A version of this post originally appeared on the YALS site on Tuesday, December 25.

Have you heard about YALSA's badges project - a project funded by the MacArthur Foundation; Mozilla; and the Humanities, Arts, Sciences and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC). The monies give YALSA the chance to develop a set of badges to help those working with teens in libraries gain skills and knowledge. The badges, which will launch in the spring, focus on the seven competencies covered in YALSA's Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth.

You might wonder, what are badges and why should I care? We've got some answers for you in this podcast with me, Matthew Moffett - YALSA's Podcast Manager, and association Board member Sarah Sogigian.


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This episode's guest is Erin Knight, Learning Director for the Mozilla Foundation. Erin walks us through all the ins and outs of Mozilla's new education initiative Badges for Lifelong Learning, a developing system that will enable users to highlight and gain recognition for specialized learning and achievements outside the standard classroom or workplace.

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If'  you prefer, you may go to the' YALSA Podcast Site, download the Mp3 file and listen to it on the Mp3 player of your choice. To avoid missing future episodes, add' the feed to Itunes or any other rss feed tracker.

For more information on the program you can visit the project website openbadges.org. Please also check out the Digital Media and Learning Competition for proposals issued by a number of different organizations, including YALSA, for different ways of using the project.

Thanks for listening!

Communications Outreach Marketing Badge ImageIt's that time. I know you know. Back to school.

It's also time to give YALSAblog readers an update on the YALSA professional development badging project. A project that will give library staff working with teens a chance to continue their learning about working with teens successfully.

As many readers know, for about a year YALSA has been developing professional development that supports gaining skills and knowledge related to the association's Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth and that results in learners earning badges. We've hit a few stumbling blocks along the way, but we are now on a good track for soft-launching the badges this fall. (Those of you who have volunteered to test the badges will definitely be contacted as a part of this soft-launch.)

While there have been some challenges as the badges developed, every time we take a look about what's being built I get more and more excited about the opportunities that this project will provide library staff, and others, to learn about how to successfully work with teens. Some things to know about this upcoming form of YALSA professional development: Read More →

Last week members of the YALSA Badges for Lifelong Learning team participated in meetings all about badges and badging systems. The meetings brought together those awarded funding as a part of the Digital Media and Learning Badges project and included presentations by badge programs such as Who Built America and LevelUp and opportunities to talk with others about the projects under development.

All meeting participants were asked to be prepared to talk with others about the challenges of developing a badging project and the lessons learned during development.

In putting together the list of challenges and learnings, the YALSA team realized: Read More →

We've been talking a lot about badges on the YALSAblog but haven't given readers much of an update on what's going on with the association's badge project. First, we've just made an Xtranormal video with a bit of information about how the project is going to work. Check it out below:

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In this post in the YALSAblog series on badging programs we look at the way that programs that serve teens in their out of school hours are integrating badges into their programs and services. There are a lot of interesting ways these programs are using badges and they can serve as models for libraries that might want to develop their own programs. Or, present opportunities for partnerships between community organizations and libraries who can develop badging programs together.

While some schools are just now realizing the usefulness of badges, some out of school time programs, like Girl Scouts, have been using badges for years. Now, even Girl Scouts, are using badges in new ways. "My Girl Scout Sash is an App, aims to encourage girls ages 5-17, with an emphasis on those in middle and high school, to learn app development as a way of seeing computer programming and other science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) skills as career choices...."
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For the past few weeks, and for the next few weeks, the YALSAblog is talking about badges. This week our focus is on the positive impact of badge programs in school environments.

An example of a school-based badge program is the New York City Department of Education's course called DIG/IT. This course prepares students for life after high school. "The DIG/IT course provides a context that empowers and encourages learners to develop new real-world skills and knowledge that advance life goals, while engaging with others in a social give-and-take that builds community credibility and connections. Fun, motivating badges demonstrate to the world what the learners know and can do, and how others value their contributions." Read More →

In our ongoing series of blog posts on badges, this week we thought it would be interesting to gaze into our crystal ball and look at what experts are saying about the future of badging and professional credentials. What will happen to resumes, college transcripts, and other traditional forms of credentialing in a world of badges? Read on to find out.

  • Dr. Martha Kanter, Under Secretary of Education at the U.S. Department of Education, believes badges are very valuable and have great potential as “microcredentials.” In a podcast interview with Jonathan Finkelstein, founder of LearningTimes, and director of BadgeStack project, Kanter spoke about employers moving from looking at paper to learn about the skills and knowledge of potential employers to reviewing digital information about what a potential employee is capable of. Her comments focused on the fact that badges are an excellent way, in this new environment, to document and demonstrate what someone knows and can do. Read More →

Over the past few months you've probably heard about the association's new Badges for Lifelong Learning project. As YALSA develops badges that you'll be able to earn online to demonstrate your knowledge and skill related to the association's Competencies for Serving Youth in Libraries, we thought it would be helpful to regularly provide information on how badge programs support adult learning. To achieve that, this is the first in a regular series of posts on badges that will appear on the YALSAblog.

You know about YALSA's badges, but you might be asking how will earning badges help me? Or, you might wonder, can I further my own professional development through badges? Check out the three resources below for answers to those questions. Read More →

In this five minute interview learn from YALSA President Jack Martin about YALSA's Badges for Lifelong Learning project which gives library staff the opportunity to gain skills related to the association's Competencies for Serving Youth in Libraries. The project is funded by HASTAC, Mozilla, and the MacArthur Foundation.

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The badges, which will launch in early winter 2013, support Jack's presidential theme which is Connect, Create, Collaborate.

YALSA would like to learn more about your interest and knowledge of badges in learning. Let us know by taking a short survey. The association will be publishing articles and providing a variety of learning opportunities before the badge project launches. Stay tuned for all we have planned.

You can learn more about YALSA's Badge project on the Digital Media and Learning (DML) site and on YALSA's website. If you would like to learn more about badges in education check out this article from EdWeek.