Badging System

Digital badging systems offer a new way to credential informal and interest-driven learning. Since 2008, Global Kids has worked with partners in New Orleans, Atlanta, Chicago, and New York City to develop and implement digital badging systems in classrooms, after school programs, and informal learning settings. Global Kids currently has a grant from the MacArthur Foundation to develop a system for members of the Hive Learning Networks in NYC & Chicago, and from the Covenant Foundation to create systems for Jewish Day Schools.

Global Kids and Hive NYC Badge Design Reflection 

This is a cross-post from Hive NYC's blog.


Global Kids has experimented with digital badging in various contexts for the past few years. From badging an afterschool program four years ago at the New York Public Library, to badging the Urban Biodiversity Network program at the American Museum of Natural History, Global Kids has used digital assessment to support youth to recognize, talk about, and demonstrate essential digital literacy skills. Currently, we are consulting with three schools as they develop badging systems for their students, developing our own badging system for all Global Kids youth programs, and supporting Hive NYC and Hive Chicago to build their digital badging systems and infrastructures.


Developing a Hive NYC Badge 

Global Kids and the Hive Learning Network NYC have been busy designing a network-wide badge that can be used by all Hive NYC member organizations. We want to create a badge that motivates cross-network participation, demonstrates the key values and behaviors within the network, builds digital media skills, and increases meaningful participation at Hive NYC events. 


For the past few months we've tackled some big design questions, developed user stories, and identified a list of challenge activities that youth can complete to earn the Hive NYC Badge (which has yet to have a fun name). You can view our badge design trajectory here:



GK Presents on Networked Badging Systems 

On October 24, Daria and Joliz presented a HASTAC Webinar for their badge community and Digital Media and Learning Competition on Badges for Lifelong Learning winners. Through funding from the MacArthur Foundation, Global Kids is developing networked badging systems for the Hive Learning Networks in NYC and Chicago, which you can follow here.


You can view the presentation here:


Or watch the video presentation here:


Global Kids Summer Badge Beta Report 

In the summer of 2012, Global Kids, Inc. launched a beta test of its planned digital badging system. The test was designed to provide feedback on the system to support a Fall launch throughout the entire organization. This Global Kids’ Badging System is built on top of Learning Times’ BadgeStack, and is part of a broader badging network within the Hive NYC Learning Network (funded by the MacArthur Foundation).


What we learned, in summary, was that the badges played a positive role in the development of our summer programs, engaged the youth, and offered them different learning pathways. It provided them with valuable opportunities to name, reflect upon, value, and share what they learned in the program; offered us unusually rich examples of their perceived learning; created a new and useful assessment relationship between us; and collected measurable data about their learning outcomes.


The testing was not long enough to demonstrate if it was an effective social networking space, if it effectively utilized games-based learning design, or supported the democratization of learning. It was also not an ideal setting to explore if the badges promote a DML praxis.


You may download the report here.



Hive Chicago Badges for Learning 

Christian Greer, Program Director for HIVE Chicago recently wrote a great summary of the work that has been done with the Chicago badging system. Check it out below! 



Wow! It's been a very busy summer for our Hive Chicago member organizations. We have facilitated jams, game design workshops, citizen science projects, teen-led community events, youth council programs, and many other engaging activities with our teens. With the Labor Day holiday weekend fast approaching and our summer programs completed, I thought that I would check in this week with few member organizations to see how things went over the summer.


Race to the White House Badge Ecology 

Race to the White House is a Global Kids summer program where youth will develop a digital scavenger hunt with gps-enabled devices (geocaching) to create a public activity about the upcoming presidential election and its impact on issues of importance to our community and our country. The program will be used a one of the early beta sites for the Global Kids and the Hive NYC Learning Network badging systems.



The original file can be viewed here in a variety of sizes.


Summer Beta for Hive NYC Badging System Launches 

Yesterday we were delighted to formally launch the summer beta period for the Hive NYC Badging System. Partnering with Learning Times, we have developed a fantastic badging system for use across the Hive NYC Learning Network. Four brave organizations met this week to get up to speed on how to use the new system, define and refine their scope of work and plans for the summer, and coordinate our efforts.



The four organizations are The Lamp CDC, The New York Public Library, the YMCA of Greater New York, and Global Kids.


Each organization has very different plans over the next two months, but all activities will be located within the same site.

The Point CDC will beta test a badge system as part of their SYEP (Student Youth Employment Program) PowerPOINT Camp 2012. Their initial Badge System goal is to have young people actively document their learning experience and transformation leading to the establishment of individual-group and collective badges. There are three things The Point aims to learn over the course of the beta:


1) Learn how to coordinate across the different programs within The Point

2) Learn how to exemplify the accomplishments and progress of students at The Point

3) Learn how to improve the badge system in the long run to fit the needs of The Point


Franklin Wants a Badge: A Crowdsourced Critique of Badge Anxiety 

This is a reading and commentary of the book Franklin Wants a Badge, a book released in 2003 from an un-used script to a cancelled children's show.


While not directly about digital badges, its focus on interest-driven learning, informal learning spaces, and the role of physical badges raises many issues related to our current conversation (and concerns) about digital badging systems. The possibilities for unpacking this cultural document proved irrisistable. And it seemed too rich to do it on my own.


Using the tool VoiceThread I have created a page by page reading of the book. Each page reading is followed by commentary from both myself and others regarding the hopes and fears about badges displayed in the book and how it helps us understand our current efforts to launch digital badging systesms to support life-long learning.


As you enjoy the book and our commentary, please consider adding your own.


Hive Chicago Badge Development 


On June 12th Barry Joseph and I led a full day session to discuss badging principles and have a hands on experience in BadgeStack with Hive Chicago. The morning session brought eleven people together representing eight organizations. We saw examples of badging systems from DYN, Chicago Architecture Foundation, Global Kids, and the Epstein School. There was an indepth discussion on developing network wide badges. Ruth Schmidt - who led the morning session - provided a summary of talk:




We discussed the idea of this minigroup turning into more of an official working group to tackle some of the bigger picture issues that have bubbled up in conversation recently, in particular: