Providence, RI Schools to Award Digital Badges for Student Work

We’ve posted before about the potential for digital badges to revolutionize workforce development.  Here’s another sign that the revolution has begun:

A collaborative project between a nonprofit organization, the Providence After School Alliance, or PASA, and the 23,500-studentbadges Providence district is allowing students to engage in for-credit, badge-earning learning experiences outside school. Examples range from developing and pitching business plans to local venture capital firms to learning how to make Android phone applications at Brown University.

While Providence’s approach—to encourage connections between in- and out-of-school learning and get students more engaged in school—is gaining steam both at the state and district levels throughout the country. The district stands out as one of the first to bridge the two goals by having students receive badges and academic credit for out-of-school experiences. . . .

. . . . In addition to having their badges displayed on the PASA website and recognized by the school system, students are able to post them on social-media sites such as Facebook, and use them wherever else they see fit, such as with college applications.

Rhode Island College, in Providence, has agreed to accept badges on college applications as a testament to the value of learning experiences and skill acquisition.

You can read the full story at Education Week here.  We learned about it through our membership in the Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC).  Thanks to HASTAC member Sheryl Grant!

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