Introducing Open Badges 1.0

Cross-posted from the Mozilla blog

Get recognition for learning that happens anywhere.
Share it on the places that matter.

Mozilla Open Badges web site

Today we’re extremely proud to release Mozilla Open Badges 1.0, an exciting new online standard to recognize and verify learning. Open Badges makes it easy to…

  • earn badges for skills you learn online and offline
  • give recognition for things you teach
  • show your badges in the places that matter.

This is a project we’ve been developing for the past two years, in partnership with the MacArthur Foundation. Why is it important? These days, we all learn things in a wide variety of ways, but there are few opportunities to gain formal recognition for these skills. Traditional certifications, like degrees and diplomas, still lack the granularity to show the skills people have — like writing skills for an engineer, or project management for someone with an arts degree.

Not only that, but there’s no way to take all those skills and show them off in one place, regardless of where you’ve earned them. Open Badges changes that. It takes digital badges to a new level and makes them more powerful, networked and credible.

More than 600 leading organizations are now using Open Badges to issue badges that count toward education, careers and lifelong learning. Together we believe this can shape the future of learning, and help unlock the full educational potential of the web.

Girl Scouts can now earn digital badges for building apps as part of the “My Sash is an App” project

“We often talk about finding ways to make learning more accessible to more people,” says Erin Knight, Mozilla’s Senior Director of Learning and Badges. “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.”

Badges backpack with collections

What’s so great about Open Badges?

  • Knits skills together. Through the Open Badges shared standard, badges for the same skill-set can connect and build on one another — whether they’re issued by the same organization or many different ones. Individuals can earn badges that recognize learning and skills from multiple sources both online and offline — from learning HTML with Mozilla, to volunteering and leadership skills with Girl Scouts, to learning introductory robotics and engineering with NASA.
  • Full of information. With Open Badges, every badge has important data built in that links back to who issued it, how it was earned, and even the projects a user completed to earn it. Employers and others can dig into this rich data and see the full story of each user’s skills and achievements.
  • Can go anywhere on the web. The Open Badges backpack gives users an easy way to collect their badges, sort them by category, and display them across social networking profiles, job sites, websites and more.
  • Recognizes learning that matters. Open Badges’ free software allows any organization that meets the standard to begin issuing — and verifying — badges. Currently 600 organizations have issued 62,000 badges to 23,000 learners. A growing list of who is issuing badges is available here.
  • Free, open to anyone, and part of Mozilla’s non-profit mission. Open Badges is designed, built and backed by a broad community of contributors. The open source model means improvements made by one partner can benefit everyone, from bug fixes to new features.

current issuer badges

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