Almost, but not quite
Even with the national movement towards digital badges, some school administrators, such as curriculum directors, say the digital badge may have to wait a bit longer.
“I’m not convinced that it will make the transition [from high school to college and the workforce] occur ‘more easily,’ but I certainly see the value of another measurement of educational achievement, if that measurement is well-defined,” says Joanne Carrillo, curriculum coordinator/instructional coach for St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge.
Carrillo explains that even though the idea of a standard for digital badges is “critical,” it’s not always up to enthusiasts to see disruptive technologies, like digital badges, implemented.
“As a curriculum coordinator and a proponent of gamification, I personally support the philosophy of badges. As an institution, our school has not considered the use of digital badges… As a teacher, I award badges for unit completion. These badges can be redeemed for bonus points on summative assessments. Our learning management system allows activity completion to be recorded, facilitating a record for earning badges. If this were a nationally supported initiative, our school would be willing to consider it; however, as a private institution, we are limited in resources, so the cost for development and maintenance of a badge system may be prohibitive,” she says.
A “nationally supported initiative” is something U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is currently proposing.
Duncan said that competency-based learning would expand access to affordable higher education, and Obama’s proposed FY 2014 budget includes funding through the First in the World program to develop third-party validation systems, or digital badges. The House-passed SKILLS Act also accepts industry-recognized credentials.
The 2013 Clinton Global Initiative America meeting also discussed digital badges.
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