Demonstrating the Whole Child with Digital Badges

Digital Badges can help students show all the ways in which they are learning and growing. Schools can set up badges that represent a student’s academic knowledge, work habits, social skills, and personal interests.

All of these areas of growth can be present in any entry of student work. Consider a group of students working together on a science project. The content of the project will show the students’ understanding of the subject area – but in addition, the project will show many other things – how well the student listens to others, whether the student is a reliable partner, or if the student can set and meet deadlines.

Digital badges can show student growth in each of these areas. When the student submits this group project, the student can link this single project to multiple badges. In this example, the project can link to the “science” badge, to the “work habits” badge and to the “listening” badge.

ASCD’s Whole Child Approach provides a great way to think about these connected strands. This approach has five tenets:

  • Each student enters school healthy and learns about and practices a healthy lifestyle.
  • Each student learns in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe for students and adults.
  • Each student is actively engaged in learning and is connected to the school and broader community.
  • Each student has access to personalized learning and is supported by qualified, caring adults.
  • Each student is challenged academically and prepared for success in college or further study and for employment and participation in a global environment.

In a similar way, teachers can have badges representing each of these tenets. As part of their professional development and ongoing growth, teachers can submit things that they do – from lesson plans to parent-teacher conferences to committee work – to illustrate how they are demonstrating each of these tenets.

Our recent webinar on Demonstrating the Whole Child with Digital Badges walks through how this process can take place, and how the badges can show student and teacher growth in all the areas that are important.

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