The World’s First Digital Badging Partner

Aurora Public Schools is putting itself on the map.

Aurora Public Schools in Aurora, Colorado, has a new job posting that I believe is the first of it’s kind: Digital Badging Partner. According to the job description, the role

“…is focused on providing teachers at the school site with skills necessary to ensure that credentials are earned for every student through the APS Digital Badging Initiative. The partner will provide support in the general instructional format at the elementary, P-8, middle school or high school level(s).”

The position is akin to an Instructional Coach whose supports for schools and teachers are exclusively through the lens of using Digital Badges in order to provide students with evidenced-based credentials that validate their skills. APS has developed a Digital Badge System that is being piloted in 16 schools and is accessible to teachers and students at all grade levels, beginning in Preschool. [For more on the APS Digital Badging Initiative, check out this interview that appeared in Chalkbeat Colorado on June 22.]

School districts attempting to design and implement a Digital Badge system at scale will quickly learn that it is a lot of work, especially for classroom teachers who are tasked with both learning about a new concept and finding time in their busy lives to incorporate it into their existing classes. In creating this new position, Aurora Public Schools is recognizing that it is unrealistic and unfair to expect teachers to embrace Digital Badges without strong professional supports at the district level. While this may be the first job of its kind, I anticipate other districts watching closely and, if they see positive results, following suit.

Disclosure: I am working with Aurora Public Schools as a paid consultant on the APS Digital Badging Initiative.

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