What are some mechanisms for keeping track of digital credentials?
As we work with schools who are piloting digital badge programs on the BadgeOS platform, we need to start thinking through what some options are for students to store, keep track of, and display the digital credentials they earn.
How can Credly work with and beyond BadgeOS?
Full disclosure: my understanding of Credly is that it serves as a backpack of earned badges outside of the BadgeOS site. It can store badges earned in BadgeOS and many other platforms. Here’s an example of how I see it working:
If over the course of the semester, I, as a learner, earn a Teacher Action Research badge from an Action Research Course created with BadgeOS, and a badge from participating in a community scavenger hunt event where they distribute badges for attendance, and a Smithsonian Historical Biographer Badge, I would need a digital storage space to house them. All of those live in my Credly backpack because I’ve created a Credly account AND the issuers of the badges all allowed for Credly integration.
I can then take any or all of those badges from my Credly backpack and link them to my blog or digital portfolio.
How does badge storage work with PLPs?
Think about how important this is as students in your district start building their personal learning plans (PLPs) and want to get credit for learning they do both inside and outside of the classroom.
Imagine a student who has a passion for history. He or she might earn a Smithsonian Historical Biographer Badge and then store that in his or her backpack. Then, he or she might be encouraged to display it on the PLP and could get school “credit” for it in a proficiency-based system. As schools start to build this system of personalized learning and multiple pathways, you can see why we need a system that authenticates the learning. A creative student could really just fake a badge using Photoshop and some imagination and link it to his portfolio. Stakes get high if that badge earning is tied to graduation requirements – the work and artifact and criteria all need to be valid and reliable so this is where a turnkey badge management system like Credly steps in and confirms the badge is real.
So, what does this mean for you as a BadgeOS developer?
The thinking behind this is most badge earners will not want their Credly backpack cluttered with all the small quests and badges, but will only want to own and display the final project badges.