Sunday, August 17, 2014

Collaborating to Create an Open Badge Ecosystem for Information Literacy

Now that I have entered a new phase in my career, one that affords me much greater freedom to accomplish good work, I am ready to contribute to the library profession in a meaningful way. I began my latest semi-Quixotic quest at the 2014 Library Summit this past week in Dallas. I'm grateful for the 15 audience members that contributed their time and ideas when they could have been in some other amazing sessions. Here are the basic premises of this new idea.

  1. A Library entity, anything from a School library system in a school district to a State or National Library Association can create a system of badges that grants digital awards to students that have demonstrated competence in a specific area of Information Literacy as defined by AASL 21st Century Learner Standards and/or ISTE NETS.
  2. The Badge Ecosystem should after a diversity of badges that are attainable to all skill levels and allow for a progression to the ultimate endorsement of "Information Literate." This endorsement which is a strong indicator of college readiness, would be sought out by students seeking to demonstrate their suitability for admission to college or university.
  3. A Badge system is desirable for librarians because, if implemented and marketed successfully, would give them more power to promote information literacy skills, which are often not adequately taught in the test-driven environment of public education.
  4. The badges could be awarded via the following ways
    • Ordinary coursework
    • Capstone research projects,
    • Online simulations or games
    • Library based tasks independent of classes
Imagine a world in which school librarians could leverage actual power! Today few of us can issue credits and grades even if we teach frequently. Badges issued by librarians have the potential to transform our practice. It is up to a thoughtful and determined group of us to design a badge system that will motivate the millennial generation towards information literacy. Please see the slideshow below and contact me if you are interested in being a part of this project. Public comments are also welcome.


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