More Ideas for Using Badges in Professional Development

Prosper ISD Google Badges

Here’s an update on using badges in teacher professional development with new ideas and resources. Gamification with badges can be a great motivator for teachers and students! I posted in the fall on this concept, and it was one of the most popular posts ever! Thanks to my friends in Denton ISD for letting me share their awesome website. The team in Denton sparked a lot of interest in the idea of using badges and self-directed learning to help teachers learn new about using digital tools in the classroom. Then teachers receive a badge to represent their accomplishment and learning. These badges can be used digitally online, or printed out and posted on the door. See the original post for details on their website and program: Take PD to the Next Level with Badges.

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I received a lot of questions and ideas from other digital learning coaches that were looking to do something similar in their district, and I wanted to highlight two specific school districts that are using badging in professional learning. I think we are just beginning to scratch the surface of where badges and gamification will lead us in education!

More Ideas for Using Badges in PD

Lee’s Summit Google Badges

The AH-mazing Kyle Pace took this whole badging idea and ran with it! Kyle is an Instructional Technology Specialist for the Lee’s Summit School District in Missouri. Kyle is also a Google Certified Innovator, and an amazing speaker and presenter. (If you get the chance to see Kyle present, DO NOT pass it up!) Kyle created a Google Site for their gamified PD with badges. He divided the content into five main categories: communication, digital literacy, Google, social media, and web tools. Underneath each badge is a description of the candidate deserving of the badge. If a teacher meets this standard, they can then submit their evidence via a Google Form, which looks like the screenshot below. The most important piece of this evidence is that the teacher used this new skill or digital tool in their classroom! This is not a one-and-done experience. This can transform what teachers do in the classroom!


More Ides for Badges in PD

Screenshot of the Google Form

Kyle created the badges in Canva. (I love me some Canva!) He is also modeling the use of Twitter and their hashtag #r7c2L on the site, even embedding the related tweets. Great idea! I also love that there is a connection to some student challenges. Check out the Chromebook Challenge badge created by Kyle’s teammate Julie Jensen!

Kyle’s Words of Advice

Always keep the end goal in mind; always thinking about what you want teachers to accomplish by earning the badge. Also, getting buy in from administrators helps a lot because they need to be earning badges too! – Kyle Pace

More Ideas for Badges in PD

Michelle Phillips is an Instructional Technology Specialist for Prosper ISD. She is also a DEN Star Educator and SMART Exemplary Educator. I’ve had the privilege of working with Michelle locally, and she is one to watch. Michelle is leading some great initiatives in Prosper ISD, and the badging website is just one of them. Michelle has set up seven main categories of badges: Apple, assessment, blended learning, communication, Google, miscellaneous, and web tools. Depending on which badge teachers pursue, they are given different options to earn the badge. For instance, with Google badges, teachers can attend a face-to-face tutorial or watch an online video. Then teachers will complete a Google form to apply for their badge where teachers are required to describe how they used the tool with their students. Teachers may also request a training on the site, or suggest a badge.

Michelle created the badges in Google Drawings, modeling the Google tool for her teachers. But Michelle has added an extra level of competition to her site: a leaderboard! On the home page, there is a leaderboard showing which campuses in Prosper ISD have earned the most badges. I love this idea! What a fun and friendly way to make it more competitive.

More Ideas for Badges in PD

Michelle’s Words of Advice

Start with the badges you really want everyone to have experience with then add more as you go. Competitions are a great way to get teachers engaged in the program. Have lots of badges ready to hand out before you start. Teachers like to see their badges right away. Don’t wait too long to hand them out.


Do you have a badging site you would like to share? Please share in the comments below. I’d love to see and share with others!


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