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!
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.