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Digital Badges: The Digital Future of Improvement

The Past 

Throughout my entire life in education, from school to college, to university, the pursuit of improvement has always been highly regarded, especially when out of education. When I left university (I found out it wasn’t for me), I was completely lost on what I should do next.

Throughout our educational lives, we get awarded certificates, sew on badges, anything physical that represents accomplishment. This could be for anything, from winning first place in a race to completing a week of looking after an animal. This sense of accomplishment, for not only myself but for everyone is what drives us to do even better and to find out what we enjoy doing. 

So, what if there was a way to make things that might not seem to be important, help people like myself to show people what skills you possess? That is what Digital Badges are here to show, and they can be for anything, even if it doesn’t seem important. Employers look for people with specific skills and anybody can just say that they have these skills, but having a digital badge that tells them you’ve used this skill? It gives you an edge over everyone else. 

Crediting  Digital Badges 

You might not think it, but Digital Badges can do many different things for you when you’re applying for or interviewing for a job. They’re like good selling points. I have been awarded Digital Badges for various things and things that I never thought would be of any importance.

The main reason for this is, it’s not what you do, it’s what skills you use to do that specific task that are important. Like if you were to look after an animal for a week on your own. It doesn’t seem like it’s of any importance, however, the skills you use to do this, like independence, prioritisation and problem-solving. These skills are what most employers look for, and having a digital badge for these skills will give you unique talking points which have not only helped me but will help everyone.  

What I thought about digital badges when I  was  first issued them

My own personal thought when I was issued a badge was a confusing one. I didn’t understand what exactly digital badges stood for, what purpose they had and how they would help me. After some time, I began to realise that digital badges are like certificates, they, however, explain how exactly you’ve earned them.

Digital Badges are ways in which you can show what skills you have obtained during certain situations and scenarios. At first, I didn’t know this, and I was confused on how digital badges worked and how they could be used to not only benefit myself but also others, especially possible employers.  

Once I started building more of a larger variety of badges, it began to make more sense and I realised what they could be used for. They can help you not only remember what you have done and achieved but how you achieved it and what specifics were involved. Having those specifics are what is important and can really help you initiate conversations with employers.  

The way in which  I used digital badges

Personally, the main way I used digital badges was on my CV. Digital Badges are very visual on your CV or cover letter. They are extremely eye-catching and can really make you stand out from the crowd. They also can be very useful, as you can link them to the issuing website, which the employer can then view your Digital Badges on and know exactly how you earned it.

 Badges being made useful

Digital Badges are useful in so many ways. They are completely tailored to each person. Think of it as a story. What did you do to earn that badge? How did you do it? What kind of challenges did you have to overcome? What did you enjoy? What did you not enjoy? These are not only all questions that I've had to consider, but you’ll have to consider as well and think about during an interview. By using Badges as an example, it can make a much stronger answer. 

The Deciding Factor about Badges

The overall factor is that digital badges are the new and developing future. It will help not only young people like myself but also the older generation. These new changes will become much more common and more well known as more younger people, especially now, are trying to find out what they really want to do, and how they can progress. Like myself, I didn’t know where to start and how I was going to progress there, but thanks to Digital Badges, I have not only the skills and knowledge, but also the talking points of what I did, and how I did it. 

This is the new future. Where badges become digital, and digital  becomes  knowledge. 

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