[caption id="attachment_89059" align="alignleft" width="215" caption="TopCoder, an adviser for the MacArthur Foundation’s competition, currently has a badge system for its community members that validates skills and competencies."][/caption]

How can schools accurately measure and categorize a student’s 21st-century skills? The MacArthur Foundation hopes to solve this problem with a new competition that calls on participants to create what is known as a "digital badge."

Digital badges and the digital badge system would, advocates say, help define the skills and knowledge students pick up in an informal way, such as through internships, online courses, open courseware, competitions,...

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