Some more, mostly unfiltered thoughts on badging programs run at the K12 level. (Initial thoughts for some background from back in August.)
- Articles and websites announcing badge initiatives at K12 peaked in 2014-2015. I haven't found many articles from the last two years.
- Many (seem to have) started with schools who had a high level of teacher buy-in for PD to begin with. Building the drive for development took place before badges were introduced.
- Most of the programs started as a way to (seemingly) expose teachers to different software and programs they can use.
- Very few of the programs required evidence of implementation along side reflection on implementation. Most implementation evidences were photos or videos of you using the app/program/thing with students.
- No site talks about benefits for completion other than being given a [adjective] digital sticker!
I'm not convinced badging/credentialing is a bust. I'm more convinced that programs that offer long-lasting value for teaching staff are elusive and take careful planning. It's also apparent that consistent implementation through support and updated offerings is difficult. Having a staff who is able to meet the shifting needs of a district over multiple years is key. It's also going to be important to have a very clear mechanism for evaluation of change in instruction because that's the component that benefits students.
Featured image is by Melinda Martin-Khan on Unsplash