Speaker Jade Forester

I’ll use this excerpt from Sir Ken Robinson’s Huffington Post article

“In 1970, the U.S. had the highest rates of high school graduation in the world, now it has one of the lowest. According to theOECD, the overall U.S. graduation rate is now around 75 percent, which puts America 23rd out of 28 countries surveyed. In some communities the graduation rate is less than 50 percent. About 7,000 young people ‘drop out’ of the nation’s high schools every day, close to 1.5 million a year. The social and economic costs are enormous.”

What this episode is about and why you should care

Pretty much anywhere you go today you can hear about the issues and challenges with our education system, especially in the United States. Whether it’s our falling test scores, decreasing graduation rates, increased cost of education followed by increased debt, or just the fact that our education system seems outdated – it seems that there is consensus that something needs to change. But can Open Badges be the solution?

An open badge is a representation of a skill or an achievement. It is issued to recognize these skills and achievements which may help with future education and career opportunities. Think of the cub scouts or even a popular video game where you level up and earn badges and experience points for your accomplishments, now imagine something similar being applied to the world of education. Transcripts and your college diploma are representations of your theoretical knowledge. On the other hand, badges are the representations of the skills and experience you gradually learn and develop through time and paint a much better picture of who you are and what you are good at.

To learn more about open badges and why they are increasingly getting popular in educational institutions as well as in corporations, I talked to Jade Forester who is the Global Coordinator for the Badge Alliance.

What you will learn in this episode

  • The definition of badges in a learning environment
  • The purpose and types of badges in a traditional education setting
  • Examples of educational institutions and companies that are using open badges
  • The reason why the concept of badges was developed
  • What needs to happen for employers to be able to take these badges seriously or look at these badges as a way to evaluate potential employees
  • Determine whether open badges is the solution for the future of education and competency-based learning
  • Which parts of the world are adopting open badges more than others
  • A look of open badges in the future.

Links from the episode:

Badge Alliance

Open Badges Blog

Badge Alliance | Facebook

Jade Forester (jade_forester) | Twitter