Cities of Learning

What is Cities of Learning?

Cities of Learning is a new approach funded by RSA and City and Guilds. It is an inclusive approach that promotes and recognises learning wherever it happens and leads to new pathways into education and work. Cities of Learning is helping people and places tell the story of their learning.

What is a digital credential anyway?

Digital credentials, or badges, are the future of skills recognition. They are wonderful little nuggets of achievement and experience you can be awarded, which carry the logo and credibility of the organisation that awarded them, along with some information to explain exactly what you’ve done.

They’re visible, employers love them and you can show them off in a variety of ways. You can keep them in your online digital badge profile, share them via LinkedIn or social media, put them into online CVs and applications or – if you want to hang them on your wall – you can print them out as certificates. They give you the language of your learning and achievement so that you can use it over and over again.

Don’t take it from us though – Have a read of these great blogs: Young people and their badges by Ben Cole and 5 reasons badges are great for students and job seekers by Jillian Linton.

Can I issue badges?

Yes! If you are in a position to offer people a learning activity or meaningful experience that will enrich their lives and support their learning then you could become a digital badge issuer. We can offer you support to create your digital badge offer in line with the Cities of Learning badge standard.

Cities of learning badges can be validated via City and Guilds and we can support to gain access to badge issuing licenses with Credly/Acclaim. These licences are free to you provided your activity is free to members of the public.

Pathways and playlists

They say that in the years to come, learning will be mixed and streamed in the way music and video is now. Rather than formal qualifications being the only player in town, they will just be one genre in a vibrant scene of learning credentials. A digital badge earnt from being a hard core scuba diver will sit alongside a credential for ethical hacking and a formal qualification in finance. We are entering the age where “learning and experience” is understood and treated as a digital currency and nothing we know or think we know about education will ever be the same again.

Real Ideas have worked with Navigatr as part of Cities of Learning to create this unique web app to help you curate your learning experiences and find different pathways and create your own playlists that can lead to exciting futures. The App will be available very soon and when it is we will have a link to it here. For support in using the app we recommend you become a Real Ideas member here.

Navigatr allows digital badges to be organised as pathways and playlists of learning and experiences. It can help prepare you for, and lead you to, any kind of future. Due to their visibility, digital badges can lead you to the futures you want to be part of as well as the ones you never even knew existed.

What’s behind the badges?

The Cities of Learning project is the culmination of three years collaborative work between The RSA, Navigatr, Our future Creators and us here at Real Ideas. We have had funding from UFi and City and Guilds and in Plymouth we have had significant support from Plymouth City Council. We are now working as a partnership called Cities of Learning UK to create regions of learning and design nationally recognised pathways that can be delivered in a local way. Join us on this journey and get yourself a badge!