The organization has launched the new standard in partnership with the MacArthur Foundation. As you’d expect from Mozilla, Open Badges is an open technical standard.
One of the unique points of the badges is that the software used to generate them includes the data necessary for verifying the issuer and criteria of the achievement. Mozilla offers up after-school programs, online learning and job training as examples of possible badge issuers.
If you earn a badge, you can use Mozila’s Backpack to display it proudly for the world to see on social networks, personal websites and more.
Mozilla boasts over 600 leading organizations making use of the standard.
“We often talk about finding ways to make learning more accessible to more people,” Erin Knight, Mozilla’s Senior Director of Learning and Badges, said of the release. “Open Badges has the power to make that happen. We can legitimize learning of all kinds, and empower people to create their own custom pathways toward jobs, education and opportunity.”
Open online learning institutions like Coursera and Udemy would benefit greatly from a badging platform, since it solves the problem of communicating, and verifying, what one has learned through courses.
Like them or not, digital achievements are a part of our world. While some may chalk them up to gamification, the concept of badges is an old one. After all, Boy Scout merit badges were a low-tech way for the organization to certify that its members had actually acquired a certain set of knowledge or skills.
So props to Mozilla for bring badges back and making them open. Now you can go forth and earn warm fuzzies for accomplishing things.
Image credit: Eyecandy Images