The Sprout Fund’s new badges initiative brings together a coalition of partners to create a badge infrastructure to award learners here in Pittsburgh.

Badges are a way to capture, promote, and transfer all of the learning that occurs within a broader community context: in-school, out-of-school, and online. Badges have the opportunity to act as a bridge between learning pathways and can begin to make these alternative channels, skills, and types of learning more viable, portable, and impactful.

Open Badges allows you to represent, verify and communicate your skills, interests and achievements, and because the system is based on an open standard, you can combine multiple badges from different issuers to tell the complete story of your achievements.”

– Erin Knight, Badge Alliance

By connecting interest-driven learning, as well as new skills and literacies, to a broader network of accreditation and recognition, badges enable each learner to capitalize on the learning experiences that they are already having, or to inspire and help them to seek out new ones, as well as to communicate their achievements and skills to necessary stakeholders.

The Digital Badge Lab at The Sprout Fund is working with a coalition of partners to establish the technological infrastructure for badging in the Pittsburgh region, issue badges locally through a pilot project, and conduct a planning process with educators, experts, and community stakeholders to adopt badges city-wide.

Earners receive badges for the skills & competencies they gain through learning experiences. They use badges to create personalized learning pathways and showcase skills to potential employers.

Issuers award badges to recognize the skills & competencies learners gain. These include schools, afterschool programs, museums, libraries, and online tutorials— anyplace where learning happens.

Endorsers accept badges as evidence of skills & competencies. These include employers, higher ed, and professional associations who use badges when hiring employees or offering college admission.

Digital Badge Lab was last modified: October 30th, 2014 by The Sprout Fund