Reward Learning with Badges
Brad is very pleased to announce that ISTE will be publishing his book on badges this summer and will release it at the ISTE conference in Denver. You can order it here. Now about the book...
Even though today’s students are immersed in technology like never before, entertainment dominates their technology use. Teacher Brad Flickinger set out to show his students that technology is more than just fun and games-- it can be a tool to change the world.
By building his classes around progressive technology challenges and awarding badges for each one, Flickinger soon had his elementary students completing complex tasks like animation, podcasting, and video production at impressively high levels. And, to prove to students that their work could make a difference, he incorporated their work into a culminating charity fundraiser. His students gained proficiency in real-world tech skills and saw firsthand the power of technology to improve the world. His students raised thousands of dollars for charities through a showcase comprised of-- and promoted by-- their work from his technology class.
Flickinger believes that any student can learn to rethink their relationship with technology. He provides a step-by-step guide to implementing your own badge system in his new book, Reward Learning with Badges: Spark Student Achievement. Published by the International Society for Technology in Education, Flickinger’s debut book is set for release on June 24, 2016.
His highly adaptable framework guides teachers through identifying key skills for student success and designing a badge system to reward those skills. “Students, even young students, can do so much more with technology than we imagine,” he explains. “We just have to raise that bar. Many teachers assume that students who are growing up with smartphones and iPads will naturally develop technology skills, but that’s not necessarily true. They might be wizards when it comes to SnapChat, but most aren’t likely to pick up video editing, email etiquette, web design, or blogging by accident. Someone needs to ask them to do it, and then hold them to high standards.”
Flickinger’s background, both inside and outside of the classroom, helped him see the gap between the tech skills needed in the workforce and the way technology was typically taught in schools. With a background in publishing, business, and web design before his teaching career, he was in a unique position to address the shortcomings he saw in technology education. As his book says, “Factual knowledge is also no longer enough to set apart an educated individual in the work force. They needed to be able to think creatively, and they needed specific, demonstrable 21st century skills.”
Now serving as Technology Director at his current school in beautiful Panama City, Panama, Flickinger also writes an award-winning ed-tech blog and travels internationally as a speaker and consultant.