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Make Room for Microsoft on the Digital Badges Bandwagon

Digital badges have been slowly gaining traction among major certification vendors, order and now Microsoft has joined the parade. Ed Tittel says the decision is a big win for (almost) all concerned.

Green punch out digital badgeI’ve been tracking and talking to the Big Three certification providers (Cisco, CompTIA and Microsoft) for more than two years now without getting a sense of progress or gathering momentum from any of them.


Imagine my surprise, then, on Thursday (Oct. 20), when I stumbled across an announcement on the Microsoft Learning Born to Learn blog with the eye-catching headline “Introducing Digital Badges for Microsoft Certified Professionals.” I guess I’d known it was just a matter of time before somebody bit off on badging their credentials, but it still came as a somewhat welcome shock to see it happening at long last.


The badges are going to become available as of Oct. 21, through Pearson VUE subsidiary Acclaim, which creates digital records for certain MS exams and cert credentials to let IT professionals proclaim having passed the former and achieved the latter. Acclaim recently helped Oracle transition to digital badges, so they know what they're doing.


And, as I have long hoped, Acclaim’s digital badges do support the Mozilla Open Badges standard. So the new Microsoft badges should be readily accessible and interchangeable online, via the web, e-mail, social networks, and so forth.


The real substance on the badging effort appears on the Microsoft Badges web page, which is chock full of details and interesting information. Here’s what the page says under the heading “What is a digital badge?”


“Badges are web-enabled representations of your Microsoft certifications. Your digital badge is made of an image and metadata uniquely linked to you. This ensures that only you can take credit for your achievement.


"You can share your digital badge to popular online destinations, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. It can also be embedded in a résumé, your personal website, or an e-mail signature. Anyone who views your badge can select it to learn more about your skills and to verify its authenticity.”