content generated will be tested in Iridescent’s programs and then improved and adapted for online use by our internal team of curriculum developers and scientists.   Website prototype:   Curiosity Machine Demo Video (   Skills, Competencies and achievements badges will validate Our three primary badges, Builder, Engineer, and Inventor (each with 3-4 sub levels), encourage and reward curiosity and persistence. A user needs to submit 5 projects to move to the next level. The goal is to motivate and engage children in spending five hours tinkering and building each week.     The Curiosity Machine will also develop, and validate through badges, the following skills (guided by the 2007 International Society for Technology in Education student standards): Creativity and Innovation. Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making. Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate tools and resources. Research and Information Fluency. Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information. Communication and Collaboration. Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Badges may include things like the “Tesla Badge of Innovation,” when a child has submitted an original work, or the “Samuel Morse Badge” for communication, when a child has commented on/reviewed a certain number of experiments/designs submitted by others.   Opportunities or Privileges Iridescent will leverage its expertise in university and corporate partnerships to provide real world rewards that deepen scientific curiosity and learning. Every quarter, a panel of judges will review the project submissions and reward the three most innovative submissions. Children are eligible for summer camp scholarships, internships and even college scholarships on earning a Master Inventor’s badge.    Existing assessments  Iridescent’s existing (formative) assessment tool is based on the Conceptual Framework for new Science  Education Standards and is currently used in Iridescent’s programs. It can be accessed here: Iridescent will work with the Center for Children and Technology (CCT) to develop a longer-term assessment tool for the Curiosity Machine.   Partners and Organizations  Iridescent is a science and engineering education nonprofit that trains scientists, engineers and tech professionals to develop and teach project-based STEM lessons for underserved children and youth. Since 2006, we have trained ~400 of these professionals who have reached ~9000 children in Los Angeles, New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area. Our vision is to be the premier institution that helps STEM professionals communicate their passion to children through real-world projects.   Softserve ( is a software developing company that is building the Curiosity Machine’s online platform and mobile phone applications.    Engineering content will be crowdsourced. We will reach out to engineers through our partnering universities: University of Southern California, The Cooper Union, NYU-Poly, University of Minnesota, and the American Society for Engineering Education. These partnerships will also provide access to research field trips and summer camp opportunities.    CCT will provide assessment support. is the country’s leading source of information on school performance and provides resources for parental involvement. 30 million users access their site annually. They will feature and provide a link to the Curiosity Machine.    Administration of the badges We are piloting the Curiosity Machine in December with children and families involved in our programs. For the pilot, the Iridescent team will administer the badges that will be displayed on the user’s profile. In subsequent versions, content-contributing engineers who have progressed through their badge levels and reached “Reviewer” status will have the abili​ty to administer badges to others.   Branding Badges are taken from a mural representing our courses ( They represent curiosity, vibrancy and a love for learning that is epitomized by the organization’s name - Iridescent.   

After School/Out of School   STEM   Mobile
The SA&FS Badges Project: A Competency-based Approach

Through the use of a new interactive platform, Students in the UC Davis' Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems major will create a dynamic, real-time record of their learning experiences and skill development, while using the badges system to guide articulation and reflection; receive feedback from peers, professionals and faculty members; and connect classroom learning to internships, student-led projects, fieldwork and lab courses, and self-assessment.

