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All about BaDgEs!

March 19, 2018

Let's talk about stickers, or what us educators call "badges". 


If you are in a position similar to mine, a coach or specialist who works and trains teachers, you know better than anyone that sometimes the teachers can be more difficult to reach than the students. 


While we can't control a person's interest in their job (we can't make them want to try new them or excited to learn about new things), we can help create an environment that fosters and encourages motivation. 



As a technology integration specialist, the biggest issue I face with my teachers is the wall they put up when they hear "technology". Whether they don't like it because they don't understand it or are scared it will fail and the whole day will be wasted, or they know that it isn't really a requirement (yet) and view it as just "one more thing", some teachers just close themselves off from it before even learning about it. My teachers had no motivation to even attend my "techno tidbits" and they definitely didn't desire to use what them in their classrooms.




Badges my teachers earn after attending a "Teel's Tidbits" training. 


Now, before you click away laughing at me, I know what you are thinking, "stickers aren't going to motivate me or a teacher who doesn't know how to use technology in their classrooms with kids that know more about it than they do..." and you are right. But these badges do encourage my teachers to attend my trainings, actively participate and hopefully walk away with something new to try, or at least think about trying, in their classrooms.


How I introduced it:

There is a few mandatory trainings I have to give to all my teachers at the beginning of the year over Gradebook, Canvas and our Chromebook monitoring program, Blocksi. 


I used these mandatory trainings as way to introduce "Teel's Tidbits" badges, since everyone would get a badge after attending. This sparked something I had not witnessed from my teachers... excitement. They LOVED these stickers and wanted to collect them ALL. This was the first year every teacher had a laptop and they had seen our district coaches and specialists laptops covered in stickers and were genuinely excited to get their own stickers to stick on their devices. I told everyone that a new badge would be rewarded with every "Teel's Techno Tidbit" session they attended, and boy did my attendance increase.




I made these badges using the Avery free program. I purchased their 1" round, removable labels. It is important that you get the removable kind so that they adhesive doesn't stick and ruin the district issued laptop! Click on the image to the left to purchase these!


Their program is incredibly easy to use and I just added the images that correlated with the training, a catchy little name and added my "Teel's Tidbits" to the bottom of each one. Take a closer look at my badges here




While these badges did motivate my teachers to attend my trainings, these stickers weren't the fix-all to the "technology frights" some of my teachers still had. This problem still needed a solution...

so I began to offer myself up. 


I told my teachers if they attended my trainings and had me help them integrate these new tools into their classrooms, I would be there, by their side, helping them implement it. A safety net. 


This way if something did go wrong, they wouldn't feel panicked and throw their hands up to give up. If they checked out the green screen, they could check me out with it. Same with all the other resources or tools they want to use. They could get someone who is not an evaluator in their classroom with them, helping them each step, a guide on the side.


Since implementing this, I have had more involvement in all my tech resources. My virtual reality sets, green screen and coding robots have never been checked out as much as they have been this year. 


Teachers feel to empowered to try out and use these new resources, to take a risk, because they feel safe in doing so. 


...And even though I knew all along they would be great and would love using these new resources because of how engaged and excited their students get using it, the best part is seeing them realize they are great and love using technology in their classrooms. They go from "technology frights" to "technology feens" and that is what I live for, that is what makes me love my job and gives me a high I will chase over and over. 








Modification: I did have a couple of teachers who are "perfectionists" and didn't want to mess up their Laptops with stickers, so they got a Badge Card instead. This is a great alternative if your teachers don't all have laptops or are perfectionists as well! 





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