Makewaves students spearhead digital badge movement

High school pupils Lewis Phillips and David Simpson are pioneering revolutionary learning tools by creating their own digital badges – a piece of work they will discuss in their media workshop at the BETT education conference later this month.

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Lewis Phillips and David Simpson of Inverkeithing High School

Rising media stars Lewis Phillips and David Simpson of Inverkeithing High School

The Open Badges movement is shaping online education and accreditation in exciting new ways, and we are very happy that Makewaves is the first young people’s network of its kind in the UK to make Open Badges available to learners.

Leeds, West Yorkshire (PRWEB) January 17, 2013

Two high school pupils are pioneering a revolutionary new learning tool by designing and issuing their very own Mozilla Open Badge for online accreditation.

Inverkeithing High School pupils Lewis Phillips, 17, and David Simpson, 15, are using the social learning platform Makewaves to create the badge, which peers can earn and display on their own web profiles by completing tasks and helping others to learn.

Lewis, 17, and David, 15, have been invited by BETT – the UK’s largest conference on education technology - to deliver a presentation about their TES award-winning media club and to announce the new badge.

Lewis said: “I am really excited to be part of the digital badge revolution, and can’t wait to see my badge around the web when it becomes available to other students.”

Open Badges give learners the opportunity to show skills and achievements online and are available to members of the Makewaves network of over 3,500 schools.

Cliff Manning, Communications Director at Makewaves, said: “We are delighted to have added a new layer of learning to the Makewaves platform. The Open Badges movement is shaping online education and accreditation in exciting new ways, and we are very happy that Makewaves is the first young people’s network of its kind in the UK to make Open Badges available to learners.”

Makewaves is now an ideal environment for learners to earn Open Badges, which are being rolled out across the web by Mozilla Foundation. Makewaves, along with project partners DigitalMe, are joining high profile partners such as NASA and Disney in embracing Open Badges.

The Open Badge project was announced by Mozilla in September 2011, aiming to “create learning that works more like the web.”

“Badge collection may eventually become a central part of online reputation, helping you get a job, find collaborators and build prestige,” wrote Mozilla’s Mark Surman on the day of the announcement.

Initially, learners on Makewaves will be awarded badges automatically when they complete the stated criteria for each badge. Teachers using Makewaves will soon be able to award badges to students, and a further stage of development will allow teachers to create their own badges for any activity, task or project.

Cliff Manning explained: “Members of our safe social learning network can now earn badges to reward creativity and evidence new skills they are developing in wherever they are: in school, at home or through after school clubs.”

Lewis spoke about the benefits Open Badges for his generation, saying: “Collecting badges that recognise achievements seems like a great way to acknowledge the things young people do that often get overlooked by formal qualifications and exams,” he added. “It would be great if, in future, badges become tools that help people access higher education or even get jobs.”

Cliff Manning added: “Open Badges can be gathered across the web which means you can combine them into a story about what you know and have achieved. Makewaves is a safe and easy way for young people to share that story.”


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