Scratch ON!

A few weeks ago, Ryan and I had the opportunity to attend and run a workshop at the Scratch conference at the MIT Media Lab in Boston…it was awesome. Educators from across the world participated to deliver workshops, give ignite talks and engage in a massive knowledge exchange about one of the most powerful platforms to engage youth in computational thinking and programming.


We had to get a photo opp with the Scratch cat himself.

Mitch Resnick’s keynote address, a tribute to Seymour Papert touched on 5 of his most powerful ideas from “Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas”. One idea that has resonated with me is Epistemological Pluralism, “accepting the validity of multiple ways of knowing and thinking.” If we can continue to promote Many paths, Many styles (the theme of this year’s Scratch conference) throughout our formal and informal learning institutions, I think we’ll see many more faces at the CS table.

Mozilla’s BadgeKit…yes

I’ve been working on youth-based badging systems for the last couple of years and while it’s been a lot of fun, the implementation process has been confusing and difficult at times. Some of the tools I’ve used include Badgestack, Credly, BadgeOS, and a custom-made platform (compliments of Parsons). They’ve all met certain needs, but one required lots of customization and maintenance or the other wasn’t flexible enough, etc.

A little bird (Open Badges Creative Lead) told me last week that Mozilla is finally rolling out its own badge creation and issuing platform, and it put a big smile on my face. It’s going to be awesome for all the youth organizations who’ve been clamoring for a well-designed plug and play system…it’s been a long time coming.

It’s called Badgekit…cute, though I did hear Badge Bento Box thrown around (LOVE IT).


I haven’t read the full details yet, but it appears that Mozilla has created the kit to guide the badge creation and issuing process as well. They’ve come up with crafty “recipes” to break down each part of the process.

The lovely Jess Klein wrote a great blogpost last week with more information here.

Get your badgemaking on! No excuses now : )