Young discusses how badges can be used to show time spent working on a particular project. Although, I like the idea of motivating students with something other than a final grade. I doubt the fact that badges will ever take over the credibility of a college degree or grades on a transcript. Badges can be small motivators for pacing a student and keeping them on track for the next goal that they must complete, but in the end, no amount of time spent will change the ability to complete the desired task. Thomas Edison made thousands of mistakes before inventing the light bulb. However, a badge for time spent with no end result doesn’t put him in the history books.
In the video, badges were described as a record of achievement. After hearing this and seeing the online icons, I remembered that a program that I use with my freshmen in American Government, that is based on online, uses badges to reward them for adequate/superior performance on a gaming program. Students are asked to categorized, match and experiment with different branches and topics in the government. At the end of each game, they are presented with some kind of badge. Sometimes, its the “You did it!” badge. Other times, it’s the “Keep up the hard work!” badge. After reading and listening to experts on badges in the field of education, I’ll be interested to do some of my own research on what badges the students feel are most desired.