PI: Joanna Normoyle (Agricultural Sustainability Institute at University of California, Davis )
Badges for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Major Visualize & Drive Learner Growth UC Davis’s Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI) and College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences recently spearheaded development of an interdisciplinary major in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems (SA&FS). ASI has collaborated with faculty, students and community partners to develop a model of learning, participation, and assessment focused around high-level “core competencies” that bridge classroom and real-world experiences, academic investigations and concrete skills.  We believe this model has the ability to train leaders who will transform the food system, changing the way each of us eats and lives. With DML’s support, we will build a tool with which university programs can reach out into the real world and embrace diverse experiences and student reflection as integral parts of learner development, motivation and achievement. System Features & Principles of Development                   The SA&FS badge system we envision creates a dynamic and real-time record of student thinking and accomplishment. We hope to build a platform that can connect classroom learning and program structures to internships, student-led projects, fieldwork and lab courses, and self-assessment. Within the badge system, students record learning experiences and skills, get guided through articulation and reflection, and receive feedback from peers, professionals and faculty members. With DML support, we’ll create a system that guides, organizes and visualizes the many experiences, motivations, achievements and feedback loops that contribute to a skill or competency and make it necessary and valuable—all of which drives continuous growth, of both the individual and learning community (See this in action here). Development of the SA&FS badge system is driven by 3 principles: Responsive to priorities of professional field and academic program. The badge system maintains core competencies identified as critical to professional work and problem solving in sustainable agriculture and food systems. More than a ‘snapshot’ evaluation, the system allows faculty, partners and peers to see what has contributed to learner development and with what depth and focus a learner has acquired expertise. Organized and re-organized by the diverse needs of professors, peers, and practitioners. The ability to quickly change how a badge portfolio is visually organized means that each viewer can prioritize their unique needs and questions.  For example, a faculty advisor may focus on the core competencies to assess progress through the major, but an employer may want to see concrete skills, or a subset of them. Directed by aspirations of the learner(s). The badge system encourages personalization, not only by allowing learners to set goals, tailor curricula and ask questions, but also by allowing them to display the experiences, events, achievements and moments that they believe best demonstrate their learning and expertise. Content & Organization ASI carried out a Delphi survey of academics, practitioners and students that identified which skills, content and experiences were most essential to prepare students to lead in the field of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems (See attachment 1). With the survey as a foundation, ASI created a formal curriculum and 7 high level Competencies– Systems Thinking, Experimentation & Inquiry, Interpersonal Communication, Understanding Values, Civic Engagement, Strategic Management and Personal Development (See attachments 2 and 3). In the SA&FS badge system, learners draw upon their own experiences, contribute criteria for fulfilling a given badge, and publicly display these definitions, opening their reflection to feedback from peers and mentors. Through built-in prompts, the platform helps students recognize, tag and describe connections adding rich and unique detail to each of their badges. Each of these categories – Competencies, Skills, Classes, Internships – have badge designs, as well as other aspects of learning, like level of expertise, awards, etc. In order to ensure that structural requirements and program values are being met, while preserving the individualized, dynamic nature of the badges, the institution has the ability to precondition some badges and automatically attach others to particular achievements, whether that be a certification or specific course.                   As they develop, learners receive formative feedback from peers, faculty, and community partners with whom they have worked. When a learner has reached what he or she believes is ‘expert’ level in a particular ‘competency,’ members of the community can agree or disagree with the expert designation and provide targeted feedback. Viewers see how many reviews a learner has received, but not all of the review contents. By making the content – not just completion – of learning experiences evident, this integration of self, peer-, and practitioner-assessment can guide future learning as learners recognize gaps and strengths. More on the specifics of implementation can be found here: SAFS Badges Spreadsheet. Potential for growth While ASI and UC Davis have already created much of the content for these badges, the badge system is built explicitly to help students find and represent learning experiences outside the university, to help them build learner identities and communities, and to clarify learner goals and gaps. The badge structure and administrative support for implementation is ready – and being utilized non-digitally by a few faculty, staff and students. Development of the digital badge and portfolio system is the next step.                   The badge system has a waiting network of students, educators, researchers, and partners. Due to the interdisciplinary and experiential focus of the SA&FS major, this network extends throughout many departments at UC Davis, as well as to community organizations, institutes, practitioners, and educators across California and around the world. Further, through existing collaboration with educators in UC Davis School of Education, the system may be adapted and brought to secondary schools, allowing educators to highlight habits of mind and service learning opportunities, alongside more specific, test-oriented skills and knowledge. We’ll build the SA&FS badge system with these multiple sites and audiences in mind. Beyond motivating learners and promoting interdisciplinary learning in SA&FS, we believe that badges can become an accessible, viable, and meaningful way for institutions and individuals to assess learning – a system that responds not only to the diversity of learners and diversity of problems to be solved, but also to the process of learning in the real and changing world.    

Civics/Community/Volunteerism   Environment   Career/Workforce
USC Joint Educational Project Badge System

The USC Joint Educational Project badge system will offer a system for identifying, incentivizing and acknowledging a wide range of learning outcomes for service-learning students.

