Technology Headlines

BadgeStackTM Adds Reward Badges to HYPE Program;

HYPE (Healthy Youth Peer Education) Develops High School Students into Leaders

NEW YORK, NY - December 13, 2012 - Using the innovative BadgeStack learning platform, Muhlenberg College enhanced their HYPE Program this year to include badges to recognize participants' accomplishments. Since 2006 HYPE, which stands for Healthy Youth Peer Education, has developed leadership and community advocacy skills in local high school students through documentary filmmaking.

The program continues to expand with over one hundred high school participants completing the program. BadgeStack enabled HYPE instructors to create a Learning and Community system where students took on and recorded a series of media-oriented quests, instructors assessed that student work, and peers discussed and critiqued each other's contributions. Sharable badges - digital credits that recognize achievement and can be displayed publicly across social networks -- are awarded for digital storytelling, videography and editing and HYPE-specific internal badges are issued to acknowledge leadership and teamwork.

"The badge system was something new and the teens wanted to play with it, learn it and learn through it, make it their own - from concept to creation to implementation -- and that's the whole idea!" said Anthony Dalton, Digital Cultures Media Specialist and HYPE Instructor at Muhlenberg College.

The success of the combination of BadgeStack and HYPE is apparent, as instructors and students are co-producers of the badges for the program and students add the badges they earn to social networking sites. Students dedicate four weeks of their summer to the program, but do not currently receive any high school or college credit, so the badges add important value to their work. Students' interest and pride in their badges continues even after they have completed the program.

Richie, a student in the program had this to say about badging: "What I like most about the badges is how they brought everyone in HYPE together in a group effort and how some badges were given for secret things you did that were good."

"The team at Muhlenberg College has developed a powerful program that is -- at its heart -- about valuing youth voices," said Jonathan Finkelstein, director of the BadgeStack Project.  "HYPE's innovative and thoughtful issuing of digital badges to recognize creativity, advocacy, and media-making skills shows youth that their contributions and causes are valued. The badges certify real world achievement while giving youth a means to easily share evidence of their accomplishments and skills with peers, instructors and future employers."

To view the complete 'HYPE story' visit their blog: www.hype.blogs.muhlenberg.edu.
 
About BadgeStackTM
BadgeStack is a first-of-its-kind learning platform that fosters and recognizes individual learning and community involvement through digital credentials and badges. The BadgeStack approach empowers and encourages learners to master new skills and knowledge, while engaging with others in a social give-and-take that builds one's value to the community and network of connections. Learners earn badges that they take with them for life, demonstrating to the world what they know and how others value their contributions. The BadgeStack system is an ideal vehicle for building learning experiences around existing materials, subject matter expertise and open educational resources (OER), and for recognizing the informal and social learning that happens both in and out of institutional settings. For more information visit: www.badgestack.com

About the HYPE Program
HYPE is a community of practice supporting young people as they use digital media tools to raise their voices about community issues. Through documentary work, they creatively challenge the stereotype of young people as "problems" and raise awareness about the real social issues that impede their community's health and well-being.
HYPE mobilizes young people to shift their identities from media consumers to media makers, and creates a critical framework for valuing youth voices within the community.

Contact: Denise LaBuda, denise@badgestack.com