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Have you recently joined us on a training course? Perhaps it was ITIL, or Azure, Veeam or VMware. If you did, you may be the lucky recipient of a “micro credential”. If you received an email from a company called Acclaim, suggesting you may want to accept your digital badge. Don’t panic. Acclaim is our digital badging partner. Wondering if you should accept? Here are 3 reasons and history lesson why you should.

The History lesson

The idea of micro credentialing, including badging isn’t new. In fact, as a 53-year-old, I’m going to claim it as Generation X invention. Way back in 1982, when computer game Activision released Patches. Back then, you took a picture of the screen, sent it to them and they sent you an iron on badge. I’m delighted to say, digital badges still reward for effort and recognise achievement but no longer require the use of an iron. All you need to do is look out for the email and accept your digital badge. Then, as now, one of the ideals behind badging was to both reward the individual and provide a direction for future learning (or gaming back then).

3 reasons why you should accept your Digital Badge

Courses courses everywhere.

Digital course completion badges will replace paper certificates as evidence that you have completed the training. In addition to the paper saving environmental benefits, it will also provide you a single place to view your courses and certifications – I’ll be disappointed to have my shoe box of certificates replaced.  Amazingly I still have my 30-year-old Epson, Compaq and Novell certificates.

What you learnt, when and what next

The traditional course certificate is a fairly non descriptor thing. It has a course title, a date and a squiggle of a signature of a trainer. Impossible to validate and impossible to work out what was learnt and what to do next.  A digital course completion badge from DDLS is issued by DDLS so is validated, it includes what was learnt during that course and makes a recommendation as to the learning direction you may want to consider as part of your learning plan.  Imagine that. You can show the project manager of that huge cloud project, that you have attended learning on securing the platform. Do the certification as well and you’ll have a badge that validates that learning.

Personal achievement and brand

There was a time I used to frame my favourite certificates and have them proudly displayed on the wall.  Whilst that may have impressed the occasional friend who stopped by, it never really helped me get that project gig I really wanted. The benefit of digital badges I most like is the ability to frame them on your own digital wall. Whist you can easily share them on Facebook, that’s bound to impress your Aunty Susan, that value is short lived. Add the digital badge to you LinkedIn profile and your peers in your own organisation, and around the world will see that you take your professional development seriously and the sort of skills you have based on that learning. Of course, sharing our digital badge also helps DDLS. We’ll happily reward you with an ice cream when you next train with us. Digital Badges and an ice cream, now that is a win-win.

Things to do list

If you join us for a course and don’t get invited to accept a digital badge, ask that we add the course (we are rolling this out and have about two-thirds of the courses covered).

If you receive an email from Acclaim that mentions digital badges, accept the badge.

Once you have accepted your badge, share it to the world, and add it to your LinkedIn profile (if you have one).

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