PI: Susan Harris (University of Southern California Joint Educational Project)
  Ian Evenstar Laurelin (Bonbon Diche)
  Tina Koneazny (USC JEP)
  Tammara Anderson (USC JEP)
Joint Educational Project (JEP) - Overview The Joint Educational Project, housed in the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern California, was founded in 1972 with the mission of linking academic learning with experience in the Los Angeles urban community. Since its inception, JEP has been recognized as one of the "oldest and best organized" service-learning programs in the country (TIME Magazine and the Princeton Review, 2000).Each year, some 2,000 students from various courses receive academic credit for their participation in JEP, while 400 students serve as non-credit volunteers. The core pedagogy of JEP is built upon the principles of “service-learning” which is defined by community service informed by classroom learning, and academic studies augmented by volunteer service. In addition to benefiting students academically, service-learning provides opportunities for career testing, developing communication skills, building civic responsibility, and other outcomes that are uncommon in traditional courses.The Mozilla Open Badge Infrastructure system will greatly enhance, recognize, and motivate the learning that happens at JEP, both in the classroom and in the community.  A badge system will effectively recognize the additional skills and achievements that the students gain through JEP’s co-curricular programs.For more information about JEP, click here.The Need for a Badge System An open badge system infrastructure is ideal for JEP because it responds to the challenges JEP faces being multi-curricular and not fully integrated into primary academic tracks.  Currently, USC faculty offer academic credit, usually in the form of extra credit, to students who sign up for JEP through their courses.  As a result, JEP students are rewarded primarily for simply participating in the program, rather than for the specific skills they develop over the course of the semester. A badge system would allow JEP to assess and recognize these skills directly.A badge system would further allow JEP to identify and acknowledge a wide range of learning outcomes, including for those students who participate in JEP outside of an academic context (i.e., as non-course volunteers or work-study students).  Also, the badges earned through JEP will show prospective employers the experiences students gain through community service.Currently, 20% of JEP students are repeat volunteers.  An open badge system will allow JEP to develop and recognize new learning goals and responsibilities for “veteran” volunteers. A badge signifying the number of semesters of service would encourage sustained engagement and increase the likelihood that a student will continue with JEP year after year. ImpactGiven that JEP draws 2000+ students from multiple disciplines annually, the impact of a badge system within Dornsife and across USC would be tremendous.  A badge system has the potential to transform the service-learning field, as well, which has struggled with how to effectively evaluate and assign credit for service-learning (Butin, 2010).    Current Identities & Skills Two primary learning identities for the JEP open badge framework are: JEP Program Assistant (PA) or Coordinator JEP Service-Learning Student, Work-Study Student or Volunteer Every JEP Program Assistant and Coordinator is responsible for a certain department or program. After the required training to become a JEP PA or Coordinator, a badge could be awarded to signify the student’s credential, their level of knowledge about the JEP program, and the status of the crucial role they hold at JEP. On the service-learning and volunteer side, the badge system at JEP could support the various types of community assignments that are available such as: Mentors Teaching Assistants “Mini-Course” Instructors NGO Volunteers Work-Study Each of these assignments could have specific badge properties that identify the learner by the category of the JEP assignment. Within each learning assignment, such as “Mentors” there would be sub-category badges that relate to the primary assignment category such as a course discipline (e.g. “Mentor” - “Science”):     In addition, the badge system could recognize the essential “soft skills” developed by JEP students, such as communication, teamwork and professionalism, that often go unrecognized in a traditional academic context. See Below for Ideas:     Existing Assessment Methods Since most JEP assignments are linked to courses at USC, JEP’s current evaluation system assesses students’ community service and academic learning, with JEP Program Assistants and community site supervisors assigning points and badges for the following activities or products:   Reflection (essays and discussion) Service Provision Attendance and Participation The badge system aligns well with this system and would allow JEP to identify and reward additional outcomes, as well. For example, credit points are currently awarded on a weekly basis for students’ reflective essays. There could easily be a “Reflection on Social Issues” badge for the successful completion of the final essay.  Furthermore, badges could be awarded to JEP students who demonstrate specific skill development or learning outcomes, such as civic knowledge.  A badge for completing the requirements of the program could be modified or augmented by badges that account for how well the student scored in each assessment category. Badge Administrators & Web Platform Initially, full-time JEP administrators would issue badges, as well as determine the requirements for each badge.  But if a veteran JEP PA earned the proper credential (“JEP Administrator badge”), s/he could also issue badges. The badges potentially would be displayed through the student’s badge backpack contained within his/her personal section of the university’s web portal, “MyUSC.” MyUSC is designed to give students, faculty and staff personalized access to wide-ranging campus resources in a single location. Adding a section to this pre-existing infrastructure could be easily implemented by USC’s Information Technology Services (ITS), or by another developer. To view MyUSC, click here.   Branding and Visual Strategy In addition to the core graphic identity standards of USC, JEP’s house icon would be an essential part of the badge system. Additional design elements that represent the core disciplinary tracks, such as math or arts, could be integrated into the JEP house icon, as well as design elements that represent the field work or location of the JEP’s service (e.g. medical facility, elementary school, high school biology class, etc.).References:Butin, D. W. (2010). “Can I Major in Service-Learning? An Empirical Analysis of Majors, Minors, and Certificates”, Journal of College and Character, 11(2).

