"While a lot of great folks are thinking about learning pathways, competency-based systems and re-thinking professional development, another cluster of words gave me pause. Much of the conversation focused on “implementing” badges, as opposed to building communities of practice. When the conversation about badges doesn’t focus on the learners, “implementation” feels like a top-down, hierarchical notion of learning and power. Another word–“personalization”–raised a red flag for me. In a landscape of learning platforms where a program “adapts” to a learner’s needs, “personalization” insinuates learners working alone, in a system designed to recognize only one right answer. And while conversations about the “needs of the workforce”, professional development and the for-profit sector are important ones, we have an obligation to balance those needs with building an engaged citizenry and enabling a creative society."