ABOUT FROM BORED TO BADGES
This generation of young students seems to be stuck in a technology rut. Many of them have very little motivation to do anything more with the devices that surround than just gameplay and entertainment -- they're bored. But by using badges young students are motivated to do unbelievable tech projects using the familiar challenges of gameplay as they earn badges and complete levels. All the while learning how to leverage their technology as a tool to instigate great change in their world. On this website, teachers will learn why badges work and the secrets to designing great challenges that motivate students to beg for more as they learn things that they never knew their technology could do. In the end students learn that through technology they can improve their world.
ABOUT BRAD FLICKINGER
Brad Flickinger has always been a geek and a maker. His fondest childhood memories are of taking things apart and programming computers. In high school, he worked at his favorite hangout – Radio Shack, where he was in geek heaven helping other people with their problems they had with electronics and early computers. After high school, Brad left for Australia on a "walkabout" and after a couple of years he must have figured things out because he came back, married his high school sweetheart, and began his career in the newspaper industry.
After 7 years as the publisher/owner of three weekly newspapers, Brad saw the writing on the wall about the future of his newspapers and the Internet, so he sold them and escaped to Costa Rica with his young family. Brad soon became bored of surfing and decided to be a 3rd-grade teacher at a private English school.
After teaching for a while, Brad felt that he needed to get back to the States, and return to the publishing business, which by this time had started to collapse. Thus, Brad went over to the other side and managed a web design firm near Seattle.
Brad soon realized that a cubicle tech farm was not for him – he wanted back in the classroom. He left the tech business before the bubble burst in 2000 and returned to the classroom as a high school business-ed teacher. By this time, his wife Monique has started her career as a principal- she had become one of "them." And after a few years he became one of “them” as the director of technology for his district.
But Brad couldn't stay away from the classroom, so he returned to the classroom which he calls his "dream job." Brad taught technology at Bethke Elementary in northern Colorado. His students produced the longest running and most popular student podcast on iTunes. His student-made movies have had over 230,000 online views, and in 2012, he received the Leadership Award from Edtech Digest for his blog SchoolTechnolgy.org that gets over 70,000 visitors a month.
Recently, Brad developed a badges program as an alternative for traditional grades for his tech students. Over the years this program has undergone many changes, and the results have been utterly amazing.
Brad currently lives in Panama City, Panama with his wife and continues to spend his summers traveling the world as an Edtech speaker at conferences, attending district meetings, and consulting to help schools and districts do what he does so well.