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What Are Badges For?

A student's school career moves quickly through their youthful years. As David Niguidula says in his book Demonstrating Student Mastery with Digital Badges and Portfolios "...each day is supposed to add up to something bigger–days become quarters, which become years, which become school careers." Digital badges connect the short and long-term of a student’s school life.

Students must make the most of their time while discovering their passions and preparing for their future. At Richer Picture, we have found that students of all ages are motivated by badges or credentials that document personal accomplishments and where they are on their learning journey.

What do badges include?

Since badges could represent an entire course of study or a component of a course, the scope of the accomplishment is crucial, as are the requirements needed to earn the badge. Generally, there are criteria in the form of rubrics that evaluate the student's accomplishment of the goal and whether it is required or elective. Badges may also contact various levels or perquisites for future badge attainment.

Badges for academic areas

Badges are an efficient tool to organize the attainment of academic skills required for high school graduation. Badges can encompass broad areas such as listening, speaking, reading, writing, mathematics, arts, and technology.

Badges for skills

Learning is not just about what we know but also what we can do. Badges can document a student’s attainment of skills such as problem-solving, thinking, cultural or civic awareness, or personal responsibility.

Badges for special programs

Badges can be flexible and designed for special school programs such as International Baccalaureate (IB), Habits of Mind, or even Tom Hoerr's "Formative Five." Students can use badging to document and chart personal interests that can lead to post-secondary education or careers, especially in the context of an individual learning plan (ILP). In addition, students engaged in ILPs take responsibility for their learning experience.

It's time to dispense with an excess of unit tests marked in red and taped to the family refrigerator. Instead, embrace enduring digital badges that document present learning while defining a student's future.