BadgeStack™ by LearningTimes Supports Successful NYC DIG/IT Initiative
NEW YORK, NY – September 20, 2012 – LearningTimes announced today that the successful DIG/IT initiative offered in New York City public high schools has been expanded to provide badge-based learning to more than 4,000 students in the 2012-2013 school year. DIG/IT, a digital literacy course created by the NYC Connected Foundations program, is designed to strengthen students’ digital skills and build teacher capacity with blended learning. DIG/IT uses BadgeStack to empower and encourage students to master real-world life skills and knowledge while engaging with and learning from peers in an online community.
Connected Foundations is managed by the NYC Department of Education and the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, and is funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Broadband Technology Opportunities (BTOP) program.
“The DIG/IT course represents a new way for students to experience learning and showcase achievements. Their work is grounded in discrete, relevant, real-world skills, and the BadgeStack system lets teachers communicate clear expectations and help students reach their goals,” said Michael Preston, Ph.D., Director of Blended Learning, NYC Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Readiness. “Furthermore, BadgeStack provides us with a fun and effective way to help teachers create their own blended learning environment.”
BadgeStack supports initiatives like DIG/IT that want to award digital badges and incorporate microcredentials in a personalized, competency-based and interactive environment for learners. LearningTimes has designed BadgeStack to make it easy for educators to set-up new learning programs and integrate badges into the classroom experience.
Jonathan Finkelstein, LearningTimes Executive Producer and Founder said, “DIG/IT is exactly the kind of learning context we had in mind when we created BadgeStack. Learners make progress towards mastery of real-world skill areas while picking up badges along the way that mark important milestones in their growth. It is exciting for all of us at LearningTimes to see the rapid expansion of BadgeStack in New York City schools and to see strong evidence of student engagement and success.”
BadgeStack is a first-of-its-kind learning platform that fosters and recognizes individual learning and community involvement through microcredentials and badges. The BadgeStack approach empowers and encourages learners to master new skills and knowledge, while engaging with others in a social give-and-take that builds one’s value to the community and network of connections. Learners earn badges that they take with them for life, demonstrating to the world what they know and how others value their contributions. The BadgeStack system is an ideal vehicle for building learning experiences around existing materials, subject matter expertise and open educational resources (OER), and for recognizing the informal and social learning that happens both in and out of institutional settings.
Based in New York, LearningTimes is the global leader in creating innovative, interactive online learning solutions that revolutionize the way the world assesses, rewards, and recognizes formal and informal learning achievements. More than 500 industry leaders including MIT, the Smithsonian Institution, Intuit, AASLH, American Association of Museums, American Library Association, the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Education, and the NYC Department of Education leverage the LearningTimes approach for reward and badge-based learning, digital credentialing, online conferences, professional development, training and more. For more information about LearningTimes, please visit www.learningtimes.com.
About Connected Foundations
Connected Foundations’ goal is to strengthen students’ digital literacy skills in the context of planning for college and careers, and to build teacher capacity with blended learning. Funded with a grant from the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), under the US Department of Commerce, in collaboration with the NYC Department of Information, Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), Connected Foundations offers a combination of online and face-to-face classroom learning to students in NYC high schools.