Monday, April 30, 2012

Open Badges and Learning: A Disruptive Technology for Education and Accreditation?

Webinar: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM (GMT)

Kyle Peck
Dr. Kyle L. Peck, Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Kyle L. Peck is Principal Investigator for the NASA Aerospace Education Services Project, and Research Fellow, and Professor of Education at Penn State University. He recently served as Director of the Regional Educational Lab for the mid-Atlantic region for the US Department of Education, Co-Director of the Classrooms for the Future Evaluation Project for the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and as Associate Dean for Research, Outreach, and Technology in Penn State’s College of Education. Kyle was also Co-Founder of the innovative "Centre Learning Community Charter School," and recently completed two terms on the Board of Directors of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). He is a Past President of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) and its Pennsylvania affiliate, PAECT, and has also served as Head of the Learning and Performance Systems Department, and Professor in Charge of the Instructional Systems Program at Penn State. Before coming to Penn State, Dr. Peck taught middle school for seven years, and was involved in corporate training for five years. He has been on the Penn State faculty since 1987, and is co-author of two books, more than 40 book chapters and journal articles, and four education-related software programs. He is a popular speaker, and has made more than 260 presentations at professional conferences in 10 countries.

According to some, there's a "badging movement" underway that has the potential to change the landscape of education. Learners will be accumulating "digital badges" that are not just icons representing something they have learned or mastered, but active links back to the criteria for earning the badge and perhaps the tool used to make the assessment and the work, project, or performance submitted as evidence. Funded by the MacArthur foundation and developed by Mozilla (the open source folks who brought you Firefox and the Mozilla browser before that), an infrastructure is under construction that will support badge issuers, badge earners and badge displayers, which will likely include FaceBook, Linked In, and other public places where badges can be displayed and "clickable." Will established institutions of higher learning be willing and able to compete with other providers who are showing how solid their assessments are and providing evidence that their badge earners can perform? Will established reputations for quality crumble when criteria and assessments are public? How might this affect accreditation? Will there be standard badges representing important skills and people or organizations accredited to assess and award each? Who knows? The future seems hard to predict, but we should have a lively conversation about the possibilities.
The recording is available here:
Powerpoint slides

Please feel free to use this blog to submit questions and comments before or after the event.


  1. CoderDojo Dublin has implemented a Achievement system based on Badges. We have seen exponential interest in completing ICT related tasks for young coders. We are struggling with some of the questions posed but we can already vouch for the success of the paradigm. We’re very interested in building on our success and looking forward to practical discussion about implementation. Please have a look at our site to get the flavour of a running Badges based collaborative task environment for secondary school children:

  2. I hope you can make it to the webinar, Eugene. I'm afraid that we don't have a Coder Dojo in Sligo and I was wondering if it might be possible to have one as an online course? Perhaps that would take away from the social aspect of it. Maybe we could have live club sessions in G+ Hangouts.

    1. Brian, we’ve been discussing the possibility of live streaming the session in the Science Gallery. I’m certainly willing to test. The video portion would probably be more scalable on UStream but the we can work out the technology. Its finding the ‘hook’ that keeps kids interested and providing a true Mentor relationship. One of the greatest benefits of participating in CoderDojo is that you can get your laptop technical issues sorted by a mentor expert. It is the ordinary desktop support that seems to be the biggest barrier to children engaging with this material. I’d be reluctant to start a Dojo with no expert support but as a scalability solution, on-line sessions seem like a possibility.

  3. I want to ask teachers out there what does teaching and learning mean to you? Do you believe in being the dominant mediator or do involve children in the learning process?

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