About Badges

What is a badge?

A badge is a visual representation of an accomplishment, such as skill competency, knowledge competency, attendance, participation, project completion, or a professional credential. Digital badging is beginning to be integrated into undergraduate curricula and is also emerging as a way for working professionals to document their professional development and accomplishments. A person can display their badges on web sites, resumes, and portfolios. K-12 students can complete Smithsonian Quest™ badges in a private online environment and earn credit for the extension activities, in which they participate.

Two great ways for students and teachers to earn digital badges and share their accomplishments!

Here’s a helpful video tutorial for teachers to get started with Smithsonian Quests™!


Hoping to continue this conversation with your students?  Sign your class up today for the Smithsonian Quests™ program which features fun & free learning extensions connected to the content of each of the Smithsonian Online Education Conference Series!

With each online conference session, you’ll notice there is an associated digital badge that can be earned by students for their submissions of quest-inspired work.

To earn a badge, students complete a series of quests, in which there will always be some type of “artifact” that the student will produce. These artifacts might include a creative writing assignment, a photograph, an oral history, a graph, etc. that will be submitted online for approval. A group of specially trained Smithsonian educators will review and assess all student submissions, highlighting completeness, content mastery, connections made to their own communities and care taken to complete each of the quests and follow the instructions.

Here’s a helpful video tutorial for students and their families to begin with the Smithsonian Quests™!


After the conference, you’ll also be invited to earn Smithsonian Education badges that are representations of your participation in the Smithsonian Online Education Conference Series as participants, or even someone who sparked great discussion. These are sharable badges that can be linked to social media accounts to let others know of your connections to this conference and your participation. Great for teachers who want to showcase their involvement in the sessions as professional development!

How can I view and track these badges?

Once you have met the criteria for a badge, you will receive an e-mail at the e-mail address provided during the online conference registration process letting you know the badge has been awarded to you. The e-mail, sent from our partner, Credly, will provide a link for you to review and accept the badge. You will be prompted to set up a Credly account. Once logged into your account, you will be able to view the badge, accept it, and display it on social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. (Note: The term “credit” used in Credly communications is the same as “badge”)

Who can I ask if I have questions about the badges?

Email learning@si.edu  for any questions you may have about the badges, technical assistance or help navigating the Smithsonian Quests™ and badges websites.

The Smithsonian Center for Education & Museum Studies is proud to partner with LearningTimes to offer these digital learning opportunities, through the BadgeStack network and Credly.