What are Badges?

Media Smart Libraries will provide librarians the opportunity to earn digital badges in the areas of Access and Use, Analyze and Evaluate, Create and Collaborate, Reflect, and Take Action. Each digital badge is earned by attending a workshop or event and completing meaningful activities that provide hands-on experience. These badge activities allow librarians to test the skills they’ve learned, join in the larger discussion on media literacy, and produce tangible evidence of their learning. Once earned, these digital badges identify librarians as leaders in Rhode Island’s media literacy and library communities.


What is a digital badge?

Badges are a digital representation of your formal and informal learning that you do on a daily basis. They validate your exploration and skill achievements for the whole world to see. Badges are PNG file images that are embedded with the same information, including your name, the criteria to earn the badge, the issuer name, and the URL link of the evidence for your badge.

This is all possible due to three organizations (MacArthurFoundation, Hastac, and Mozilla) that collaborated and launched a badge initiative called, Open Badges, several years ago. This system is open-source and constantly evolving through the efforts of active community members. Through their endeavors, they have created standards and a uniform design for badges. The uniformity of the badging system allows learners to gain achievements from across the internet for you to cohesively display your skills and adventures.

For more information on Open Badges, see Mozilla’s Open Badges website (http://openbadges.org/about/).

For more research and recent news on badges in general, see MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Badge Program website (https://www.macfound.org/programs/digital-badges/) and Hastac’s Badge Initative website (https://www.hastac.org/initiatives/digital-badges) 

What can I do with a badge?

Badges can be used in multiple ways in both online and offline contexts. Online, you can combine your badges onto a central location, or what is called the Open Badges Backpack (https://backpack.openbadges.org/backpack/login)*, and share your achievements to the world, including potential employers, co-workers, educators, and fellow enthusiasts. You can also display them on your personal websites, Twitter, and Linkedin accounts, with more platforms available every day! Offline, you can download the badges, and because they have the embedded data in the PNG file, you can keep your badges on any device.

The most important thing to know about digital badges is that every day there are more and more possibilities just waiting to happen!

*You will need a free online account that can be linked through your email.


Badges available from Media Smart Libraries:

To learn more about the badge program please watch these tutorials

access.pngI. Access and Use: Learn to identify and curate developmentally appropriate film, visual, and digital media, using tools being used today by children, teens and their families, including free software tools, cell phones, digital cameras, and other low-cost resources.

Analyze.pngII. Analyze and Evaluate: Ask critical questions, analyze film and video messages, and reflect on technology, media content, and popular culture as it affects individuals and society.

create.pngIII. Create and Collaborate: Work collaboratively or individually to create and share media messages that use a combination of language, images, sound, and interactivity to address authentic audiences.

reflect.pngIV. Reflect: Engage with others in identifying shared goals and needed changes

takeaction.pngV. Take Action: Learn practical strategies for community organizing, advocacy, collaboration, and modeling best instructional practices in digital and media literacy.