Stage 1 Winners Announced for Lifelong Learning Digital Badge Competitionby Ramya Sankar
The Digital Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition announced its first round winners last week. Stage One asked for entrants to propose programs, activities and content that would be appropriate for a digital badge system. The badge system will be a way for individuals to digitally display attainment of skills they have learned in one place online, similar to a resume. This stage of the competition asked for proposals of content that would benefit from badges. In all, 60 Stage One winners were chosen, representing a wide array of public and private organization—including afterschool programs—and topics ranging from digital literacy to learning in and out of the classroom. Stage Two will seek design and technology proposals that respond to the content proposed by Stage One winners. Winners from stages One and Two will then be paired to collaborate and develop the badge system in Stage Three.
One of the Stage One winners included the Providence After School Alliance’s (PASA) Pathways for Lifelong Learning. The proposal included a system in which afterschool program participants can collect badges when they reach a youth learning goal, which include improved school attendance and behavior as well as improved grades. Badges would also be awarded to programs for improving quality as well as system-level learning goals including better integration between PASA and the school district. One of the unique elements of the proposal would allow youth to come up with branding for the badge system, integrating the work they did with AfterZone and The HUB, the middle and high school afterschool initiatives, respectively. The badge system will be created in hopes to retain students who participate in afterschool programs during middle school but drop off in high school. The design of the badge system will make it replicable in other cities and networks of afterschool programs.
The deadline for Stage Two is Jan. 12, 2012. Details can be found here. The third and final stage of the competition will take place at the end of February.