September 23, 2014

Open Badges in Education

Vitrine technologie-éducation (VTÉ) brings you this Lab on Open Badges in Education in collaboration with:


Ashoka Canada Logo

Ashoka Canada


In March 2014, Vitrine technologie-éducation (VTÉ) announced a partnership with Mozilla aimed at promoting a broader use of Open Badges in Québec education.

Several institutions have responded to an earlier call for partners. Champlain College Saint-Lambert, for instance, has been considering badges’ potential as part of the harmonization of the Recognition of Acquired Competencies (RAC) program. At VTÉ’s own host institution, Cégep Bois-de-Boulogne, the Continuing Education and Business Services Department has demonstrated a keen interest in badges in view of skills recognition. Back in June, DECclic (the shared Moodle platform for Quebec’s college network), started to migrate its systems to offer Open Badges within Moodle. During the Summer, Cégep à distance innovated in the use of Open Badges by integrating them in their Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), to our knowledge the first example of such an integration in Quebec’s Francophone sector.

Open Badges

Source : Wiki Mozilla <>



Vitrine technologie-éducation (VTÉ) runs its Labs as spaces for the discovery and exploration of both emerging technologies and new approaches to teaching. Through online meetings and followup activities in Fall 2014, a diverse group of scholars, teachers, practitioners, and solution providers from both the public and private sectors was able to assess the value of Open Badges in diverse learning contexts.

Please note that this group, communicating in English, focused specifically on the use of Open Badges in informal settings such as professional training and community involvement. The French-speaking group focused more directly on the ways Open Badges can be integrated to more formal settings, with a focus on institutional actors from the educational field. Key collaborators have been responsible for bringing pieces of insight from one group to the other.


In the following video, Ashoka Canada invited Mozilla Foundation’s Mark Surman to share his perspective on the potential for Open Badges to help reimagine learning.

Creating Your Own Path:
Interview with Mark Surman (Mozilla Foundation) by Charles Tsai (Ashoka Canada)
Part II of What Education is for?
An Ashoka Canada special series for the Globe and Mail.


The invitation to attend this Lab was extended to anyone interested in the use of badges in learning contexts, whether they be professors, teachers, lecturers, pedagogical advisors, trainers, or managers from across Quebec and beyond. As online meetings for this Lab was broadcast in realtime through Google Hangouts, it was possible to attend without registering. However, registering for this Lab (at no cost) allowed participants to receive further information about the events, shape some aspects of the Lab, and build a community of practice surrounding badges in learning contexts.

If needed, VTÉ reserves the right to give priority to Post-Secondary teachers and pedagogical professionals from Quebec.

Invited Experts

  • Charles Tsai is the Director of Learning Networks for Ashoka Canada. He leads a three year effort to engage Canadian colleges and universities in strengthening support for changemaking and social innovation. Through a series of national initiatives – including events, campaigns and special projects – Learning Networks seeks to catalyze collaboration and learning across innovation ecosystems. Charles also leads efforts to create a new knowledge currency (in the form of digital badges) for social innovation.
    A former reporter and producer for CNN, Charles ventured into the social sector in 2005 when he started Global Youth Fund, a charity based in Vancouver. In 2008, he joined Ashoka to oversee global campaigns supporting young social entrepreneurs. He has mentored hundreds of young changemakers through Global Youth Fund and Ashoka’s Youth Venture. Charles contributes articles on social innovation to Stanford Social Innovation Review,, and Huffington Post.
  • Bridget McGraw is a “t-shaped” digital consultant who has worked in education, non-profit and corporate settings. The base of her letter ‘t’ is communication. She trained as an artist and has worked as an environmental conservation editor, teacher, and project manager. 

    As an educational technologist, Bridget has evolved from sketching storyboards and overseeing multi-modal digital production teams in creating CD-ROMs for a distance education program to training leaders of after school program in digital badging with Temescal Associates

  • A former high school principal, April Moore is currently the Director for Curriculum and Instruction in the Corona-Norco Unified School District. Previously she was an administrator in the Educational Services division of her urban district serving students from preschool through twelfth grade. One of her roles is to facilitate the development and implementation of the district’s college and career readiness initiative, including the issuing of digital badges to all students. She earned her doctorate in education from the University of Southern California in May 2012.
  • Dominique-Alain Jan is Director of ICT and a teacher of Economics at the Gymnase de Nyon – a further education college of 1400 students between 16-20 years old – in Canton de Vaud (Switzerland).  Since 2007, in addition to his day-to-day teaching at the Gymnase, he has been lecturing on new technology and e-Learning methodology at the State’s Teacher Training School (HEP) in Lausanne. An ePortfolio expert, Dominique-Alain has been maintaining his school’s Learning services on a Moodle platform with more than 45 lessons given in blended learning conditions (part in class, part distance learning).
  • Don Presant is President of Learning Agents, providing educational technology solutions for learning and career development.  Don has been an active member of the international community developing Open Badges since early 2013. As a member of the Program Committee for the ePortfolio and Identity Conference (ePIC), he invited Mozilla Open Badge team to ePIC 2013 and Indiana University’s Open Badge research team to ePIC 2014. He currently serves on the Badge Alliance Working Groups for Workforce, Endorsement and Higher Education.
    Don is currently working on several initiatives to develop Open Badge systems for workforce development in Canada. He curates a page on Open badges for Training and Professional Development.
    Don is a regular presenter at annual conferences of the Canadian Association of Prior Learning Assessment (CAPLA), sharing international developments in ePortfolio and Open Badges and their implications for RPL practice in Canada.
  • Daniel T. Hickey, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator, Learning Sciences Program, Indiana University.
    Studying the Design Principles emerging across the 30 projects funded by the MacArthur Foundation’s Badges for Lifelong Learning initiative.
  • James Willis, III, Visiting Research Associate at Indiana University.
    Conducting research on digital badges and micro-credentialing in the Center for Research on Learning and Technology.