I recently spend time at NHCMTC or the New Hampshire Christa McAullife Technology Conference where I not only had a great first conference presentation ever but also attended some great sessions. One was from a friend of mine, John Martin who is a video game design curriculum guru. For the presentation I attended he talked about Mozilla’s Open Badges program . It is an incentive program for students giving badges for achievements instead of grades just like in the Scouts program.
I really loved this idea especially for music class. Listening to some success stories in the room this program not only works for high achieving students but also for misbehaving students as well. Grades are starting to really become meaningless to a lot of students, a letter or number on a report card isn’t as interesting as a colorful badge they can get in class for doing good work or achieving above and beyond the call of duty and show it off to everyone through the use of the Open Badge Backpack
Imagining the possibilities in the music classroom with this program got me really excited. I have lots of student who not only could use more attention because they love music and want to do more but also for those students who have behavior troubles and need a little extra attention with helping to make better choices. Students could work on badges for mastery of such subjects as basic theory, song composition, recorder black belt status, recording room master, or audio editing genius. Behavior students could work on badges for a certain amount of good work completed, participating, being a good example in class for a whole week, and much more.
There are a few programs out there that teach you how this program works and how to create badges yourself like P2PU Challenge and for those who want a management system to keep track of all your students that work with badges you can check out For All Badges
I’ll be taking the P2PU challenge when my workload dies down and hope to try this out beginning next year on at least a small group of students, if you are interested in trying this out with me let me know or stay tuned to this blog for more!