BADGES ARE THE FUTURE, SCOUT’S HONOR: On Monday, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the official non-partisan organization for cities with 30,000 or more in population, passed a formal resolution supporting the adoption of LRNG digital badges as valid credentials for workforce development, employment, financial aid and higher education.
After learners use LRNG's platform to complete “playlists” of experiences, resources and events, they earn badges compatible with the Mozilla Open Badge Infrastructure (that the conference resolved to support in 2015). LRNG aims to connect youth with their passions through partnerships with cities, schools, companies and mentors that both curate learning playlists and provide the experiences. The 12 partner cities include West Sacramento, San Jose, San Diego, Dallas, Washington, D.C. and Chicago.
The City of West Sacramento created a playlist called “2016 Summer STEPS Internship” available to those enrolled in the summer strides towards entering public service (STEPS) program. The student begins with an application to the program itself, then must complete tasks like “conduct an interview of a city staff member,” “watch a commission meeting,” and “attend a city council meeting.” Other West Sacramento playlists are available on their beta LRNG site.
In a co-written blog post, Christopher Cabaldon, mayor of West Sacramento and Connie Yowell, CEO of LRNG explain their vision, "Those of us working in this space have long known that digital media is changing not only how young people learn, but what they need to know for life and work in the 21st century. Local community leaders can use badges to connect learning opportunities across sectors, recognize learning wherever it happens, and allow young people to use their digital badges to unlock opportunities for workforce development and to level up their learning."