Greetings all -- I work with the HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media & Learning Competition, and wanted to invite members of the Future of Education community to join in the Badges for Lifelong Learning conversation currently going on in the learning community.


This year, we're running the Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition in partnership with the Mozilla Foundation and their Open Badges project, and the conversation has been provocative, compelling, critical, constructive, and positive. As a member of ISTE, we'd like to know: What do you think about badges?


If you're just joining the badges conversation and wonder what all the tweeting and blogging is about, you're not alone. Badges for learning is a new topic that touches on formal and informal education, assessment, achievement, standards, credentials, learner motivation, technology design, open education, democracy, and other topics relevant to 21st century teaching and learning. Badges are a touchstone for topics many of you have deep expertise in -- there's a lot of room at this table, so chime in!


For those who want to do some homework about badges, I have a few recommendations. Cathy Davidson wrote Why Badges? Why Not? which generated excellent, pointed discussion in the comments section, and I wrote Unpacking Badges for Lifelong Learning to help sort through the basics of badges. Doug Belshaw did a nice job summarizing the conversation in his blog post Reframing the Debate.  And if you'd like to really sink into the range of opinions about badges, credentials, assessment, extrinsic/intrinsic motivation, and other hot points, there's also the growing (daily) collection of posts about badges on at


HASTAC has a new Badges group up and running where I've started a forum for Badges: Questions and Themes. People are welcome to add their own items there or start a discussion there. On Thursday, October 6 at 3pm EST, we're hosting an interactive Badges 101 webinar to address some of the basics: What are badges? What are open badges? How can badges work for learners? And for those who like their info in 140 characters or less, there's #dmlbadges and #openbadges on Twitter.


We'll be rolling out other webinars in the weeks ahead to answer questions about the competition process. In the meantime, I hope to hear from you about badges for lifelong learning, either here or in any of the spaces mentioned above. And if you have a badge idea, all the better! (Good news: the submission deadline for Stage 1 has been changed to November 14, 2011.) Thanks for participating in this conversation!

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