Video Game-Maker Badges

Museum of the Moving Image will develop a system of video game maker badges for 'tweens and teens who participate in an array of formal and informal learning activities, including workshops for school groups, intensive media camps, after-school courses, and design jams.

PI: Christopher Wisniewski (Museum of the Moving Image)
Video Game-Maker Badges Learning content: Museum of the Moving Image is an international leader in collecting, exhibiting, and developing educational programs about video games. The Museum offers formal and informal video-game related activities for young learners—during the school day, after school, on weekends, and during the summer—and it is a member of the Hive Learning Network NYC. The video game programs are a subset of the Museum’s full range of educational activities through which 55,000 young people each year engage with, react to, and create moving image media across forms and platforms. While program formats vary, participants are sometimes the same, and the skills they develop are cumulative.  The Museum’s game-making activities are an ideal test-case for an ecosystem of Video Game-Maker Badges for ‘tweens and teens that will recognize achievement in activities that include: Single video game-making workshops, in which students create a ball-and-paddle video game inspired by games from the Museum’s collection (3,000 participants annually). Twelve-week video game-making after-school courses, held at the site of our school partners, and beginning fall 2012 at the Museum. (60 young people anticipated in 2012-13 school year.) Week-long, intensive video game-making camps, which take place every August. The Museum has recently received support from the New York Community Trust for a mobile game making camp, to be developed with the Institute of Play.  The camp will be piloted during the NYC public school spring recess in the current school year (45 expected participants in 2012). Game design jams, which will take place twice monthly on weekend afternoons beginning April 2012. Design jams are informal project-based workshops focused on a digital media-related challenge.  They will be developed in collaboration with Institute of Play. (300 young people expected to attend in 2012-13.) The Museum’s video game curricula have been refined and evaluated by independent researchers from the Center for Children and Technology (CCT). Curricula explore the history of video games, game mechanics, systems thinking, game design, digital drawing, computer programming, casual/mobile gaming, and career awareness.  Specific content varies by program. These programs succeed in teaching programming, game design, and related skills, and have cultivated a community of young learners who participate in multiple programs. Participants might be introduced to video game-making through a visit with their class, an after-school program, or one of our informal offerings. Some are then “hooked,” enrolling in a succession of workshops, making these learning activities an ideal test case for a system of badges. By introducing the ecosystem of badges, the Museum will unify a range of activities that share content, learning outcomes, and participants but vary in format, scope, and venue. The game-making badges will be the basis for a larger system of badges that, like the Museum’s subject matter, spans a variety of media-making educational activities, including video production and animation. For young people, the badges will carry the Museum’s imprimatur, providing a means to track their skills as they develop new competencies; serve as a tangible, objective measure of achievement which can be shared with prospective high schools and colleges, as well as parents and guardians; provide a pathway to leadership and mentorship opportunities in future Museum programs; and provide tangible evidence of acquired skills to prospective employees and organizations offering more advanced or formal programs. Skills and competencies: The game-making badges are a pilot that can extend to other Museum education programs that span and transcend media formats. Badges will recognize technical and non-technical skills, beginning with the following eight badge types, which map to skills and functions in video game-related fields; there will be a second “expert” level badge in each category: Game designer: recognizes understanding of mechanics and design through the creation of paper prototypes. Character designer: recognizes those who create their own digital character. Hacker: recognizes those who adapt or modify an existing game. Programmer:  recognizes those who program their own functional games. Level designer: recognizes creators of a multi-level game. Marketer: recognizes use of digital and non-digital strategies to disseminate games and characters. Game historian: recognizes understanding about the origins and history of video games. Collaborator: recognizes successful work with a team or group to complete a project. Identities and Roles: Badges will be developed for project-based activities in which young learners conceive, design, program, and market their own games. Youth will work in groups using a model that is analogous to professional game making. The Museum recognizes that participants have varying skill and interest levels, and partners participants accordingly.  Partnerships and related badges mirror actual industry roles. Opportunities and Privileges: Young learners who earn badges will have opportunities to: (1) enroll in planned advanced-level workshops and courses at the Museum; (2) be considered for a team-leader position in ongoing design jams; and (3) work as a peer mentor in video game programs. In addition, the Museum regularly hosts video game-related master classes featuring artists, inventors, and industry professionals to which youth with a prescribed set of expert badges will receive special invitations. Existing Assessments: The Museum uses post-program surveys and exit interviews to assess skill acquisition and learning.  Assessments were developed for the Museum’s after-school programs and will be adapted to the badge system. Partners and Organizations:  As noted above, curricula for the week-long intensive mobile video game-making camps and the design jams are being developed with the Institute of Play. Independent researchers will be asked to adapt the existing evaluative framework to the badges. Future activities for which badges will be issued may emerge through the Museum’s participation in the Hive Learning Network. Administration of the Badges: The Museum will track participants, monitor achievement of milestones, and administer badges. Badges will be displayable on blogs, websites (including the Museum’s), and social media profiles for both desktop and mobile environments. Branding: The Museum’s graphic design team will oversee the design of all badge elements, which will be conceived as moving images.

