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Wayne and Layne now supports OpenBadges!

by Layne on May 9, 2012

Now with infinitely more badges than before!

You may have noticed an uptick in “badges” around the Internet. These can take the form of “achievements”, traditional Scout-style merit badges, or any number of really cool things we’ve never seen yet.

Adafruit is doing a lot of fun things with their leaderboard, and after looking at the technology available, Wayne and Layne is ready to join the fray. We’re not really sure what we’re going to do with it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we offer coupon codes or highlight folks who earn badges from us. We know we’re going to award badges, for example, to people who take classes by us, or when people assemble our kits, or do awesome stuff with them that we hadn’t thought of when we were creating them. We’re going to be issuing them to people who come up to us at Maker Faire and say hi, although we may have to cut that off if it ends up being too crazy!

Mozilla has been working on a badge solution for a while. They call their solution OpenBadges, and it’s an open infrastructure for issuing, storing, and displaying badges.

We’ve started to issue some OpenBadges over the last month. If you put together an Blinky SMT before today, you’re an SMT Blinky beta tester, and as such, have earned an Blinky SMT Beta Tester badge. Contact us and we’ll issue you a badge!

Right now, we’re not going to be displaying awarded badges, like Adafruit’s leaderboard. We’re going to be sending issued badges to Mozilla’s Badge Backpack, where you can redeem badges, and set up privacy controls to control who can view each badge.

We’re interested in this badge stuff, and we’re going to put some work into it and have some fun with it, and we’ll see what sticks. Make sure to let us know what you think, either in the comments here, the forum, or through the Contact Us page.

Mozilla’s Open Badge project (wiki) says the following:

Learning today happens everywhere
But it’s often difficult to get recognition for skills and achievements gained outside of school. Mozilla’s Open Badges project is working to solve that problem, making it easy to issue, earn and display badges across the web. The result: recognizing 21st century skills, unlocking career and educational opportunities, and helping learners everywhere level up in their life and work.

Get recognition for new skills and achievements

The web and other new learning spaces provide exciting ways to gain skills and experience — from online courses, learning networks and mentorship to peer learning, volunteering and after-school programs. Badges provide a way for learners to get recognition for these skills, and display them to potential employers, schools, colleagues and their community.

Through a simple framework that’s open to all

Using Mozilla’s Open Badges infrastructure, any organization or community can issue badges backed by their own seal of approval. Learners can then collect badges from different sources and display them across the web — on their resume, web site, social networking profiles, job sites or just about anywhere. Unlocking new career and learning opportunities. 
By displaying skills and achievements that traditional degrees and transcripts often leave out, badges can lead to jobs, community recognition, and new learning opportunities.

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