Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Credly-powered Digital Badges for Mapping Media to the Common Core

(cross-posted from

I have started to create a digital badge credentialing process for the media products included in the digital literacy framework, “Mapping Media to the Common Core.” Digital badging is a way to provide credit and recognition for skills learners demonstrate in different contexts. In this case, I’m wanting to use a variety of digital badges to both recognize and encourage teachers to create digital media products both individually and with their students. The first six media products for which I created entry-level (bronze) digital badges today are Interactive Writing, Narrated Art, Radio Show, 5 Photo Story, Visual Notetaking and Narrated Slideshow / Screencast. Eventually I’m going to create “silver” and “gold” level badges for these media products, along with the other six products in the framework. I’m creating these badges so they can also be awarded by others, so if you’re a teacher, instructor or professor wanting to use them to encourage your own students to develop digital literacy skills you can.

First 5 Credly Badges for Mapping Media

At this point I’m thinking the “badge levels” will be:

  • BRONZE: Individually creating and sharing a media project
  • SILVER: Facilitating and sharing a STUDENT media project
  • GOLD: Helping / coaching a colleague to successfully create a media project (earn a bronze badge)

There are certainly many other possibilities, but that’s what I’m thinking about for the initial phase of this. I’d love to hear your feedback and ideas. This is something I’ve been thinking about and planning for many months.

To receive one of these badges, a badge-issuing organization/authority must certify via evidence (a hyperlink in these cases) that the prospective awardee has successfully met the badge award criteria. Check out my personal profile on Credly to see some examples.

I created these digital badges using the free web tools available on and the graphics I’d previously drawn (and remixed in one case) for Mapping Media to the Common Core. I’m thrilled Credly also offers BadgeOS, which is a free WordPress plugin. I’ve been waiting for that release since October last year at EduCause when I met Jonathan Finkelstein. Jonathan is a VERY smart guy and the founder of Credly. See my post for iThemes Education, “EDUCAUSE/ELI Badging Focus Group,” for more about what I learned then about digital badging. Also check out Class Badges, which is a different tool available (not from Jonathan/Credly) for digital badging with students.

By late June / ISTE 2013 I hope to have a Credly-powered digital badging process integrated into the “Mapping Media to the Common Core” digital literacy framework, most likely hosted on the media project sharing site I setup in 2011 for “Playing with Media: simple ideas for powerful sharing.” I also hope to integrate digital badging into the student Storychasers club website we’re using at Lakeview Elementary in Yukon Public Schools using BadgeOS.

Through this work I hope to help redefine digital literacy in practical ways in classrooms and communities around the world. I think digital badging holds great promise for initiatives like “Mapping Media to the Common Core,” which seeks to make the question “What Do You Want to CREATE Today?” a common refrain for learners across the K-20 spectrum.

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4 responses to “Credly-powered Digital Badges for Mapping Media to the Common Core”

  1. curbyalexander Avatar

    We must have been inspired by the same muse recently, Wes. I did something exactly like this with my classes last week, but it was directed at digital video only. In my case, I told the students there are certain things a teacher absolutely has to know how to do in today’s classroom. They worked in pairs to earn their badges and posted the link to their videos on an open Google Sheet. Here is the link to the activity:

    You’ll notice you get some cred in there. I adapted the idea of your video scavenger hunt. I did not give the students actual badges (other than my verbal approval of their videos), but I think that would be effective. They turn in a portfolio at the end of the term, and the badges (including links to the project) would be a nice way to display what they have learned.

    The flipped classroom lessons were a huge hit. One student remarked, “I thought I was good at explaining stuff, but this showed me I need to work on that.” This is a good way to practice explaining/demonstrating difficult concepts to student in a way they can understand. This also gives them insight into the curriculum, standards, and wisdom of the teacher.

    Thanks for sharing this great idea and resource, Wes!

  2. Wesley Fryer Avatar

    Great lesson ideas, so glad you could build off that scavenger hunt! I think introducing preservice edu students to badge-based learning is a great idea… Definitely check out – they have a very straightforward way of using actual badges. Like Credly they have tools for building badges so you’re not ‘starting from Scratch.” I think the way Credly aggregates badges within their app is pretty slick. Thanks for the update, Curby! 🙂

  3. Gretchen Pitts Avatar
    Gretchen Pitts

    Hi Wes – I’m looking into utilizing Digital Badges for staff (professional development/accomplishment based) and students (possibly 4th-6th) and am teetering between Credly and ClassBadges. I used ClassBadges with my 5th graders when I taught in the classroom, but am now the Lib Media Spec. and can’t quite decide which might be better! Reading this topic of yours makes me wonder if you chose a favorite after this experience? I know it’s been 3 years since this post, but hoping you have some insight! Thank you! (Gretchen Pitts – Morrison Public Schools)

  4. Wesley Fryer Avatar

    Hi Gretchen. My wife is looking at implementing a badge system this year so we’ve been revisiting these platforms and questions this summer as well. I think part of the answer comes down to technical details. It’s been awhile since I set this up but the technical requirements to use Credly and WordPress were certainly steeper than they would be with a website like ClassBadges. The benefit is more control and also owning the badge setup and not being beholden to ClassBadges remaining online / available / free or available at a price. I have not setup a badging system with ClassBadges myself so I’m not in a great position to make a recommendation. If you want less technical issues I’d go with ClassBadges since you shouldn’t have to mess with hosting and technical issues as much. Please keep me informed on what you do and how things go! I continue to be very interested in these ideas and technologies.