Option 1 - What do you think about badges? How might they be better or worse than other types of credentials? How might you use badges in your own educational context?
I have to say that I'm not a big fan of badges. The word is used to mean so many different things from trivial "stickers" that signify nothing to more meaningful credentials backed up by "real work." I guess it depends on who issues the badge and what is behind it. As an employer, though, by the time I investigated this, I would just as soon look at the work and make my own judgement. I suppose if over time certain badge issues and badges gained currency, they could be valuable, but it's a long term process.
Option 2 - Think through how badges relate to assessment. You might read this post for one perspective. How might badges and/or portfolios be used as a substitute for or in conjunction with other types of credentials or assessments?
I understand that badges are not INTENDED to be assessment, but I see many taking them in that direction. And there are so many problems right now with assessment and credentials that I'm not sure badges don't just muddy the waters more (and may fall victim to the same problems).
On the other hand, I am excited about the use of REAL WORK, such as that found in portfolios, as a way to issue credentials. If badges could advance that objective, great! It will take some smart policy work to make this happen, I think.
Option 3 - What are the policy challenges with shifting away from more traditional measures of mastery (degrees, certificates, ec.) and toward more authentic ones (badges, portfolios, etc.)? Where might we find groups that are willing to experiment in this regard? What would the benefits be? How might we move this along?
I think the potential benefits of this are huge. Unfortuantely, the power structures are very invested in traditional measures. How to move this along? Lots of hard policy work. I'm not sure where to start. Does anyone know anyone interested or inclined toward this in the U.S. K-12 space? My gut feeling is that it may be more fruitful to start at a grassroots level with one or two districts, but it probably needs to be worked top down and bottom up to effect meaningful change.