Credly and BadgeOS were featured prominently in a great article in Inside Higher Ed, entitled "Digital Badges in the Classroom", by Alan Reid and Denise Paster.
The article opens with the connection between open learning and the open badge movements:
The open badge movement has stemmed from the independent learning and massive open online course (MOOC) frameworks of empowering and motivating learners to complete noncredit academic work, either from a distance or at a self designated pace.
... These digital badges then can be collected and shared on social media outlets serving as recognizers of certifiable skills. For instance, proficiency in a specific technological tool could be validated with a digital badge, and this badge could then be displayed on a LinkedIn profile, electronic portfolio, and listed on a resume.
It goes on to describe "A DIY badge program":
A do-it-yourself digital badge program is easily within reach for your institution, department or individual course. All you need is a little bit of tech savvy and three key ingredients: Credly, WordPress and the BadgeOS plugin.
The first, Credly, is an online web service where you can design, manage, and share digital badges and credit that has been earned. This site has a social media feel to it and encourages users to network with one another.
The authors acknowledge the importance of validity, identity and authenticity:
Certifying and Valuing Digital Badges Of course, anyone can visit Credly and begin developing digital badges, and this raises the question of validity. Smartly, though, Credly will certify an “issuer” (an individual or institution offering the badge) after a thorough vetting process and an annual fee of $150. This extra layer of authentication is highly recommended.