Students want to do well in class, and they want to be recognized when they accomplish something. Digital badges do just that: they show when students have learned a skill or met a goal. They acknowledge the efforts of students both inside and outside of the classroom, whether it’s coming to class on time, or visiting a museum on the weekend.
For teachers, badges make classroom goals visible to students. Badges show the criteria that students must meet to earn them. This helps motivate students, because they are able to see what they need to do to reach a goal or master a skill.
The value of digital badges goes beyond the classroom, as well. Currently, one out of five colleges use badges to display student skills, knowledge, and activities. Students use badges that they have earned to get scholarships, enter graduate school, and get jobs.
The full potential of digital badges has yet to be explored. But it is clear that digital badges celebrate learning, and motivate students to do well in school and beyond.
Resources for Digital Badges
To find out more about digital badges and how to use them in your classroom, check out these websites:
1. Open Badges
Powered by Mozilla, this is a free site that lets you create, issue, and verify badges. Teachers are able to display criteria for earning a badge. They are also able to post evidence of student work with each badge. Students keep their badges in a digital ‘backpack’ that they can access at any time.
Credly lets you create, issue, and manage badges to individuals and groups. The site offers free and fee-based options. Paid accounts have access to features such as revoking badges and issuing badges from apps like Eventbrite.
A blog about all things learning, and a great resource for using technology in the classroom. The blog has a great overview of digital badges and the different platforms available that support badges.
This blog promotes STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) in the classroom, and includes a brief how-to on using badges in class.
A blog by former high school English teacher Chris Aviles about using gamification and gaming techniques in the classroom to engage students. The blog includes real examples from Chris’s classroom, and tips on how to create, manage, and display badges, both online and in the classroom.
Badge Alliance is a network of professionals and organizations that support the use of digital badges in both academic and non-academic settings. This is a great site to find resources, research, and standards for digital badges.