Friday, February 19, 2016

Technology Badges

As the new Technology Integration Specialist in my district, I was looking for a way to recognize teachers who are already doing an outstanding job integrating technology into their instruction. 

In my research, I kept coming across badge programs. The more I researched, the more I found really great ideas in how to organize such an endeavor. And so I got to work and was ready to introduce the Badge program at the beginning of February. 

Photo by @BethanyLigon (February 2016)

Our district has just around 200 certified classroom teachers. And in the first two weeks I've handed out 120 badges. Because I'm the only TIS for our K12 district, this has kept me busy in reviewing the artifacts that teachers are sharing - which happens to be some very cool stuff. I can do walk throughs and see what happens on a daily basis. But with teachers submitting their best evidence to me, I am seeing some super fantastic ideas that I am now able to share with other teachers. 

Teachers are able to earn badges in the following categories:

  • Google Tools
  • Active Engagement Tools
  • Assessment Tools
  • Presentation Tools
  • Blended Learning Tools
  • Social Media Tools
  • Communication Tools
The best part for me, is that teachers are able to request training on exactly what they want. It's not a one size fits all professional development setting anymore. But it's me meeting with one teacher or a small team of teachers who want to grow their instructional toolbox in a specific area or with a particular tech tool/app. And because I now have documentation on which teacher is proficient on each tool, I can use them as a resource as needed.   

Another "best part" for me is the teacher's reaction when I walk into their rooms on a Thursday afternoon to hand them their badge. Yesterday, a teacher literally jumped up and down and clapped her hands because she was so excited and then her little first graders started cheering for her. That totally made my day.

Offering my BEST to you,

Has your school/district implemented a badge program? How has it been working for you? What's the best part? Anything you'd do differently?

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1 comment:

  1. A very cool idea, Bethany. Great work! And so motivational!