Badges @P2PU: An update and thoughts…


Pic by Leo Reynolds on Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Pic by Leo Reynolds on Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

A lot is happening in the badges space, and while it’s not clear what the next steps are for P2PU, we thought it would be good to share our thinking about these development.

The Badge Alliance is a new organization that was spun out of Mozilla and is stewarding the badges ecosystem. Philipp is on the steering committee (kind of like a board).

Most of the work of the Alliance happens in working groups (list of all the groups ). There are two kinds of working groups: infrastructure working groups, and ecosystem working groups. Ecosystem working groups look at particular communities of users (e.g. teachers or workforce development). Infrastructure working groups focus on things that are required for the ecosystem to be successful (things that are important, but that are unlikely to happen without focused attention … e.g. messaging about badges, or policy work). All of the working groups are public and anyone can join.

Especially in the education working group, a lot of people are asking for platform solutions. Erika, who was the lead designer / developer for P2PU’s badges platform joined the educator working group and is keeping an eye open for opportunities where our platform might be suitable.

On the point of platforms, P2PU currently hosts a badge platform at and our source code is on github and pretty easy to self-host. Our platform is unique in that is supports peer-to-peer feedback and not just top-down badge issuing. As far as I can tell, it’s also the only full-service open source platform that anyone can host at the moment. To make it more broadly used, we probably would need to invest a little bit of time in simplifying installation and editing some of the P2PU specific language. I talked to Erika about it, and she estimates it could all be done in a few weeks of focused work.

Last week, I hosted a “technology strategy workshop” that was organized by the Badge Alliance, at the Media Lab. The Badge Alliance saw a need to have more time to speak through its role in the technology space and invited both working group members and a few people who might be able to provide advice and input from a more strategic technology perspective. A report of the meeting will be published soon.

In sum, it’s not 100% clear where the key opportunities for P2PU are, but P2PU is participating in the conversations to see how we can help the ecosystem move forward and succeed.

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