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Digital Badges as Mother Nature Intended

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Jonathan Finkelstein

Jonathan Finkelstein
Founder & CEO of Credly and Director of the BadgeOS Project

There’s much speculation around what our world will look like when a complete ecosystem for issuing, accepting, and benefitting from digital badges is fully realized. People wonder:

  • What will happen when your achievements — from virtually any aspect of your life — can be selectively, modestly and seamlessly ported into and out of different settings?
  • How will the relationships among organizations and their members change when any entity — even those not traditionally in the degree-granting space — are empowered to recognize those worthy of credit?

While there is still much to imagine about the future of digital credentials, there is mounting evidence that the ecosystem we imagine is in fact materializing around us even as we ponder its potential. I recently saw the following Tweet from education technologist Joyce Seitzinger:



Let’s dig in a bit deeper to properly appreciate the joy expressed in Joyce’s tweet. Here’s a little diagram to help visualize what transpired behind the scenes:

Badge Diagram by Credly

In summary:

  1. She attended and was a featured speaker at a professional conference held in Plymouth, UK, in April 2013.
  2. The organizers of that conference used Credly to issue her and other participants badges recognizing their distinguished participation.
  3. She linked her Credly account and her badges to the Mozilla Backpack.
  4. When she logged in to a Moodle community in June 2013, her badges from Plymouth were on display in her course profile.
  5. The badge can link back to evidence (a recording of a conference presentation or related handouts, for example), carrying forward not only a representation of the achievement from one setting to the next, but evidence that may inspire others in each new context.

What happens next? Will members in the new community have a better sense of her background, experience and skills? Will she foster mentoring relationships with aspiring experts inspired by her prior work? Will she pick up new credentials to add to her existing ones? Speculate away, but this part of the ecosystem is materializing as we speak.

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  1. Diigo links 06/25/2013 | DrAlb - June 25, 2013

    [...] Digital Badges as Mother Nature Intended | Credly Blog [...]

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