Think about scouting merit badges. They are earned by youth members of the Boy Scouts of America after completing activities within an area of study. Earning merit badges allows Scouts to explore new subjects and skills. Badges denote appreciation and mastery of knowledge and skills.
What if we had something like that in digital form? We do! A digital badge is a validated display of accomplishment, skill, quality or interest that can be earned in any learning environment. Badges can represent traditional academic achievement or the acquisition of skills such as collaboration, teamwork, leadership, and other 21st century skills.
Badges can be earned by people of all ages, and can make any notable accomplishments visible to anyone and everyone, including employers, teachers, and peer communities. They can be earned in structured settings like classrooms, courses or seminars, or in more informal contexts, such as online communities or association gatherings.