Open Badges: how to recognize knowledge and skills acquired outside schools and universities

Knowledge is not restricted to the classroom, which leads many students and professionals to invest in complementary activities. One thing they have to deal with is to validate experiences that improve the curriculum, but are not part of the traditional teaching system, such as free courses, participation in projects and voluntary work. Get to know Open Badges, an online certification program for free learning.

The user puts together, for free, his own resume through a software developed by Mozilla. He can add achievements, skills such as creativity and collaboration, and even citizen attitudes such as participation in recycling or animal defense programs. It is the opportunity to show differentials that can not be identified in a diploma.

The badged gather data such as date of issue, details about the issuing organization and the activity developed. The information can be shared in blogs, websites, social media or even in the email signature. The goal can be earning school credits or even get a job. Today, more than 3,000 organizations around the world recognize and value knowledge acquired in free courses.

Any individual or organization can become an issuer of Open Badges as long as it offers a learning experience. That includes teachers, event organizers, government agencies, non-profit organizations, libraries and museums. NASA, YMCA, Smithsonian American Art Museum and Intel are some of the examples.

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