Today is a monumental day for Open Badges. At the annual CGI America conference in Chicago, former President Bill Clinton just announced a groundbreaking new initiative - 2 Million Better Futures - dedicated to helping 1 million students and 1 million U.S. workers access opportunities through Open Badges. Let’s just repeat that one more time….a commitment to helping 2 million lives through Open Badges! The best part is that we (Mozilla) have teamed up with John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and HASTAC to take the reins and fully commit to making this happen.
Through the initiative, the Open Badges partners (including us!) will be scaling up the use of badges nationwide over the next three years so that 1 million K-12 and college students and 1 million workers will be able to use badges to advance their academic progress or further their career goals.
So why badges and why now? According to Erin Knight, Mozilla’s Senior Director of Learning and Badges, “The learning and employment landscape is changing drastically in today’s digital world and it’s widely apparent that we need credentials that can support the current demands. Badges are credentials for the 21st Century digital age, which can be used to represent a more complete and verified picture of what people know and can do, and can connect them to better jobs and advancement. Employers and institutions will be able to go beyond abstract credentials or self-reported resumes, to more credible information on candidates and find better matches, unlocking better professional futures for all involved.”
To no surprise, the commitment is already in motion. Nichole Pinkard, Digital Youth Network Founder and Visiting Associate Professor in the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University, announced today that DePaul University will be one of the first institutions to join the Open Badges commitment by starting to accept badges for college credit. You too can commit to the 2 Million Better Futures initiative here http://www.2mbetterfutures.org/ !
And as always, we at Mozilla, along with the other partners, will provide outreach and technical assistance to help employers and universities across the country incorporate Open Badges in hiring, promotions, admissions and credit over the next three years.
As the team spearheading the Open Badges movement, today is one of those days in which we truly feel like we are changing the world, one badge at a time. Today we raise our glasses and virtually toast to you, the Open Badges community of earners, issuers, displayers and employers, as together we can and will better the futures for 2 million lives (and more!).
For more information check out Clinton Global Initiative and join the commitment here. Make sure to follow us on Twitter for minute-by-minute updates over the week.
Cheers to you helping shape the future of Open Badges with us!