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Project Details

Badge the UK

Scouts badges reinvented for the 21st century

By DigitalMe

Project URL: digitalme.co.uk/badgetheuk
Project Twitter: @BadgeTheUK

Organisation URL: digitalme.co.uk
Organisation Twitter: @digitalme_

  • Economic Empowerment
  • Education
  • Data
  • Open Source
  • Social Software

Badge the UK is the campaign to drive the British uptake of the extra-curricular learning ‘Open Badges’ accreditation scheme that US web giant Mozilla launched in September 2011.

Open Badges (OB) is Girl and Boy Scouts badges reinvented for the 21st century: digital ‘badges’ that recognise and reward skills developed in and outside the classroom. But OBs differ from Scouts in one crucial way – they are open-source. Meaning that OB gives everyone the tools to issue badges; and as a learner you can ‘earn’ badges via any organisation that has ‘badged’ their courses: cultural bodies, charities, colleges, or employers. All of which are interoperable, so you can gather together and display all your badges in one place online, regardless of how many different awarding bodies you studied with.  Each digital badge consists of a simple image file, embedded with data on the qualification’s criteria, plus evidence that you personally met that standard.

Badge the UK is a two-year outreach programme of trainings and workshops with British skills awarding bodies – colleges, employers and charities – to help them badge their learning programmes, to build the OB ecosystem here so it grows into a genuinely meaningful ‘skills currency’, particularly for young people.

The project’s ambition is to broaden and standardise recognition for accredited learning across a more diverse pool of providers, and, by letting people demonstrate that diverse learning, to ultimately increase employability.

Digital Me, the organisation, based in Leeds, UK,  running the scheme says, ‘we don't accept that learning should be dull for children or irrelevant for employers.’ Julia Stasch, Vice President of U.S. Programs at the MacArthur Foundation says, ‘[OB’s are] simple, easy and, if done well, can present a more nuanced picture of what an individual knows and can do.’ 

Image courtesy of DigitalMe

Last updated: 11th of June, 2014

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