“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” – Thomas J. Peters
For the past 4 years, I integrated badges into my courses and trainings to motivate, engage, add some fun to the curriculum, and build a community. Think about any organizations or groups where you’ve been awarded a patch or pin (e.g. Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, bowling, sports, the military, ROTC, and Speech and Debate). You have to accomplish a task to achieve that honor. Once you achieve that emblem to represent what you’ve accomplished, you can proudly display the emblem on a jacket, shirt, vest, tie, or backpack. When others in your group see your patch or pin they know what you’ve achieved and can also feel a kinship with you because they are part of the same community and have the same mission. Digital badges are having the same impact. When I started giving badges in my online conferences and in my online courses, I noticed teachers and learners posting all over Facebook and on Twitter. Others who were part of the community left many comments, reflected on the learning with them, and they congratulated each other. Some learners liked their badges so much and strived to earn the badge. At one point, I encouraged learners to create their own badges with criteria and give them to peers to recognize leadership, helpful resources, mentorship, creativity in work, and other characteristics of being a good person that our students rarely get the opportunity to recognize and celebrate while in schools. We can get students to celebrate citizenship with digital badges. Below are websites for creating digital badges for free and some tips to get you started. Feel free to download the slides (PDF) of my recent webinar, Digital Badges to Celebrate and Motivate.
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