Digital Micro-credentials (aka Badges)

My experience with digital badges (aka micro-credentials) is both intellectual and practical. It started with a consultancy with Temescal Associates; they hired me to choose a digital badging platform in 2014. While researching the options, I met academics who were investigating digital micro-credentials. I joined James E. Willis III and Kim Flintoff in writing a peer-reviewed chapter.  “A Philosophy of Open Digital Badges” appears in the first textbook devoted to micro-credentials, Foundation of Digital Badges and Micro-Credentials: Demonstrating and Recognizing Knowledge and Competencies.

The crux of my contribution to the chapter is that the current commerce-centric education system continues to fail parents, students, educators, and society at large. “Comparing America’s contemporary assessment standards against ancient views, the Common Core is half empty.” Where are the ethics, aesthetics, and intangible soft skills that we crave?

While working with an award-winning education startup, PilotCity, our small team co-wrote a massive curriculum with the Alameda County Office of Education that would have been ideal for digital micro-credentialing. Alas, the public institution’s budget and timeline thwarted my suggestion to develop badges associated with the Modern Fabrication modules. I created Thingfully Club’s digital badges for an after-school program that met at John Muir Middle School.