Monday, December 24, 2012

merit, online, image, digital, and open badges

I read a tweet the other day about badges and it got me thinking about all the different types of badges and the names being used for badges. I wanted to capture what I understand to be four different kinds of badges;
  • traditional badges - these include merit badges (scouting), awards like ribbons, martial arts belts, and other patches, buttons, and displayed insignia, etc...
  • online (or image) badges -These are logos or images that infer participation or membership and are displayed on blogs and websites. These provide links back to the origin site, and, in general, don't provide an acknowledgement of achievement. More used for an affiliation.
  • digital badges - achievement and recognition type badges that are digital and awarded by online communities, learning/educational sites, and social networking sites. (Khan Academy, Four Square, P2Pu, and WebMaker are a few).
  • open badges - A badge infrastructure to support all of the above badge types with the addition of embedding meta-data into the badge image file. The ability to embed meta-data adds the ability for a badge to be self-describing and link back to why the badge was awarded.
In the end I hope all types of badges support an open meta-data standard describing the badge. This includes the traditional badges. I'd hope any badge earned over the course of a life could be displayed as a part of a persons online profile [wherever a person chooses their profile to be (facebook, linkedin, blog, wiki, etc)].