Games/Gaming   After School/Out of School   STEM
Virtual Ecotourism

Virtual Ecotourism uses real-time, interactive, immersive on-line tours to connect the general public with conservation projects and local communities in ecologically and culturally sensitive areas worldwide in order to nurture curiosity about the natural world, promote effective world citizenship, and combat environmental degradation.

PI: Lucy Erickson (Chimp-n-Sea Wildlife Conservation Fund )
  Mark Laxer (Chimp-n-Sea Wildlife Conservation Fund )
  Jay Ploss (Chimp-n-Sea Wildlife Conservation Fund )
  Matthew Redmond (Chimp-n-Sea Wildlife Conservation Fund )
A project of the Chimp-n-Sea Wildlife Conservation Fund, Virtual Ecotourism (vEco) aims to slow environmental degradation and preserve biodiversity by connecting the general public in a novel, immersive way to conservation projects in ecologically sensitive areas. Using on-line interactive virtual tours that feature real-time sounds, images and video, and a live guide, our tourists build emotional connections to featured sites as they gain an on-the-ground perspective of conservation challenges while learning about wildlife and local culture. Tour experiences can be tailored to elementary school groups, high-school and university students, armchair travellers and even conservation professionals to deliver level-appropriate learning challenges. The participants are able to watch, listen, and interact with the tour in a variety of ways: asking questions directly to the tour guide, helping to direct the tour, participating in group learning activities such as animal identification, discussing topical environmental issues in the post-tour forum, and much more.   The Virtual Ecotourism Concept   Screenshot of the Interactive Tourist Screen   To experience some elements of Virtual Ecotourism, you can immerse yourself in a 360' panoramic photo of Kibale National Park, Uganda, or watch a recorded tour of Madagascar. The vEco team is currently creating an entirely new type of real-time tour that connects geographically accurate landscapes using 3D interactive animation software. For a preliminary glance into this rapidly evolving technology, you can explore Kibale National Park in 3D. We are also experimenting with ways of incorporating augmented reality into the 3D tours: for example by going inside of a leaf to learn about photosynthesis.   A Screenshot of a 360' Panoramic Image of the Kibale Health Center. Click the Photo to Enter! By connecting people to the incredible ecosystems that sustain our planet as well as the diversity of cultures worldwide, the project aims to do three things, each connected with specific domains of learning and associated skills that will be assessed through a badging system.1) Reach out to all corners of the globe, and educate individuals about wildlife, ecosystems and conservation issues in a revolutionary and engaging manner. Virtual Ecotourism is a space for online curiosity and exploration, and an authentic experience designed so that everyone, regardless of age or income, can learn about and interact with the most beautiful and threatened places on earth. Furthermore, it is not exclusively focused on traditional biological and ecological scientific learning. Traveling can be a life-changing and horizon-broadening experience, and Virtual Ecotourism also enables participants to gain a host of 21st century skills such as cultural literary and global awareness.2) As Virtual Ecotourism becomes more widespread, we will be working with conservation groups to help them create their own tours. This requires utilizing cutting edge digital technologies, including the creation of 360’ panoramic photos, a creative script and associated visual audio media for tours, effective use of live video streaming and a familiarity with virtual worlds and other technologies available to the online audience. This embodies another 21st century skill set that includes digital literacy, international exchange of ideas, and the effective communication of complex issues to a global audience.3) Finally, we hope to encourage tourists to donate to conservation projects and local communities. This aspect of the Virtual Ecotourism project promotes personal and social responsibility, as well as interactive communication and citizen science as tourists participate in forums after the tours and discuss solutions to the conservation issues they have seen.     