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The Badge Backpack

There has been an increasing use of badges across a number of Web sites, network services, and gaming platforms over the last several years. Badges are used for a variety of reasons including rewarding achievement, encouraging different forms of user engagement, or simply for the fun of it.

Badges can provide a good way for potential friends, collaborators, co-workers and employers to size you up. However, that’s only true if they can associate all your badges with you. Thus, an idea was suggested for creating a badge backpack that could allow you to store badges that you have picked-up from many different sites across the web and to associate them with you (your online identity). You could then push these badges from your backpack out to other sites, such as blogs, resume or job sites, or to other sites that support badges.

One especially exciting context to explore the idea of badges is in the world of open learning. Badges provide a way for learning communities to coordinate and collaborate if badges carry some meaning across different sites or projects. Further, badges provide an interesting context through which the educational community can explore new models of educational assessment and certification.

We are currently in the process of developing a badge systems, including a specification for badges as well as a set of software tools to support a distributed badge platform on the open web. If you are interested in helping us with brainstorming ideas or crafting technical solutions, look around at the various page linked to from the Badge Lab on this wiki. 

If you want to read more informal discussions of badges and the badge project, below are links to various blog posts as well as links to other badge projects.

Blog Posts

In reverse chronological order

Other badge projects

  • (or see File:Edufire-badges.pdf) includes badges for a wide variety of activities on the site, some badges include: 'Friend Pirate. Yarrrrr.'; 'I've Promoted Myself on Craigslist', 'I've Left 20 Ratings', and 'My Idea was Implemented!', '1,000 Unread Inbox Messages', and '1000 Classes Taken'.
  • Les Orchard's Badger