Badges and Deeper Learning Assessment

This week we learned about assessing deeper learning and digital badges. Both of which are aimed to assess or gauge what has been learned.

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  1. I believe it was in the same class that I heard my professor mention the word "MOOC" that I also heard him say the the phrase "earning Badges". Seeing that this was one of the first meetings at the beginning of our IT&DML program both ideas seemed foreign to me. Little did I know how involved I would be in a MOOC, more specifically the #DLMOOC and now I am learning about badges. Funny thing, I already knew what a badge was as I had been earning them since my first year in Girl Scouts.
  2. I remember looking in the back of my Girl Scout Handbook on the requirements for each badge. And it was motivating indeed, to me, to earn as many as I could. I think what was so motivating about earning badges was the fact that I had choice, I was challenged, and I received recognition for something I learned or earned. So in our readings when it talks about earning on-line badges as being motivational for teachers and students, I get it! 
  3. Mozilla is a free software program that lets you create, issue and verify badges. Its Wiki page defines a badge as, ". . . a symbol or indicator of an accomplishment, skill, quality or interest". (Source: Erin Knight White Paper) A digital badge however, is a representation of the skills earned. And an Open badge is an online account of the skills, interests, and achievements accomplished through certain credible organizations. I earned my first badge today with Mozilla's - Take the Badges 101 Quiz and earn your first badge!
  4. Using badges for teacher PD was one of the ways in which this type of confirmation of learning could be used. I found this particularly interesting due to the fact that my district just applied for a grant, part of which  involved making changes in the professional development offered. Ideas that were mentioned included conferencing, on-line courses, teacher led, instructional technology, and subject based.  It might be smart to offer badges based on the work teachers do with PD.  
  5. Digital badges provide acknowledgment of learning that goes on outside of school. One of the results or gains of obtaining digital badges is to show 21st century skills and open the door for new educational careers and opportunities, and encourage engagement.
  6. Open Badges101: How To Encourage Engagement (a webinar)
  7. Just as we educators need to assess and be acknowledged for what we teach and learn so do our students. Which brings me to the next topic of conversation  for the week- Assessing Deeper Learning. How do we assess students on their deeper learning? Its interesting that there are a variety of views. One being the controversial SBAC assessment.
  8. Verses assessing student learning as is done with the Envision schools. 
  9. Can we sustain for a period of time, be consistent with, as well as appropriate with the way in which we assess students for the 21st century? I like how this article looks at the 21st Century and assessments in a real way. It talks to you as an educator about the situation verses talking at you. 
  10. I think the jury is out on exactly what is the best way to assess our student. However we need to keep in mind what skills and concepts our students need in order to be successful in the 21st Century. I feel as a teacher and math coach the urgency and fear that our country as a whole is a bit behind and we need to get serious about the closing the achievement gap as well provide all students with the necessary learning to make them globally aware and competent. 
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