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Maybe We Do Need Some "Stinkin Badges!"

Yesterday I had a chance to participate in a Google+ Hangout on Air on the topic of How Do We Shift Teacher & Leader Practice with Outcome-Based Badges? Ben Wilkoff did a great job convening a panel of thoughtful educators and leading a lively discussion!

For some time now, I have been looking at ways we can honor the professional learning that teachers get through non-traditional means, such as Twitter-chats, Webinars, and other informal learning. I see badges as providing incentive and opportunities for staff as we move forward.
Some of the key points mentioned in this session that resonated with me were:

  1. Teachers value choice
  2. "Badging is a celebration of diversified learning!"
  3. Badges can have different levels (Low, medium and high example from Khan Academy.)
  4. Reflection and sharing take this learning from a "low level" badge to high
  5. Round Rock Model moved to a business mindset where teachers/administrators in need of professional learning are customers
  6. Badges are project based rather than subject based
  7. Impact of sharing and collaboration is the goal
  8. Credly and P2PU seem to be the most popular sites for managing badges.
As I reflected, it seemed to me that not only could these outcome-based badges be utilized for professional learning, but also for students in our system. We are currently designing educational competencies that we want all of our students to have when they leave the system.

Edina Public School Learners are:
Globally Competent
Engaged, Responsible, and Action-Oriented Citizens
Effective Communicators and Collaborators

Critical Thinkers and Innovative Creators

Motivated Life-long Learners

Committed to Healthful Living

Some questions I am pondering include:
What if students earned badges at different levels for each of these competencies? 
What if a student acheived the highest level of one of these competencies in elementary school? 
How might this incorporate into a student portfolio? 
I have already started some conversations with staff exploring what this might look like in our district.
Feel free to check out the Webinar and/or explore the notes from the session in the link above, and share your thoughts with me in the comments below!


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