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Digital Badges for Museum-based Learning

Digital Badges for Museum-based LearningLuis Mora, L.A. Unified School District, Beyond the Bell Branch @luismoramaestuRebecca Edwards, The J. Paul Getty Museum, @gettymuseumLynn Yamasaki, Japanese American National Museum, @jamuseumJanet Tran, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Museum, @JanetAPLCCalifornia Association of Museums Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, Feb. 19. 2015

Session Time: 10:00 am - 11:15 am

Agenda10:00-10:05 am: One sentence introductions10:05-11:05 am: presentations11:05 - 11:15 am: Questions from audience


digital badges?

Question (Luis): Why even think about badges?

Answer (Janet):

Help level the playing field. By providing opportunities for discovery, skill building and workforce preparedness, Cities of Learning help level the playing field for kids and teens who dont otherwise have access to out-of-school enrichment. By linking in-school academics with real-world interests and supportive social networks, Cities of Learning can also help keep youth stay engaged in school and on a path toward college or career success.

Increase workforce preparedness. By creating professional skills development and internship opportunities, Cities of Learning give young people the hands-on experiences they need to succeed in the workplace.

AccessThe value of badgesWhat do badges representmicrocredientialingMitigate education expenses in low income familiesWill serve as better indicators of skills than formal credential

WhyWhat?How?digital badges?

Questions (Luis):Whats the value of badges from the perspective of a school district?Whats the value of MUSEUM badges? Budget cuts impacted Music and Arts programs in School Districts. A way to fill that vacuum.

Answer (Luis):

Students are better able to learn when they can connect what theyre doing across different environments and settings--when students are interested, connects more with curriculum

Encourage discovery. By creating opportunities for young people to explore new interests, Cities of Learning foster the curiosity and resilience youth need to thrive in a world of constant change and help them envision how their talents can be applied in real-world settings.

Prevent summer learning loss. By creating enticing opportunities for youth to explore new interests and continue learning throughout the summer months, Cities of Learning help maintain or increase the academic gains achieved during the school year.

WhyWhat?How?digital badges?

Question (Luis):Whats the value of badges from the perspective of museums?

Answer (Rebecca and Lynn):

Connects us to broader community: the schools and the cityOpportunity to validate the value of learning in a museum environmentAdded value to something were doing anywayFun experiment; opportunity to try something newReaching new/different audiencesTake advantage of a new existing platform without having to create it ourselves

WhyWhat?How?digital badges?

Ask audience (Luis)::Take 3 minutes to talk with a person sitting next to you about why youre interested in badges.

Why?WhatHow?did you badge?

Question (Luis): What did you badge at your museum?

Answer: Each museum describes their badges in subsequent slides

Why?WhatHow?did you badge?Japanese American National Museum

Lynn describes JANM badge*****************

Large summer festival, 3,751 people in attendance. Crafts, cultural activities and performances. Taiko, obon, karaoke, crafts, tours, exhibition related events. Free-for-all.One day event, rather than ongoing throughout the summer.Had a station with staff and signage. We were prepared with claim code to give out to those students who were already registered but we found that visitors hadnt heard of badges and werent set up so, there was a need to explain the program to them. Since they werent setup yet, we collected information, parents email address and after event, back-of-house, we uploaded their basic info and emailed instructions on how to login, setup account. Awarded badges to all, they then had to claim.

13 kids signed up. After the event, we went in back-of-house and emailed claim invitation to all of them, of the 13, 3 claimed.

Why?WhatHow?did you badge?

Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & MuseumJanet describes Reagan badges

Why?WhatHow?did you badge?

The J. Paul Getty MuseumRebecca describes Getty badges


did it work?

Question (Luis): How did you design and build the digital badges?

Answer (Janet):

widely used platform, already exists for anyone to useopen source, available for anyone to usethe way we used it on our end -- fill out a formtemplated so you dont have to have your own specialized badgeAllows organizations to enter their information, create programs and workshops, upload badges, set up user and student accounts, and award badgesWe used Mozilla Badge Kit, DYN Discovery platform to allow users to find and select badges, administrative site to manage the user accounts and award badges.

Why?What?Howdid it work?

Question (Luis): How did the students find and earn the badges?

Answer (Lynn): Students went online and signed up by creating an account, enter information about themselves. (Name, address, grade, parent/guardians name, phone, email address.)Then, students can search for badges of interest (by topic, keyword, zip code)Users had option of selecting online or face-to-face opportunities.


did it work?Question (Luis)How did the students collect the badges and share their accomplishments?

Answer (Luis):Students amass badges in their online portfolioShareable via Facebook, LinkedIn, emailWebsite also recommends other badges based on what badges students have already completed

Why?What?Howdid it work?

Question (Luis): How did you get involved in the Cities of Learning project?

Answer (Rebecca): Comprehensive city-wide initiative, started in Chicago. Broughts together a unique coalition of city and school district, county agencies, community based organizations, philanthropies, public and private companies and the Mayors office, In Los Angeles, started by LA Mayors office, with LAUSD as a organizing partner. Public-private partnershipFunded by the MacArthur Foundation, under the umbrella of the Mayors office, involving different types of organizations (EWDD, Chamber of Commerce, CBOs, Museums, Public Libraries, School Districts, etc.)Numerous organizations (58) participated; 6 of them were museums

Why?What?Howdid it work?

Previous slide, continued (Janet):

Cities of Learning movement happening in a lot of cities; started small and gradually expanding to more cities.Started in Chicago in 2013Each city is developing the program to fit the citys unique structural needs/circumstances; Los Angeles was unique in its involvement of the school district. In all cases, the mayors office is involved.The initiative receives support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Badge Alliance, and DePaul University.

Why?What?Howdid it work?Other examples: Dallas Museum of Art

Question (Luis): What are some examples of other badging programs at museums?

Answer (Rebecca):

Rebecca will very briefly describe the Dallas Museum of Arts badging program(will adjust length/depth depending on how much time we have left)

Why?What?Howdid it work?

Other examples: SmithsonianPrevious slide, continued:

Rebecca will very briefly describe some of the Smithsonian badges (will adjust length/depth depending on how much time we have left)


Janet Tran Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation &

Luis MoraLos Angeles Unified School

Thank You!Lynn Yamasaki Japanese American National Museum

Rebecca EdwardsThe J. Paul Getty

Additional InformationAccounts Created: 55,000+Badges Awarded: 31,490Participating Organizations: 58Title I Students: 65%English Learners: 45%Gender Ratio: 51:49Ethnicity: Same ratio as LAUSD

Additional InformationParticipating Organizations:Number of Organizations trained: 58MuseumsLos Angeles Public LibrariesLos Angeles City DepartmentsLos Angeles Unified School District Vocational ProgramsLAUSD Beyond the Bell BranchCommunity Based OrganizationsBadging Activity:Number of badges published: 136Face to Face Learning Programs: 838Online Learning Programs: 162