Could “Badges for Lifelong Learning” be our tipping point? –– from by Cathy Davidson


As more and more fascinating and creative and surprising applications to our DML Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition flood in (we’re at almost 100 and the competition does not close until the end of today), I am wondering if, a hundred years from now, some historian ploughing through the dusty data archives of the Internet, will see this moment as digital learning’s tipping point. I mean that.

This could be our tipping point for how we measure, the entry point to thinking up an array of new forms of deciding what counts for our era.

So many of us work in schools or in jobs where what counts has been decided for us. The array of badging systems in these applications is starting to suggest that there are many, many of us who are frustrated with our inherited systems and want to come up with new ways of deciding what we want to count, what we want to value and acknowledge and credit and reward. A badge system can be the symbol of all that, visible proof of  some quality of participation and contribution that previously wasn’t even defined.