What’s with all the badges lately in education? They seem to be catching on faster than Pokemon Go! I started researching the source of this badge-craze to try to figure out the origin, validity, and reason behind why educators are especially interested in collecting as many badges as possible. For your reading pleasure and personal research here are a couple of articles:
- Taking PD to the Next Level with Badges
- There’s A Badge for That
- Teacher’s Guide to Badges in Education
Now don’t get me wrong. I like recognition as much as the next guy, but I’ve never been into collecting things. As a Girl Scout I didn’t care less about earning badges upon task completion. The badge just meant my mother had to spend time ironing or sewing on the badge. I excitedly tackled tasks, like learning how to sail, just for the joy of learning how to sail. In fact, to this day I have lost many awards, certificates, and other important documents along the way.
In the education landscape, who’s to say that one badge carries certain merit over the other? Is there a badge criteria board? An official badge panel that says” yes, that deserves a badge”, or “no that isn’t badge worthy”. Are we becoming so saturated with badges that they no longer mean anything? Maybe we should start giving ribbons to people. Like swim team ribbons. Now those I loved! They were silky, colorful, and I could hang them in my room to look at.
Is “badging” a result of our video gaming culture or a change in learning trends? It demonstrates the movement of learning small sequential skills and getting frequent reinforcement. Not unlike tweeting in 140 characters and getting a retweet right away. It aligns with current ecosystems of learning and social media. I think “badging” also aligns with today’s need to brand oneself. It speaks to topics that people are passionate about.
This thought inspired me to create my own set of badges to help brand myself a little better. I want to say that all of these badges are completely legit in my mind and also I have more badges, because of course I am so awesome, but I ran out of room and attention span.
But hey if badges is where it’s at I guess I am going to go all in. I guess I have a lot to do today….. I’m off to Canva.com to create some badges for upcoming training sessions. Oh, I also have to go earn my Apple Teacher badges. So many badges, so little time!