Screenshots Taken Using Unity 3D Animation Software. A Potential Badge is Superimposed.  Each tour has its own unique theme but incorporates elements of all the targeted skills outlined above. Sample Tour: Ishasha, Uganda. Theme: Human-wildlife conflict. First, tourists learn about the ecology of the forest from their local guide. To test their knowledge, they are challenged to find 5 animals in a panoramic image and explore the 3D world to identify 5 animal calls. Completing this task earns a scientifically-based badge. Next, the guide tells stories of human-wildlife conflict in the area. You can read one of these stories here. The tourists are then asked thought-provoking theme-related questions, such as, “who - if anyone - should compensate villages for damage to their livestock due to local carnivores?” The participants explore the 3D world and find experts and local villagers who share expertise on the subject. This interactive communication is rewarded with a cultural learning badge. Participants can share their final opinion with the group, and interactive communication and digital literacy badges are earned by posting in an on-line forum dedicated to the tour theme. Finally, participants may claim world citizen badges for donating to a human-wildlife related cause.Why Badges?Ecotourism allows participants to gain a set of 21st century skills which - although highly useful in the real world - are often not assessed or valued in a meaningful way. A badge system would allow virtual ecotourists to display various achievements, such as scientific and cultural learning, participation in international discussion, and donations to causes so that these competencies and skills do not go unnoticed. It would also allow participants to take on new identities and roles as explorers, communicators and citizen scientists as part of the on-line Virtual Ecotourism community. Furthermore, jobs within the development and environmental conservation sector often require applicants to have completed some form of voluntary overseas volunteering - a costly prerequisite which makes these positions inaccessible to many individuals. Virtual Ecotourism can make this requirement more equitable by providing a free way to gain a similar set of skills. By participating in virtual tours and receiving badges, students and young adults could show potential employers that they are serious about conservation issues, and understand the nuanced conflicts in countries they perhaps are not able to physically visit. Ideally, badges will be recognized as legitimate symbols of understanding and will increase the likelihood of a disadvantaged individual being chosen for a volunteer program, a student research project, or a job. We envisage a set of badges for each tour encompassing a variety of scientific, cultural, and digital skills that must all be completed in order for an individual to achieve a final tour badge. We believe that the Virtual Ecotourism team is best suited to assess and administer badges, as both team members and conservation partners have extensive experience in conservation and environmental education. For each of our tours, we are committed to developing specific assessment criteria in partnership with local guides and other experts.PartnersOur success depends on cooperation with conservation projects in the field. Team members liaise with tour guides within these organizations to help them develop engaging tours which are at once educational, fun, and stimulating for audiences of all ages. As our project expands, we are dedicated to sharing virtual ecotours in schools, museums, zoos and aquariums worldwide.        

Civics/Community/Volunteerism   Games/Gaming   Environment
Youth Digital Filmmaker Badge

The School District of Philadelphia and its Project Mastery initiative proposes a youth digital filmmaker badge that allows students to try on the role of director and produce short films (documentary and narrative) from concept to final product so as to accelerate their development of technology and writing skills while earning English/Language Arts (ELA) core credit.

