During the Spring of 2017, the Prosper ISD Instructional Technology team started looking for ways to update our badge program. While our badge program was highly successful, we realized that we were outgrowing our current program. With such a high growth rate and new teachers rapidly being hired, new teachers were starting at zero badges, while some returning teachers had already earned most of the badges. We needed to change up our system to challenge all teachers and help them grow professionally.
After much discussion, we decided to focus our new badge program around the levels of SAMR. Find out more about SAMR here. Most of our teachers were using technology at the Substitution level with their students. We wanted to educate our teachers on how to integrate technology at deeper levels, while still keeping the focus on the learning objectives.
The roll out of PD Badges 2.0 did have a training aspect as we educated teachers on the different levels of SAMR and how to integrate technology in more student centered ways. To make things easier on a management level, we also created a poster that would fit Avery labels, removing the need to laminate and cut out the badges. We were able to utilize our original tracking spreadsheets and created a new website using the new Google Sites.
Our first poster was a rocket theme. The base of the rocket focused on the Substitution level. Since most teachers were integrating technology at the Substitution level, this allowed teach
ers to earn badges immediately. As you moved up the rocket ship, teachers could earn badges at the Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition levels. We supported teachers when they stepped outside their comfort zones to redefine their learning environment; most often by reaching outside the four walls of their classroom.
Teachers have embraced the change in the program and have realized they are earning badges for things they do in their classrooms everyday. It also challenges teachers to take a closer look at how they use technology and create a more student-centered learning environment.
As year 1 of Badge 2.0 is coming to a close, we are looking for a new theme for next year. We do know that one update will be to change the number of badges for each level and increase the number of Modification and Redefinition badges. We are happy to share our experience and help you set up your own program. Our programs have been duplicated in more than 10 states and various district around Texas. Check out our badge site and templates listed below. To find out more please contact us.