Sunday, September 9, 2012

Intended Purposes Versus Actual Functions of Digital Badges

By Daniel Hickey
On September 4th and 5th, there was a meeting at the National Science Teachers Association in Arlington, VA.  Al Byers of NSTA and Kyle Peck of Penn State organized the meeting to discuss the online NSTA Learning Center for science educator professional development.  I was only able to make it to the second day of the meeting where Kyle discussed the pilot work with the site and his use of digital badges from the Teacher Learning Journeys project.  In the afternoon, Sunny Lee and Erin Knight (Mozilla Foundation) and Brian Mulligan (Sligo Institute of Technology, Ireland) and I did a panel on digital badges that Kyle moderated.. 

One of the questions about badges that came up seems like a crucial issue as we grapple with different ways of characterizing and describing badges.  This post aims to add the category of badge functions to other badge taxonomies like the one by Carla Casilli. Because these issues are complex, this post ended up being rather long.  You may wish to jump directly to the summary at the bottom.  You may also wish to read a condensed version at the HASTAC website.