Launch of Digital Leader Open Badges – #DLBadges

Welcome to all #dlchat, DLN blog users and anyone who coordinates – or is planning to coordinate – a group of students to help encourage better use of ICT around school. We now have a framework for accrediting digital leaders at three different levels and badges will be ready to use from September onwards.

all badges

Paul Scott and I have been writing a framework for Digital Leader Open Badges with support from DigitalMe and Makewaves. We now have a framework, badge designs, and have started developing the step-by-step tasks needed for students to complete each mission and gain a badge.

Before we go any further we would like to ask the DLChat community to review both the framework and the proposed structure for the missions. This is so we can ensure that the final versions match as many peoples’ expectations as possible and can be easily used by everybody to provide accreditation for our hard-working Digital Leaders. The framework has been developed from the work done in Bradford by Paul Scott and his team; the work I have done at Lady Lumley’s School with my Digital Leaders and with colleagues in North Yorkshire over the last three years; and collaborative work with various digital leaders/coordinators from #dlchat and DigitalMe.  We progressed via the initial consultation and this mind map: Digital Leader Roles and Skills mind map 29-01-14 The first draft of the Digital Leader Open Badges Framework is now published.  The levels are based on Blooms Taxonomy and our experiences with digital leaders so far:       Slide25

Please see my presentation #SSATACH14 Delivering the Computing Curriculum with Digital Leaders and Open Badges  (Slides 24-29) including examples of the missions – slide 32 – and Introduction to #OpenBadges from Lucy Neale, DigitalMe  for more details. The Framework and the first draft of level 1 missions and level 2 missions are available on this google doc –  the Digital Leader Open Badges Framework v1 for peoples’ questions and comments until the end of term. Paul and I will then integrate all the feedback and we plan to have all Level 1 and 2 badges available for use on the Makewaves social media platform from September onwards.  (#openbadges are availaSlide23ble on other platforms).

Coordination will be via the Digital Leader Open Badges Network home page: DLOBHomepage

There will be a channel for each badge role so that prospective badge earners can see what other digital leaders have done to earn their badges and apply this to their own school needs. I propose that, like the Quad Blogging initiative, we invite schools to get together in twos or threes and organise review-weeks, when one schools’ Digital Leaders will work towards a particular goal and have one or two other schools’ DLs review their badges and/or stories. We can link to resources as they become available – my DLs have already created stories about making good multimedia reports. Makewaves was suggested for DLs by Glyn Barritt, SSAT, and is an ideal platform for Digital Leaders to earn #openbadges and share their experiences.  It is a secure environment, requiring logging in, but then students have access to other sites on their network:Site Settings security feb 2014 halfsize

Makewaves is easy to use – my DLs created over 100 stories in their first two and a half months and they enjoy building up their profile pages and sharing comments.  The missions are very straightforward and should only need intervention by DL coordinators at the final stage to check the evidence and award the badge.  This is key – busy teachers have been a bottle-neck in the past and using Makewaves to allow Digital Leaders to become independent learners – collaborating together and running their own badge missions.


Makewaves are committed to ensuring that ALL evidence is available for all DLs in the future.  At age 13 DLs can convert their Makewaves badges into #openbadges and keep them forever in their Mozilla backpack.  Here Jon, one of our DLs, explains how:

Makewaves have a Basic Package which is free to join and if you email them when you join they will include your school on the Digital Leaders network and have free access to all of the badges.  As part of this initiative, and to find out the interest out there, Makewaves are offering a DL Pro Package to the first 30 schools to contact them whereby you can have access to the pro package for an annual licence of £199.  Again, email Makewaves when you join.  The DL Pro Package gives the same benefits as for the full school Pro licence – more than 30 minutes video and audio / an upload button for alternative forms of evidence / senior reporters /Channels and making unlimited badges of your own.  You can trial the pro package for two months to see if these benefits are worthwhile for you. For example, once my DLs got to 80 stories, I passed the responsibilities for publishing to my ‘senior reporters’ and they are now on 196… Here Ines explains:

Have a look at #DLChat on 3rd July 2014 at 9:00pm on twitter to see how the launch went…
Very best wishes
Chris Sharples and Paul Scott