Meshing a couple of ideas

Recently, I read a couple of different posts that got me thinking.  These should talk to each other!

Of, perhaps that’s the work for people trying their best to be innovative.  Here’s an idea inspired by their ideas.

First idea

Digital badges hit the big time in higher ed

That I’m a fan of badges is no big news.  I’m written about the concept before.  I grew up with badges showing what I accomplished.  Swimming and lifesaving skills though the Canadian Red Cross, Royal Life Saving Society, National Lifeguard Service; school clubs and teams; and, of course, the badges from years as a Boy Scout.  I could tie a mean Sheepshank.

Now, creating badges can be done various ways.  You can create your own with your Photoshop skills or follow this tutorial, one of many that are readily available.  Or, consider the resources of the Mozilla Open Badges project.

Thanks, Mozilla Open Badges

Check out the steps.  Simple enough, right?

In the bigger picture, doesn’t that describe education?

Then, it’s time for the …

Second Idea

This came from a blog post by April Requard. 

QR Code People

I had discovered this idea and tucked it away in my collection of QR Code resources.  The idea seemed to hit the imagination of a large number of educators as I watched it being shared and shared.  In the post, April describes how students make their own “person” picture, create their own QR Code for an “about me” exercise.  Then, as with all good projects her students use their devices to discover information about their classmates.

As described, it looks like an engaging activity for students.

But what if we meld these two ideas together?

Suppose your classroom or, ideally your school, embraced the concept of issuing badges for accomplishments.  These could be a collection of learnings along the way to the bigger assessments.  They could be recognized for actions of citizenship/stewardship.  They could be earned from participation on a school sport or club.  The badges are issued when students demonstrate successful completion of the learning or activity. 

The issuing body then awards the student the appropriate badge for their accomplishment.  This body could be the classroom teacher or student council or parents’ group or whoever steps up to the plate or a combination of groups.  Once issued, the digital badge is placed on the student’s blog or wiki.  You could even include an activity where the student writes to describe what their accomplishment involved and what it means to her/him. 

Since there is no general use computer curriculum in Ontario, you could have a school computer continuum of skills with badges awarded when students demonstrate various skills. Years ago, a group of educators with my former employer had mapped out skills from Primary to Intermediate to do exactly that.  I’m not sure if that resource is maintained but I’m betting that many districts have either formal or informal sets of skills that help guide technology use.  OSAPAC used to have a resource where curriculum expectations and licensed software titles were matched.

We talk so frequently about the need for students to develop a positive digital footprint.  Just imagine what a collection of badges over the course of a year or an educational career would tell.  And, all that mom and dad has to do is take a picture of the QR Code and they’re launched right into this collection.

OTR Links 10/11/2015

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.