Month: October 2014

Digital badges . . .future of intrinsic motivation?

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The digital badge trend in gaming, higher education, libraries and corporations seems to lend itself well to the concept of intrinsic motivation.  If you are in the K-8 education field, perhaps PBIS is a model at your school which rewards kids to do the right ‘thing’ to get a reward.  In the classroom, many of us have experienced kids who solely complete assignments or tasks for the grade.

Digital badges are a phenomenon because individuals are completing challenges for something that is not tangible.  Isn’t that such a gaming concept? When you complete a level, defeat a boss or whatever. . .you don’t win anything except for the satisfaction of completing the challenge.  Then why do we deal in extrinsic terms when it comes to education?

I am trying the concept of badges this year for reading in the library.  Because we are not 1:1, or have access to that many devices (and I also am not a gifted coder) I am giving the kids physical badges to build a little enthusiasm.  I would love to hear from other school librarians that are trying the same concept.  Baby steps. We are building a reading culture at our school, and I am starting to see that excitement building around reading.  Hopefully this year I will be busy making buttons!20book

What if we could structure K-8 education so that students could choose their own challenges, but still be accountable for the same standards as the rest of their grade level?  Hmmm.

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