FAQ

  • What is Maine State of Learning?

    Maine State of Learning (MSOL) is a project fueled by public and private partnerships across the state of Maine to provide more learning opportunities to Maine citizens of all ages, recognize that learning through digital badges, and connect it to statewide proficiencies, career pathways and personal goals. Check out our About page for more information.

  • What are badges?

    A badge is a symbol or indicator of an accomplishment, skill, quality or interest and have been successfully used to set goals, motivate behaviors, represent achievements and communicate success in many contexts. A “digital badge” is an online record of achievements, tracking the recipient’s communities of interaction that issued the badge and the work completed to get it. Digital badges can support connected learning environments by motivating learning and signaling achievement both within particular communities as well as across communities and institutions. (Source: Erin Knight White Paper)

  • How do I sign up for the 2015 Summer pilot?

    We are excited you are interested! For the 2015 Summer pilot, you need to enroll directly through the programs available from the MSOL participating organizations. You can find a list of the current programs here. Once you are enrolled and start earning badges, you will get access to the Maine State of Learning website. If you are a parent enrolling your child, you will be asked to sign a parental consent form from the participating organization before your child can start earning badges. Contact the programs you are interested in directly to learn more.

  • Why is this a Summer Pilot? Will Maine State of Learning continue beyond this summer?

    Yes, we plan to continue Maine State of Learning beyond the 2015 Summer pilot, get more organizations involved, and expand to other counties throughout the state of Maine. We are calling this a “pilot” because we are in the inaugural, experimental year. The pilot year is intended for us to learn many lessons from deploying the program at a relatively small scale, determine the adjustments needed and apply them to subsequent iterations of MSOL. Through this process, we plan to improve the overall experience for all the stakeholders involved including parents, learners, participating organizations, schools, employers and corporations.

  • Do the badges I earn over the summer count for school credit?

    As you may have noticed, we have several formal education institutions that are participating as learning providers for the 2015 Summer pilot. We are actively engaging these institutions as well as other formal educational institutions on the concept of badges as a complementary and alternative credential that can help paint a more dimensional portrait of a student and their learning path beyond the letter grade or GPA. While badges will not count as formal credit in the Fall of 2015, there are active discussions underway to explore how to incorporate badges as part of student achievement and across formal education institutions moving forward.

  • How do I get started?

    On the Explore page, which is also the homepage, you can see a list of the 2015 Summer pilot participating organizations. You can click on each organization, learn more about the organization, and see all the earnable badges they have to offer this summer. You can click on each badge and read more about the badge too. After going through all the different learning opportunities, you have the opportunity to reach out to the organization directly through the contact information provided and sign up to join the program. If you are a parent that is interested in signing up your child, you will be asked to sign a parental consent form from the participating organization before your child can start earning badges.

  • How do I create an account?

    During the MSOL 2015 Summer pilot, you need to earn a badge from at least one of the participating organizations in order to get a Maine State of Learning account. You can learn more about the 2015 participating orgs here and get the information you need to sign up and start earning badges.

  • How do I get a badge?

    First, you have to join and participate in a program run by one of the MSOL participating organizations. You will learn the steps you need to take in order to earn each badge from the organization. Overall, the process will look like this:

    • After completing the criteria to earn a badge, your learning instructor will issue you a badge in one of two ways:
      • They can send the badge to your email or your parents email (if you’re under 13) or
      • They can provide you with a claim code for you to use in claiming your badge.

    Email Option:

    If your learning instructor sends you the badge through email, you will have to check yours or your parent’s email account. In the email that is sent to you or your parent, if this is your first badge, there will be a link which takes you to the page where you will walk through the steps to create an account. Once your account is created, you will be taken to your My Badges page where you will find your badge. If you already have an account, simply log in to reach your My Badges page. The My Badges page serves as your portfolio of badges where you can print your badges to show your parents, friends and teachers.

    Claim Code Option:

    If you have been given a claim code by your instructor, you can go to the Maine State of Learning site. On the top of the page you’ll see where it says, “Claim Your Badge”. Follow that link, input the claim code you received and walk-through the steps to print your badge.

  • How do I claim my code?

    If you are being awarded a badge with a claim code, first go to the Maine State of Learning site. On the top of the page you’ll see where it says, “Claim Your Badge”. Follow that link, input the claim code you received and walk-through the steps to print your badge.

  • Can I print out my badge?

    Yes you can. Once you have added the badge that you have earned to your My Badges page, you can click on the badge to see the badge details. There you will see a “Print this badge” button that you can click and walk-through the steps to print it out.

  • Can I share my badge through social media?

    For the 2015 Summer pilot program, we have not included social media share options, but we plan on reaching out to summer program participants and gathering feedback on the overall user experience of the site. If it is apparent that social media sharing is a high demand feature, we will add it to our feature development planning.

  • How do I get involved?

    There are different ways in which you can get involved with the Maine State of Learning (MSOL). You can:

    1. Join the initiative as a participating organization
    2. Design or host an upper level challenge
    3. Sponsor the initiative

    Contacts us at info@mainestateoflearning.org for more information on getting involved.

  • What does a learning provider do?

    Let us know you are interested. There is no cost to participate, just a little of your time to think through and overlay badges onto the learning experiences you currently provide.

    Participating in the pilot allows you to:

    • Highlight and amplify the learning opportunities you currently provide
    • Expand your organization’s reach and impact
    • Connect your program into the broader ecosystem of learning in Maine
    • Join the diverse and innovative EdTech community
  • What does hosting an upper level challenge entail?

    The ultimate goal with the MSOL is that learning should not take place in isolation, and every skill or accomplishment has the potential to ‘unlock’ access to additional or deeper learning options. We want to make learning pathways as transparent as possible and equip learners with the skills and information they need to succeed.

    For the pilot this summer and beyond, we’re looking to have at least one higher level project or challenge per track that each learner can unlock access to after earning a certain number/combination of badges. This project or challenge may include a tour, opportunity to talk to employees at a particular company about their career pathway, a collaborative project, a workshop or an event. For example:

    • Learners earning 2 or more skill badges in the Arts/Maker track might unlock access to a special Maine Maker event at the end of the summer sponsored by a local museum.
    • Those earning badges in the environment track could unlock access to a project to create a PSA about the dangers affecting local wildlife, which could be sponsored by the local news channel.

    If you or your organization is interested in hosting one of these challenges/projects, or are open to inviting a subsection of badge earners to participate in something you already have planned, let us know!

    We currently have four levelup tracks:

    1. Environment/Outdoors
    2. Agriculture/Food
    3. Arts/Maker
    4. Computer/Tech
  • How can I sponsor MSOL?

    If you are interested in sponsoring MSOL, please email info@mainestateoflearning.org and we’ll send you the details to get you going!

    We have different sponsorship level and can provide details for each upon inquiry.

    • Platinum Sponsor: $10K+
    • Gold Sponsor: $5K
    • Silver Sponsor: $1K-$2,500

    Sponsorship Benefits

    • Support this exciting and promising effort
    • Get promotion through the website and channels, including the broader statewide efforts
    • Help us develop career pathways and on ramps into critical jobs and industries in our state
    • More! See more details on the Sponsorship page
  • Does it cost anything to participate?

    There is no direct cost to participate in MSOL. As a participating organization, you will work with at least one MSOL representative to coordinate the overall effort and to help define your organization’s program badges. This involves several check-in meetings and one-on-one calls, as well as some badge definition and program information work on your own. We anticipate this to be a total of a few days to a week’s worth of work.