Saturday, July 6, 2013

Taking Steps Towards Digital Badges

As somewhat of a "conscientious objector" regarding the grading of students, I am very excited about badges. I loved earning them as a girl scout; the idea of having proven a set of skills or accomplishments appealed to me then and still does. When I first heard of digital badges, I knew I needed to find out more. I did some research and got advice from my Twitter PLN. I have settled on using ClassBadges at ClassBadges is a free tool that allows teachers to design, describe and award badges to students.

While there are many icons provided, you can also upload your own images. I created some of my images and edited some from Creative Commons.

I am a huge fan of giving my students options. During my decades as a classroom teacher, I used Academic Choice, a Responsive Classroom component. As a new Technology Specialist, I have been rethinking and revising ways to provide meaningful choices in the computer lab. When students complete their daily assignment, they will be able to work towards badges. I am implementing this with students in grades 3-5.

I am starting out with 10 badges. I feel it will give students enough variety, while being manageable.

I created a Google document that gives students a description and the requirements for each badge.  I have also created a Symbaloo webmix for all the websites and shared documents they will need to access.

My next step is to create a screencast for each badge, introducing it and modeling some components. This way, students can jump right into the work without having to listen to me explain all the details of every badge. Each screencast will also be a link in the webmix which is color-coded.

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