Month: October 2014

Digital badges . . .future of intrinsic motivation?

Posted on

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.