Earthworks Rising

Earthworks RIsing is a website and badge system.





The Earthworks Badges System (EBS) is interactive, social, and allows for learner customization. EBS is innovative in the way it not only functions as a dynamic badge, but is also a social networking tool, connected to the EBS website wiki and forums and learner’s personal blogs. All are developed to encourage communication (online and within one’s community), critical and analytical thinking, systems thinking, creativity, problem solving, and collaboration.

The EBS and website reflects our vision of how to construct an “affinity space” (Gee, 2012). The entire EBS is accessible through one Badge with multiple “strands.” The design and structure of our multiple “strand architecture” provides a wide range of opportunities for differentiated learning and mentoring experiences. Learners will have the opportunity to explore a wide range of content within the badge through interactives, links for exploration, games, and more.

Members of the EBS community will be encouraged to create, demonstrate, and share significant active learning experiences through creative offerings or gifts:  poetry, essay writing, art-making, collage, video, podcasting, remix, modeling, etc. Mentors review the learner’s offerings/gifts and award the badge strands and provide feedback. Mentors will also suggest ways to evolve the process of how learners earn badge strands. Website forums will provide a place for conversation about various content. A teacher area ties all activities to the Common Core.

Our iterative development and research approach is collaborative, (i.e. engaging with end-users to inform development). This research will define the larger ecosystem of badging as more robust than a system of iconic rewards or achievements. We anticipate surprising research findings because we believe new tools will invite new ways of doing things (Shirkey, 2010).


Gee, J.P. (June 2012) Keynote: “Dr. James Paul Gee, untitled.” Games for Change [conference]. New York, New York.

Shirky, Clay (2010). Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age. New York, Penguin.


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