Can the digital badge become a tool for recognizing continuing education? Here is the question that was discussed during the conference of Maxime Pelchat, of CADRE21, and Daniel Le Blanc of CTRLWeb, as part of the MTL Connecte event.
In Quebec, digital badges have appeared in the education sector mainly through the CADRE21 organization, which develops self-training for teachers. They are now granted by other organizations such as RÉCIT and certain CEGEPs. Some organizations have also delegated the granting of their badges to CADRE21. This is particularly the case for the École branchée, with the badges for participating in CréaCamp trainings.
What is a digital badge? It is a visual representation, online, which provides proof of a learning achieved, an acquisition of competence or participation in a professional development activity. “The badge is a micro-certification tool. Unlike the traditional diploma, it recognizes a single achievement. We can therefore accumulate them and bring them together in a portfolio to present a body of acquired knowledge, ”says Maxime Pelchat.
At first glance, the digital badge can be seen as a simple image. Some might therefore question its value. However, the badge is rigorously developed by developers and it is possible to validate its integrity. “Some data is encrypted in the image. They cannot be changed. The content of certain badges can also be very precise. It could include a lesson plan, for example, ”explains Daniel Le Blanc. The badge is also created according to a standardized and internationally recognized format, theMozilla Open Badge.
Organize your learning
The badge is part of a circle of trust made up of the granter (who offers the training), the recipient (the one who takes the training) and the appreciator (the one who recognizes the value of the badge). In the school environment, the appraiser can be a school administration, a professional order, a school service center, etc.
Thus, the recipient has every interest in creating a digital portfolio that will contain all the badges he has received over time. This allows him to keep traces, to organize his learning by themes or others. He can more easily present them and highlight them to an appreciator. This portfolio of digital badges becomes a nice addition to the traditional curriculum vitae. It displays on the web as well as on professional websites or social media profiles.
In addition, we observe more and more collaboration between training organizations (granters) who will create learning paths. Thus, although the badge is a micro-certification, the accumulation of several badges that are part of a defined path could have some value with the assessors.
Have you started building a portfolio of digital badges?
In addition : Digital badges: value, trust, recognition and credibility, an article by Maxime Pelchat that appeared on the EdCan network site.