Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Cub Scout Badges as Digital Badges

I'm looking at implementing Digital Badges for Scouting Canada badges. The interesting part is many of the features for distributing and hosting the digital badges related infrastructure and features are available with Mozilla Open Badges and Scoutstracker. Using these existing platforms and approaches is a good idea, so I reached out to Dakemi Communications the maker of scoutstracker. The contact was successful and, to make a long story short, I need to write a few user stories regarding the use of digital badges within scouting.

Note: It is important to recognize that Mozilla open badges provide features where digital badges can be verified as reputable. The issuer and earner of the badge can be verified toward the issuing of the badge and the assessment of the skills and knowledge implied by the badge can be confirmed. In other words, the skills and knowledge identified by the badge have been recognized in the recipient. And digital badges can't just be copied from one person to another.

  • Scout - this can be a person who has earned badges in any of Cub Scouts (8 - 10), Scouts (11 - 14), and/or Venturer Scouts (14 - 17). These badges collectively show the beginnings of mastery in many areas, and are well assessed for completion. 
  • Leader - this is a person (or group of persons) who has evaluated and awarded a badge.
  • Observer - this is a person interested in looking at a Scouts badge accomplishments. This could be a potential employer, a college or university, a volunteer organization, a friend or associate, a parent, or anyone interested in looking at a scouts badge accomplishments. 
User Stories:
  • As a Scout I want to display my scouting accomplishments (badges) in my social media like facebook, tumblr, linkedin, Etc...
  • As a Scout I would like to display all the badges I have earned since beavers, and be able to organize the badges into themes across all my scouting years.
  • As a Scout I want to organize my scout badges as clusters to show the themes of my scout accomplishments alongside with my other similar (non-scouting) accomplishments.
  • As a Scout I want to review the digital badges of someone I admire or someone further along the scouting path than myself. I want to identify the accomplishments of another, so I can follow a similar learning journey.
  • As a Leader I want to see the scouts have recognition for their accomplishments (both online and off).
  • As a Leader I want to assign badge completion and also award through information technology and the internet.
  • As a Leader I want to support the scout in promoting their accomplishments while not wearing their scout uniform.
  • As a Leader I want to display my Scouting accomplishments in Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • As an Observer (employer) I want to review a persons accomplishments to assess their character and work ethic.
  • As an Observer (parent) I want to encourage my child to have a healthy and strong online persona.
  • As an Observer (University recruiter / admissions) I want to get a view into a persons background and accomplishments outside of their academic accomplishments.
  • As an Observer (associate / new friend) I want to view a persons background.
  • As an Observer (friend) I want to have fun with other friends in sharing our personal accomplishments.


Doug Belshaw said...

This is really exciting, Peter! I helped the Scouts think through their ICT badges a couple of years ago and go this through the post this week: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dougbelshaw/16486072268/

Open Badges is the obvious next step, and I think there's a lot we can draw from the work that's happened in the community over the past few years. :)

Patric Lougheed said...

If it saves me from having to sew on another badge I am all for it!

It does seem inevitable to be moving into a digital system but the loss of the tactile experience is something I have trouble reconciling. Seeing my son's face light up when he hands me a badge he earned in Beavers is priceless.

Ironic since I am setting up a Canadian badge platform using Mozilla's badgekit.

Peter Rawsthorne said...

All very exciting. I agree with the tactile experience. When we issue badges to all the recipients they are very excited to have a physical badge. I know i will always advocate to also keep the physical badges. The photo in this post is of my actual badges from > 30 years ago. My box of badges has always been given priority as I moved through my life!

Anonymous said...

This is really interesting Peter! Have just been Chatting with Doug Belshaw this morning about exploring the use of Digital Badges in UK scouting and it would be really good to have a call with yourself to find out a little more about the work you have been doing in Canada.

Let me know if that is something we can work out :)


Matt Rogers
Education Project Manager