Nate Otto //

Partnering with Oregon Center for Digital Learning (OCDL) on the Trust Ecosystem Project

Several students in a computer lab smiling and looking at the computer screen.

At Concentric Sky, we are proud to serve as the technology partner for the Oregon Center for Digital Learning (OCDL). OCDL is a new non-profit organization founded to support the use of digital badges and other collaborative education technology for learning in Oregon. Together with OCDL, we have applied for a grant through HASTAC & MacArthur's Digital Media and Learning (DML) Competition ( - which is focused this year on trust in Connected Learning environments.

As a technology to support education, Open Badges have tremendous potential to connect learning across different contexts and to build connections between widespread educational organizations in our communities. As a founding member of the Oregon Badge Alliance, Concentric Sky hopes to further develop the technology that students and the programs they participate in need to bring learning experiences closer together and promote trust.

Along with our partners in the Oregon Badge Alliance, we plan to help jumpstart and support a cross-section of collaborative pilot programs issuing Open Badges. 12 such programs are currently under way, including partners among out-of-school learning organizations, workforce development nonprofits, and higher education institutions. We will also be building a framework for cooperation, though the Oregon Badge Alliance, supporting not only these programs that wish to issue badges, but also the learners who earn them and the representatives of employers, educators, and potential collaborators who want to understand them.

Our proposal for the DML Competition is now open for public voting through January 20. If you support our efforts to create a Trust Ecosystem around Open Badges in Oregon, we ask that you visit the DML Competition site and vote for our proposal. The people's choice component of the competition could help us win one of three $5000 technology grants that could further support our program.

The Trust Ecosystem Project

The Trust Ecosystem Project will work with 12 pilot badge programs, employers, and Oregon Badge Alliance partners in workforce development, government, K12 and higher education to build software and a framework for connecting learning experiences with Open Badges. The project aims to close the loop between badge issuers, earners and consumers by building software that represents the interests of each stakeholder group. Each application will be released open source as well as hosted for public use. Beyond software, the Trust Ecosystem Project will organize a youth advisory council and will bootstrap a trust network around badges with pilot programs and badge-consumer partners in Oregon, yielding a variety of case studies and potentially exportable implementation models.