Digital badges motivate. Badges help students to stay focused and complete the required tasks. Students become active learners as a result of the digital badge. In fact, digital badges have proven to be key in getting students to complete MOOCs. Certificates don’t have the effect on learners that digital badges do.
A digital badge is an online image you can earn for having completed a task, accomplished a feat, learned or practiced a skill, developed or used a given quality. Badges are earned . You can display your hard earned badge on your blog, website, email, on your smart phone or on any electronic device. Open badges allow digital badges to be shared and opened using open badges. Digital badges are a great incentive to engage and motivate learners to get the tasks done.
Badges Kept Participants Awake
Not only did the badges keep participants alert and focused on the tasks, it also kept them awake. I didn’t think adult learners would be interested in badges, until I decided to award weekly badges for the month long Moodle MOOC Moodle teacher training courses. The participants fought hard for their badges.
Weekly Badges for Tasks
The weekly tasks required that the members of the MOOC create video tutorials of the actives and resources in a Moodle course. Teachers had to explore and document their discoveries with full teaching and manager rights in the teacher and manager practice areas. The badges generated excitement and on going drive to complete the tasks. Hundreds of teachers stopped sleeping as they normally did just to complete the tasks so they could be awarded the badge of the week.
Badges on Moodle
Moodle generates and awards badges automatically.
Emerging Technology on EdMedia
Emerging scholar stream is a special interest group at EdMedia. EdMedia will be holding a conference within a conference from June 22-24, 2015 in Montreal, Canada. The steam generally brings together students and scholars from around the globe to discuss emerging technology. This year, I was invited to give a talk on a topic of my choice. I chose teaching as a way to learn using technology because I believe technology can facilitate instruction and learn. You may find the emerging scholar stream program for 2015 of interest.
Technology may facilitate instruction and learning, but who’s doing the learning? In many cases, teachers are more active in the classroom than the students. Teaching certainly provides many opportunities to learn. Why not flip the classroom by allowing students to do the teaching? In this session, participants will use their smart phones or mobile devices to create a short multi-media presentation with Movenote and Evernote.
I decided to award participants with a badge for reflecting on the presentation using their mobile devices (smart phones). The applications I chose are Movenote and Evernote. The participants will be asked to take photos, record, and develop an artifact such as a video tutorial and upload it to Make Waves to “claim” their digital badge. “Makewaves is a community of thousands of schools sharing their creativity and raising achievement with badges”. Make Waves allows teachers to create badges and set challenges for their students. I decided to try out the system and set up a digital badge to reward the attendees of my session for being active.
Take the Challenge and Claim your Badge
If you’re a teacher, professional development facilitator, or business trainer consider creating badges to reward your students for the challenges involved in gaining knowledge and developing skills. Digital badges are the future, or maybe not? What do you think?