We will explore how informal and nontraditional learning environments are impacting how we think about education. In particular, we'll discuss peer-to-peer learning trends and unpack the need for microcredentials and badge-empowered learning, which Finkelstein is pioneering as part of major initiatives with groups such as the Smithsonian Institution, the New York City Department of Education, Yale University, WCET, and programs for schools, museums, libraries, and other nonprofit organizations across the globe. Finkelstein will share examples of new educational programs and online communities that leverage digital badges to build ongoing relationships with learners, foster engagement, and acknowledge learning that often goes unrewarded or unrecognized. Badges also help learners showcase discrete skills and competencies that have value in their current professional and social lives. We’ll look at how even formal educational programs can leverage the benefits of microcredentials.