European Badges Alliance - EBA Conference in Brussels
On 27th June, 50 participants from 11 different countries attended the European Badge Alliance-EBA conference in Brussels, to discover the outcomes of this 2-years Erasmus+ Strategic partnership.
The EBA Conference was sepparated into two parts. Setting the outcomes within two different dimensions, we had the morning part of the Agenda linked to a political dimension and then the afternoon one to an informational dimension.
In the morning, the first part of conference was held at the European Parliament, hosted by MEP Svetoslav Malinov, the rapporteur on the Europass revision initiated by the European Commission. During the session, we were able to discuss various topics and also to present our policy Recommendations as a vital outcome of the project.
Some of the most important topics that were tackled during the session at the parliament were:
- The connection of Open Badges with the Europass as a chance to enhance better the recognition of Learning Mobilities
As the revision of Europass is currently ongoing, EBA work wants to use the opportunities and connect the possibilities of the use of Open Badges within Europass. That would offer a chance to highligh and enhace the recognition of Learning Mobilities and assist participants, leaners and educators in explaining better their personal and occupation developement that takes place during their time abroad. With the statement by MEP Mr. Malinov, Mr. Lambardi and representative of European Commision Mr O'Keffe, we do see some reservations when it comes to new tools and approaches, but it is vital to incorporate these tools within time as they offer more chances and support young people to understand their own development better.
- Open Badges in the youth field, but other sectors as well.
As part of the Conference, the consortium had the chance to present all new set of Badges that were created during the project. That was seen as a connection of mobility in the youth field to the process of recognition of non formal education. In order to understand better this connection, and in line with our Policy Recommendations, the session included the presentation of using Badges in other sectors like in Universities and Local Administration. At the same time, participants commented on the potentials that this tool offers and saw further connection to adults' learning, involvment in decision making and other processes that we lack of participation by young people.
Closing the first part, the participants had the chance to network during the lunch at MundoJ, giving a possibility to discuss and comment what was presented at the European Parliament. This was a given space and time by the consortium in order to bild connections between the participants and to be able to discuss and address further the comments made by the panel. Additionally, participants got the chance to approach us for further comments and recommendations to our work, or to seek potential partnership. As before, there was time and still is to Join EBA Community.
Moving towards the second part, participants got a chance to go through details of the outcomes and specifically the badges and badges systems created by EBA. Within a structure of a training, attendance provided guidance on how to come up with a badge system and use the Badgecraft.eu platform to issue badges. At the same time, participants got a copy of the first draft of our publication. The final draft will be soon ready and published on EBA website.
The Badge Systems that we presented, were based on the Systems that we created and tested during the project. These set of Badges (in connection to their "creators") were:
BADGE SYSTEMS created by the Alliance:
- Badge System for Junior trainers (YEU);
- Badge System for Senior Trainers (YEU);
- Badge System for International Facilitators (YEU);
- Badge System for Organisers of International Activities (YEU);
- Badge System for International Training Activities (YEU);
- Badge System for International Placements (YEU);
- Badge System for Long-term School Exchanges (EFIL);
- Badge System for VET mobility (UNISER).
BADGE SYSTEMS tested addtionally by the Alliance:
- Badge System for International Youth Exchanges;
- Badge System for Mobility of Youth workers;
- Badge System for European Voluntary Service;
- Badge System for EVS mentors;
- Badge System for Strategic Partnerships.
Overall, YEU comes out of this project as an Organization that is aware of the possibilites that Open Badges bring. Due to the project and our General Assembly of 2016, we as YEU have moved beyong the use of Badges for testing and now we actually integrated them within our international activities. That connects to our roles as a youth organization and an advocator for the recognition of Non Formal Education and Learning Mobilities.
Open Learning Badges are used as part of our activities to assist participants and others (e.g PET members) while self-assesmening and to be able to recognize the learning they gain during those activities. At the same time, it empowers them to better explain and share what they have learned. That could be in relation to their CVs or while filling up their YouthPass. As it is part of our processes, we are working and will continue to do so to better integrate them within our work and specifically Youth Work, but to also contribute to a sustainable badge ecosystem with our Advocacy and collaborations.
If you want to know more about EBA and Open Badges, please visit the project's website.