I earned a badge! I love badges and micro-credentials. They’re so much fun to earn and a great way to show off your professional learning. But, why should you even earn them, and what do you do with all of the badges?
Badges, or micro-credentials, are given when a participant has completed specific tasks. They typically require some form of evidence, usually links to social media posts or digital tasks. Often websites will award badges after a required test or exam has been passed, such as Google Certified Educator Level 1.
Once you’re certified, you can earn micro-credentials for smaller tasks with some websites. For example, Flipgrid awards badges once you’ve reached 50 recorded videos or have created five grids.
Why should you earn and save digital badges? There is an abundance of reasons these tiny game-like graphics should be earned and saved.
Badges and micro-credentials show growth and continuous improvement. They’re evidence that you are learning new and innovative things. Badges show that you’re mastering aspects of new technology, becoming more familiar with a program you currently use, or provide proof that you’ve completed a task! Students also love badges for this reason. You can even create badges for your classroom to motivate students to show their own growth and improvement. Create a classwork badge for students to earn if they complete X number of assignments with 80% accuracy in a week/month/quarter. What about a kindness badge for everyone at your school? Post three pictures of your random acts of kindness!
Saving your badges and micro-credentials shows that you are committed to continuing education and professional learning. I still receive a paper document for completing professional development courses online (and sometimes even in person). But I get more excited when the professional development course awards a badge! Don’t ask me why. I’m sure it has something to do with extrinsic motivation. Saving the badges allows you to display them in various places, like your email signature or digital business card. I’ll share more ways to save and use them next month.
I don’t know about you, but when professional development coursework is presented at an extended length, I get bored and lose focus. I know our students feel the same way when a lecture is running long or the lesson doesn’t have much interaction time. Badges and micro-credentials allow for bite-sized professional development. It’s not overwhelming, and it gives me something to work toward. They’re great motivators, as I mentioned before. I can keep track of what I’ve done and what the next milestone is so that I know what I need to do in order to meet the next goal.
Watch for more information about earning badges for the 2019 AASL National Conference! There will be many opportunities to earn badges before, during, and for a short time after the conference. And the best part? Some of the badges can be earned even if you are unable to attend the conference in November 2019. You can begin earning badges now!
Check back often as new badges will be added. I suggest joining the Badgelist prior to the 2019 AASL National Conference so that you’ll know what tasks to complete. Be sure to share your badges on social media using the hashtag #AASL19!
Author: Ashley Cooksey
Library Media Specialist in Arkansas. Self-proclaimed geek. Lover of nature and music. Always learning.