District Administration September 2017 - 50

BADGING

Breakthroughs
that students and educators can use to
paint a fuller picture of their knowledge
and skills.
They aren't just icons
Corona-Norco USD near Los Angeles
found a few years ago that digital badges
fit perfectly with its "Passport to Success"
college-career readiness program. Rather
than using old-fashioned stamps to document students' progress along various
learning pathways, badges allowed educators to gamify the process and make it
more engaging for tech-driven youngsters,
says April Moore, the district's director of
educational technology.
Students, starting in elementary school,
can earn badges for soft skills such as work
habits and attendance. In middle grades,
students receive badges for developing high
school-to-college transition plans. High
schoolers can collect badges for proficient
scores on college-entrance exams. The
badges offer far more than a digital "good
job" sticker. Because they are stored on an
open, online platform developed by the
district, the badges-when clicked on-reveal the tasks the student completed. They
can even contain links to videos and other
digital evidence of new skills.
"Earning badges motivates students for

LIFE-SAVING SKILLS-Students at Corona Norca USD earn badges outside
the classroom in a CPR-certification course given by the local fire department.
The 53,000-student district near Los Angeles believes it may offer more digital
badges than any other school system in the nation.

the next steps in their journey," Moore says.
Moore and her team conduct regular
focus groups with students to find out
what additional badges should be created.
Students convinced the district to issue
badges for skills learned in electives such
as choir, robotics and video production.
"These help students define themselves

After-school endorsements
Middle and high school students in Providence, Rhode Island, can earn badges-
and class credit-for skills learned in after-school programs.
The Providence Afterschool Alliance offers badges to its 2,000 students for
completing STEM activities and for displaying skills such as problem-solving,
communication and perseverance.
"We work to give value to learning beyond the school space," says Hillary
Salmons, executive director of Alliance, which partners with Providence Public
Schools and the Rhode Island Department of Education on the badging program.
A student's regular school transcripts likely won't mention they helped build
a skate park in an after-school program. The badges, therefore, allow students
to show off and articulate the skills they've learned. Students can compile an
e-portfolio of badges they can use when applying to colleges, Salmons adds.
"The badge is a way for us to have value-proposition conversations with
young people and pitch it to the marketplace," she says. "It's the next phase in
competency-based learning."

50 September 2017

and set themselves apart from others,"
Moore says. "They are the things that
make them unique."
Much of the badging process is automated-meaning no extra work for
classroom teachers. The district's badging
system tracks when grades are published
and issues badges to students who have
passed their electives. The badges are then
displayed in a digital backpack.
The system also keeps analytics so
Moore can determine if students are sharing their badges on social media. Finally,
Corona-Norco's badging system can keep
score-one district high school allows students to trade in points for football tickets, T-shirt and gift cards.
Corona-Norco's community also
jumped on the district's badging bandwagon. For example, the local fire department issues badges to students who complete a CPR training course.
Corona-Norco, with 51 schools and
53,000 students, believes it has likely
issued more digital badges-about
800,000-than any district in the U.S.
Eventually, the district plans to expand the
District Administration



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration September 2017

District Administration September 2017 - Cover1
District Administration September 2017 - Cover2
District Administration September 2017 - 1
District Administration September 2017 - 2
District Administration September 2017 - 3
District Administration September 2017 - 4
District Administration September 2017 - 5
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District Administration September 2017 - Cover3
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