Adafruit’s online “skill” badges are now LIVE and in beta!
Limor (ladyada) will award a badge to a kid when she sees they are publishing/making cool projects. When they are awarded a badge they get an email to get a real one sent to them in the mail and they a get a digital version (and profile) online with the badge(s) they earned.
There’s an XML feed, a leader board (skills earned over time) and we’re working on an API so anyone can do something like this. The goal is to celebrate skill earning the same way kids play video games. unlocking achievements and earning badges. We also have a teacher who is using the badges as a reward for the curriculum he’s developed. Another goal is to get the Girl scouts (and/or Boy Scouts) to adopt modern maker-themed badges like: 3d printing, laser cutters, robotics (girl scouts does not have that one), soldering, etc… We also think this may start people thinking about “hacker scouts” – a scouting program that’s more peer-to-peer, distributed, built in the 21st century utilizing the tools and technology we have. Next week 3/12/2012 is the 100 year anniversary of the girl scouts.
5 beta participants!