Where are my badge people?
Discussing (in depth) digital badges is something that not something everyone can or is interested in doing. Especially as the development and research around this ED tech movement gets more complicated and advanced. I felt like I was on an island working in isolation without anyone to really discuss the implications for my organization’s website and the broader use.
After a bit of searching I came upon HASTAC
HASTAC is an alliance of more than 13,000 humanists, artists, social scientists, scientists and technologists working together to transform the future of learning.
Essentially it is an online community of graduate students and professors (and others) from around the field interested in talking about the latest movements and innovations in education and technology- WHAT? That is me. One of the most robust topics on HASTAC was about digital badging and helped me see some of the conflict on the topic.
Because the community and some of this research is well underway you could spend weeks reading the blog posts of field leaders such as Daniel Hickey, Cathy Davidson, and Sheryl Grant. Grant curates a lot of the badge information on the site including this bibliography, which I found particularly helpful when creating my research proposal.
I reached out to Grant to find out more about digital badges, share some ideas I had around my research paper, and find out more about her role at HASTAC. It wasn’t a formal interview so I won’t quote her but I found her very helpful and she recommended a lot of resources and people to read. She shared that there is two weekly calls hosted by Mozilla, one more research/system design focused and the other a community call. While I prefer to be on the live call, they do record all of the activity within their Etherpad.
These calls have been essential for my growth in CI5190 and for my job at NYLC. My first call was in January, Neil Price of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada giving a presentation on Badges in the Afterschool Space. Hearing someone explain his design process in relation to his programming made me want to jump out of my chair with excitement. I am not alone! And there are people willing to share ideas, challenge each other with thoughtful questions, and move the practice forward.
The calls have stretched my understanding of digital badges and the multitude of research topics around them: assessment, motivation, social currency, program design, access and equity, etc. This list truly goes on an on, now my challenge is how I can get more involved.