MyNotes: Badges for Professional Learning

"We are doing digital badges too. I use cred.ly to manage distribution. Badges can be made on site or uploaded. I make mine with shape tools in PowerPoint and upload them," says Joel Adkins (Crandall ISD). He continues, "I didn't think teachers would care for them. I thought they would think they were a waste of time. I was wrong!"

Diana Benner (@diben on Twitter)--Read her blog, Sprinkle Innovation--from TCEA has a great blog entry on the subject of badges. This blog entry below captures some of the most salient points that I found worth noting for later using the Liner app (getliner.com) app on my iPhone. 

Listen to Practitioners Share About Their District's Use of Badges:
Note: The following audio files were harvested from the Voxer chat, #TECSIGchat, a free, Texas-wide open educator group. Get Voxer on your computer, iPhone/iPad, or Android mobile device! It's free! Get more information here - http://tinyurl.com/tecsigchatinfo or share Voxer link at http://tinyurl.com/tecsigchat
Joel Adkins

  1. Listen to Joel Adkins: "We are doing digital badges too. I use cred.ly to manage distribution. Badges can be made on site or uploaded. I make mine with shape tools in PowerPoint and upload them. I didn't think teachers would care for them. I thought they would think they were a waste of time. I was wrong! Teachers print them and hang them on doors and desks. Some add to their webpages too. They love them!"
  2. Listen to Dr. Roland Rios share about Ft. Sam Houston ISD's use of badges.
    1. Audio Recording #1 - Celebrating Teachers Badges
    2. Audio Recording #2 - Sharing Badge Google Site with everyone

Although I've encountered many examples of badges online since folks started, I was tickled when I actually began considering using badges in my district when I received the following from Joel Adkins (@mradkins from Crandall ISD)....


Badge generated by Joel Adkins (Crandall ISD) using Cred.ly Web Site


Christy Cate (@christycate) has also been kind enough to share her insights into badges via Voxer, and she introduced me to Denton ISD's Instructional Technology badges. I remember my first contact involved asking questions like, "Wow, did they design all the professional development videos that have to go with a badge system?" 

The answer was quite astonishing--teachers are expected to simply submit a description of HOW they are using a particular technology (e.g. Google Classroom) in their work. How and where they get their professional development is up to them...which makes sense given that how-to videos abound for free on the Web. You don't need Instructional Technology to spend so much time developing How Tos unless they are specifically customized for work in your District.

That said, I'd like to add a few resources I've been collecting regarding badges as I work to embed badges in my technology professional development plan:

  1. As Diana Benner, Joel Adkins and Dr. Roland Rios mention, some are using web sites like Cred.ly. Other potential sources include micro-credentialing sites:
    1. Open Badges in 2016: "...when we build a distributed ecosystem of educational credentials together, we will give people the tools to manage their digital footprints themselves, without requiring a relationship with any one particular mega-corporation. We believe that by working together in the open, we can build systems that improve access and equity of educational and career opportunities."
    2. Digital Promise's MicroCredentials for Educators: "Educators earn credentials at the beginning of their careers, but they learn new skills every day. Through our educator micro-credentials initiative, Digital Promise is building a coalition of educators and partners to develop a micro-credential system that provides teachers with the opportunity to gain recognition for skills they master throughout their careers."
  2. Charting Student Growth with Digital Badges: "Educators are hopeful that a flexible assessment model called digital badging is a way to bridge these gaps and describe student attributes that are currently left unacknowledged."
  3. The Teachers Guide to Using Badges in the Classroom:
  4. Some district web sites who have embraced badges:
    1. Prosper ISD
    2. Denton ISD
    3. Westwood Regional School District
    4. FSHISD 
    5. Harlandale ISD
    6. Examples via TCEA Blog:
      1. Lubbock ISD
      2. DeKalb ISD

While I have considered that digital badges for tracking professional learning, districts like Ft. Sam Houston ISD have taken an approach to celebrating expressions of learning. Dr. Roland Rios (TCEA Vice-President, Conventions for 2017, BTW and online at @drrios) celebrates badge-making by visiting teachers in their classroom (when students are present) and making a "big deal out of it." Some teachers, he reports, then feature those badges on their classroom web sites and in print format in their classroom.



One of the modifications I will probably make before launching this in my district is to add recommended videos. For GoogleApps, I will be taking advantage of ShakeUpLearning's 5 Awesome Resources for Badges in the Classroom and Alice Keeler's work!

MyNotes for Badges for Professional Learning by Diana Benner (@diben)
    • ” During the presentation, I mentioned rewarding teachers who come to training by giving them a badge.
    • The technology team at Lubbock ISD immediately stated, “Rewarding our staff with badges for completing staff development has really motivated them.
    • If you are looking for ways to motivate teachers to attend professional development, try incorporating badges.
    • Badge Resources
    • Class Badges – Class Badges is one of the more popular badging platforms.
    • Class badges allow the teacher to easily award badges aligned with learning goals.
    • Credly– Credly allows teachers to create badges, upload their own designs, and give credit through the platform.
    • It is available as a web-based version and an iOS app.
    • Create a Badge with Google Drawing
    • Create a Badge with Google Drawing– If you have ever thought of creating your own badges, Google Drawing is a great tool to use.
    • Read Alice Keeler’s blog entry on how easy it is to do.
    • For All Badges – For All Badges is an iOS app that works in conjunction with For All Rubrics to align your rubrics with badges.
    • For All Badges also integrates with Mozilla’s Open Badges platform, and allows students (or staff members) to save badges to their “backpack.
    • Open Badges – Open Badges allows teachers to create and issue badges that do not have to be tied to a certain platform.
    • Take the Badges 101 Quiz to see how it works and to earn your first badge.
    • With badges, teachers who take the time to learn now have a way to be acknowledged for that learning.
    • And we all know that recognition from our peers is the sweetest reward.
    • Encourage them to include their badges in their email signature or print and post them in their classroom.
    • You can even publicly honor them by “presenting” the badges at a faculty meeting.
    • Here is Lubbock ISD’s Digital Learning Badge site, a great resource.
    • If you are incorporating badges into your professional development, we’d love to hear from you.
    • We love badges – they make learning fun and reward teachers for all of their hard work!
    • Here is our badge site: https://sites.google.com/a/dekalbisd.net/dkinstructionaltechnology/

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