This is the vision of a growing number of education reformers who feel that the standard certification system no longer works in today’s fast-changing job market. The Mozilla Foundation, the group that develops the popular Firefox Web browser, is designing a framework to let anyone with a Web page—colleges, companies, even individuals—issue forgery-proof digital badges that will give potential employers details about an applicant’s training at the click of a mouse. In September, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced a $2 million grant program, run in coordination with Mozilla, to encourage organizations to try the badge system. More than 300 groups have applied.
The physical ones are mostly for anyone to self-determine if they want them, schools are using these to award the kids when they’re done learning how to solder for example. As far as certifying these as something more than that, we wanted to go in another direction.
Our “digital” online version of the badges will be awarded by Limor “Ladyada” Fried herself and we’re basing that on specific criteria and it will be project based, not test taking 🙂 We’re really excited to see all the “merit badge” efforts and we’re curious where it will go. We’ll have our beta for our online version up soon, we have some testers now and we’ll be able to share the live system very soon!
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.