The Center for Educational Technologies®
Badges for NASA Activities
What Is a Badge?
A badge is a visual representation of an achievement, such as skills or knowledge gained, event participation, activity/project completion, or a professional credential or certification. For years the Scouts and the military have been issuing cloth badges as proof of achievement.
There is a national effort under way to use digital badges for documenting achievements. Badges link directly to descriptions of the activities and what was done to earn them. Digital badges are stored on a FREE online OpenBadge Backpack supported by Mozilla. Many organizations are linking their educational badges to the Mozilla Backpack. See the Backpack section to learn more.
What Do Educational Badges Provide?
1. Multiple ways for students and lifelong learners to receive recognition for completing an educational activity. You may do the activities in school, in clubs, at home, etc. Unless it is a contest or other activity with strict requirements, learners of any age may choose to earn the badges.
2. Personal choices – Learners can choose and complete the activities that interest them and do them wherever they are and whenever they have time.
3. Skill building through badge links and levels – The end of each activity has links to additional activities so learners can add to their skills.
4. Resume building – The Mozilla Open Badge Backpack keeps records of your achievements. Learners can create collections of badges and share links to specific collections with different audiences. The detailed criteria – a list of skills learned or tasks accomplished – are displayed when anyone clicks the badge, then on the word “criteria” in the badge description.
Why Is NASA Involved?
NASA is collaborating with the Center for Educational Technologies on an activity-badging project. The goal: to encourage more students to explore the STEM areas to acquire knowledge and experience career options. The center was one of 30 developers funded by the MacArthur Foundation and Mozilla for a project called Exploring Digital Badges for Lifelong Learning. 2012-2013 is the pilot year of the project.
Learn more about the funding of badges for lifelong learning and NASA’s involvement in badging by reading the article at NASATalk.