Friday, March 13, 2015


I went to the CECA/CASL conference this fall and a presenter talked about putting PAPER  badges on  teachers' doors. I tried it with "Google Classroom" users and I had teachers coming out of the woodwork looking for recognition. It fizzled out as more people came on board. Teachers who weren't involved in Classroom wanted badges for other technology they were working with.  

My badge looked a lot like this!

On another "recognition" note, our principal has encouraged us to put "drops" in teachers' buckets who have made some kind of positive impact on us or students. I get drops every month for perfect attendance (I'm a bit competitive) and give them often for all kinds of things. Some people I "awarded" were annoyed - it was a "badge of honor" for them to have no drops.

Recognition can work... or it can backfire.

I liked the term, "disruptive" - sometihng that appears where there has been no market. Badges have been awarded in Scouting and other venues (like war) for specific skills for a very long time. The disruptive thing about badges is that they are being awarded for education skills, mostly for free, in an area that is traditionally expensive. Instead of degrees and certification, people can get recognition for skills through the metadata attached to their badges. It will be interesting to see if this catches on with employers. 

Right now, badges are novel, and people are willing to award badges for free (or as part of a paid course.) For badges to be meaningful, live people need to assess the skills for the awards. This works well in a school/classroom situation because assignments are graded as a matter of course. For job-based skills, the badge system can't stay "free" because those who award badges will not want to do it for long without some compensation.

I can see badges for:
- Teacher PD
- Teacher education
- Individual skills as part of a class
I don't really see it catching on outsife of school. Who knows? I may be wrong.

Here is the link to this week's  STORIFY.

Fertig, R. and Pytash, K. There's a Badge for That. Tech and Learning. 2/26/14.
Randall, D. et al. Designing Open Badges for a Technology Integration Course. Tech Trends.      
     November/December 2013. Vol.57, No. 6.

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