PI: Grace Cannon (School District of Philadelphia)
  Harvey Chism (Philadelphia Youth Network)
Philadelphia Project Mastery (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grantee) Philadelphia Project Mastery proposes a youth digital filmmaker badge that allows students to try on the role of director and produce short films from concept to final product. The principal domain of learning is digital filmmaker.  The primary skills involved include concept development, interviewing and storyboarding, scriptwriting, camera work, and editing.  This badge will accelerate the development of technology and writing skills for the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) students earning English/Language Arts (ELA) core credit in the Project Mastery Initiative. Project Mastery, a newly implemented proficiency-based-pathways (PBP) project, is focused on helping Philadelphia students and educators transform their teaching and learning practices to those that are mastery-based and Common Core aligned. The SDP will work with its partner organization, The Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN), to implement the youth digital filmmaker badge system. This badge initiative will effectively augment Philadelphia’s PBP project by diversifying the ways and locations in which students can demonstrate mastery of critical reading, writing, and communication skills via multiple options to publish and produce film media. By earning the digital filmmaker badge, a student will have demonstrated mastery of both narrative and documentary film media.  To earn this “master” level badge, a student will have to earn a series of smaller badges denoting mastery in both narrative and documentary areas of filmmaking. Badge levels and the skills validated at each level are listed in the following chart. These skills focus on filmmaking technologies embedded in the production of multimedia projects that are authentic artifacts of student learning and mastery. SDP and PYN learning platforms will support students using online collaboration and social networking tools to facilitate peer review, revision, and editing, thereby providing students with an audience to try out their digital voices. A digital filmmaker badge may be issued by the SDP school or PYN Extended Learning Opportunity (ELO) community-based organizations to students that move along the pathway described in the above badging system. The badge pilot would involve working with ninth and tenth graders to develop their identities as digital filmmakers. ELA teachers and community-based organization staff, serving as formal ELO partners, will participate in professional development. SDP Educational Technology staff will provide professional development on iMovie or Movie Maker. Students will be trained by staff on both movie-making programs. This proposed badge initiative would allow us to enhance our current performance-based assessment design work.  Helping students learn and master digital filmmaker skills allows for the expansion of choices to include film-based capstone projects that embed rigorous technology, research, and writing skills and that push students to master the following Common Core Standards: Production and Distribution of Writing Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link information flexibly and dynamically. A digital filmmaking curriculum developed as part of a larger SDP digital media program will serve as the foundation for this badge; its scope encompasses multiple content areas and resources for differentiating instruction. The badge program will be structured following the Curriculum for Digital Media Creation: Sixteen Lessons from Storyboarding to Producing a Documentary. The full curriculum aligned to the Common Core Standards described may be viewed in the following wiki link: The teachers and PYN providers will use the PA Writing Framework, and the PA Computer Fair Digital Movie scoring guidelines to assess the competencies identified in the films produced.  The guidelines define proficiency with regard to design and storyboard, technical elements, film content, flow, and appearance. The badge will appear on both PYN’s and SDP’s websites.  An explanation of the skills represented by the badge will be available for public view in addition to a summary description of the pilot model and process for attaining/conferring a badge. As they are awarded, students would be encouraged to feature their badges in various e-locations including their SDP and PYN managed portfolios. WHYY, Inc., Greater Philadelphia's leading public media provider will serve as the validating entity for the youth digital filmmaker badge.  Craig Santoro, Director of Media Instruction, and Susan Poglinco, ED of Educational Programs, at WHYY have agreed to collaborate on the badges project by reviewing and advising on assessment rubrics, viewing and commenting on selections of student work, and attending professional development sessions with SDP teachers and PYN staff.  WHYY’s advisement and expertise in the development of assessment tools and critique of student product will ensure that our badge has validity and meaning to field experts, project staff, and youth.   PYN in its workforce intermediary role will provide identification, resourcing, messaging, and branding to local corporate and education community partners. We are hopeful that we will be able to build a rich digital media ecosystem of badges within our public schools and youth workforce system that is recognized, valued, and understood by teachers, youth, community-based partners, and industry professionals.    

K-12 Classroom/ Common Core   Arts/Design   Career/Workforce