Inspired by the work of leading educators, Martin Waller explains how his class have embraced the notion of rewarding badges for both online and offline activities through a simple, yet innovative low-tech process.
A couple of months ago I wrote about introducing badges for learning onto my class blog to link specifically to my classroom management system both in the online and offline world.
I had initially encountered badges from the likes of Foursquare and GetGlue where ‘checking in’ to locations and films allowed me to earn badges/stickers.
Foursquare and GetGlue initially sowed the seed of how digital rewards may be used in my classroom. It wasn’t until I encountered Doug Belshaw’s tweets and blog posts about #openbadges that I began to think in a more concrete way about how such an idea could be embedded in my classroom.
At the start of this academic year, we launched blogging across my whole school. We have a WordPress MU installation which is hosted by Creative Blogs and every class from Nursery to Year 6 has a blog. You can view my class blog at http://class5.htrblogs.net. I’ve blogged with classes before and know the benefits first-hand. I’ve used it for two years whilst teaching in KS1 and I also wrote my MA thesis about the ways blogging promotes New Literacy Studies.
As I have moved to teaching upper KS2, I wanted to build on the previous work and embed the blog into the ethos of the classroom. I have also been looking for new ways to inspire and reward learning, so have been following the discussions on Twitter about Open Badges. I have always liked the idea of badges (after using Foursquare and GetGlue) and have mulled over the idea of how Open Badges might look in my classroom. All of my thinking led me to ways it can be embedded in the blog (online) and in the classroom (offline).
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