A group of River View LSD staff has been involved in a lot of the recent OAC work that included multiple topics of professional development. (common core, formative instructional practices, assessment literacy, PLNs, resource curation, and many, many more) As educators began to participate in all of these opportunities, the folks at the OAC implemented a digital badge system to recognize the efforts and learning of it's educators. They developed and advertised pathways to earn these badges and once earned, are displayed in the users' profile on the OAC site. Teachers in participating districts can also earn these badges by following the pathways on their own.
To encourage this personal growth in the many topics, I am supporting an informal badge system in our building next year and am encouraging other principals to do the same. I think it is a great way to keep a pulse on the learning that staff is participating in and it gives recognition to those efforts that are usually above and beyond the usual traditional professional development. Teachers looking to learn more about a specific topic need only to glance at someone else's "badge board" posted outside teachers' rooms to find the local "expert."
One of my more crafty teachers is currently making badge boards for all of our staff, while I am finishing up writing the pathways and printing out badges on 3x4 sticky labels that we will attach as they are earned. Some of the badges are local and specific to our building or district, and others mirror the OAC pathways. The OAC is planning on adding more badges and some of them will be earned at higher levels that could include credit from local universities.
Stay tuned as I will be sharing out pictures of badges and boards as the new school year begins.