PAI offers Early Child Education badges via LRNG Philly

During the summer of 2016, 25 students from Parkway West High School experienced digital learning and badging with LRNG through Philadelphia Academies, Inc.’s Experience in Education internship program. The summer internship program is an extension of school year programming at Parkway West High School, which includes three years of in-school instruction and a school year practicum experience. Students who successfully complete all classes and activities are eligible to earn a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential, a nationally recognized entry level credential for Early Childhood Education.

During the summer, Parkway West students worked at six different high quality childcare centers in West Philadelphia and Center City. The interns worked onsite Monday through Thursday, then participated in CDA-aligned professional development on Fridays on LRNG. Two playlists were developed for LRNG to support this work: ECE Health and Safety Basics and ECE Professional Skills.  First year students participated in the Health and Safety Basics playlist, which consisted of Local and Digital XPs: FEMA Multihazard Planning for Childcare, CPR Training and Certification, Choking Hazards for Kids, Child Nutrition, Hand washing for Preschoolers, and Fire Safety. Second and Third year students participated in the more advanced ECE Professional Skills playlist, with six Digital XPs: Get Physical: Gross and Fine Motor Skills, Cognitive Development: It’s All in the Senses, Get Ready to Read! Early Literacy at Home, Getting to Know You! Self & Families, Social-Emotional Skills: You Are My Guide, and Investigate! Program Management & Professionalism. Curricular activities and CDA alignment were supported by the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children (DVAEYC). The interns enjoyed the work, and found the badges challenging but rewarding. They enjoyed doing real world activities such as creating presentations and lesson plans based on what they learned, and liked the interactive component of conducting some of these lessons with their centers. LRNG helped the students codify and take ownership over their summer learning and knowledge acquisition. By the end of the summer, students learned how to include the digital badge on their resume as a way to talk about their new skills and knowledge.

Learn more about Philadelphia Academies Inc. and LRNG Philly.  

Badging Science Curriculum for Youth and Educators in the Promise Zone

Digital On-Ramps (DOR) is excited to be working with educators to develop digital badges for middle school youth as they learn to be urban scientists via a three year, $1.17 million National Science Foundation grant that Drexel University received this fall.

The grant will focus on developing science curriculum that involves activities for students to discover and explore the bio-diversity in the Promise Zone around Drexel University.  DOR will work with Drexel’s School of Education and the Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network to create digital badges that reflect the skills and competencies taking place as part of the learning and discovery.  DOR will also be working with Drexel’s App Lab to develop a mobile app and website that youth and educators will use to track their findings.

Digital badges will also be developed for educators who participate in the professional development being created by the Philadelphia Education Fund.  Educators will be trained in the new science curriculum and will be issued badges as part of their own learning experience.

Read more about the grant opportunity on the  Drexel Now news site.   

Digital On-Ramps hosts a Digital Badging Interest forum to expand connected learning network

Recently, Digital On-Ramps (DOR) invited organizations from across the city to join us over breakfast to talk about digital badges: how they're being used with youth and adult learners, employers, and in higher education. Participants had a chance to learn more about what it means as an organization and employer to create, issue and accept digital badges. Representatives from organizations that have already adopted digital badges had an opportunity to talk about the successes and challenges they've faced, and offer advice to administrators creating a digital badging system within their organizations. To help frame the national perspective on the innovation and movement behind digital badging, Jen Keeling, Director of Ecosystem Advancement, and Leila Toplic, Chief Marketing Officer spoke about the work of LRNG, their digital platform, and the summer of innovation that happened in LRNG cities across the country.

Attendees at the forum ranged from non-profit organizations to higher education institutions representing youth and adult learning perspectives, all interested in using digital badges to better serve learners and share resources as a comprehensive network. As follow-up, Digital On-Ramps will be offering digital badging trainings to help support programs creating digital badging systems. If you're interested in learning more about digital badges and ways DOR can support your organization, download our informational sheet or contact us at info@digitalonramps.com.

Resources:

Digital Badge Checklist

Digital Badges for the Service Year

In July of 2016, Digital On-Ramps hosted a "Digital Badges for the Service Year" event in our offices at Drexel University.  Service groups from the Philadelphia National Service Task Force along with participants from Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Minnesota attended the event and offered their perspective on using digital badges for service opportunities.  

Read our blog post published on the LRNG website.  

Showing What You Know

In March of 2016, Digital On-Ramps received a two-year, $300,000 grant from the Barra Foundation Catalyst Fund to support our work with developing digital badges connected to 21st-century skills and work readiness for both youth and adults.  

Read the Barra Foundation's article, Showing What You Know, on our LRNG Philly digital badging pilot.