mozilla foundation badge me in
BADGE ME IN: Badges--if well-designed--can signal mastery in the digital realm. Badly done, or issued in a silo, and they're just clipart. A year ago, the Mozilla Foundation started working with the Peer-to-Peer University and others to create the "open-badge infrastructure" so people could exchange badges and make sense of each other's. EdSurge spoke with Erin Knight, Mozilla's badge and assessment lead to get an update on the year-old project, which she expects will have a $2.5-million budget over two years. (Mozilla, MacArthur and Hewlett are big contributors.) Knight points out there isn't much research on making badges--but plenty on game mechanics (see this slideshow) and on assessments. You can check out more detail about the project here.
This month, the group is putting the final touches on an alpha version of the infrastructure; the beta is due in September. By January 2012, the Mozilla group hopes that anyone will be able to use its API for creating and issuing badges. Individual users will be able to collect their learning credentials (badges) in "backpacks." Some MacArthur-sponsored after-school programs are already working on their badges (for say, media generation or storytelling). Reports from a handful of badge pilots at due this month, too. Bottom line from Erin: get involved. "We want people to explore problems and building badge systems. What we're pushing for is that everyone can be a player if we have an open (badge) infrastructure."