I am going to take a short break from my NETS blog series to discuss Badges in the Classroom. Badges are becoming a popular option for many teachers when it comes to assessment. Here is an article from Common Sense Media on How Open Badges Could Change Teaching and Assessment.
So why are teachers using Badges in their classrooms? Edudemic offers a Teacher's Guide to Badges in Education which explains that badges are a different motivation tool for teachers to use to show student completion of various tasks. I, myself, was a bit skeptical of the notion that a badge would motivate someone. But after being reminded in this article that many video games use Badges to motivate players, I started to re-think Badges. My big "Ah Ha" moment was on Christmas Break, when I was entering my Star Codes for Starbucks. I earned my Badge for 30 stars! I was actually excited because I had accomplished something. So, I guess, I was motivated to buy lots of coffee to earn my Gold Starbucks Badge. Edudemic also mentions that many children work for badges when they are in Boy/Girl Scouts.
So how could you use Badges in your classroom? Elementary teachers might want to consider the ClassDojo App or ClassBadges. Here is a guest post by Terri Eichholz on how she uses ClassDojo. Secondary teachers will find that some Course Management Systems, like Schoology and Edmodo, have Badges built into their system.
I encourage you to "re-think" badges, just as I have. They might help you to motivate your students more than you think.