The entwinement of learning, design, and technology within education takes many pathways for instructors. The ISTE Certified Educator program is tool-agnostic to encourage appropriate pedagogy and choices made for student outcomes instead of picking tools first and shaping lessons to fit. However, once educators understand the ISTE Standards for Students and Educators, they will ultimately need tools and resources to appropriately design lessons for students.
What’s more, teachers can use the ISTE website to find resources aligned with the principles outlined in the technology standards. One particular resource which may be useful for districts is Edge U Badges. ISTE calls Edge U Badges “A professional development system for teachers that provides training in the use of tech tools, web applications and strategies for instructional leadership. Teachers earn badges as they progress through skills of varying scope and rigor.” While many of the badges may refer to specific tools, the alignment with ISTE standards lets educators know that they can be applied and integrated in innovative ways that put students’ learning first. Districts may be interested in partnering with the program to offer badge-based PD to teachers. However, badges can be earned by teachers without the use of a formal program such as Edge U.
As more educational technology tools and websites offer badges to educators for navigating and integrating apps and platforms, it is changing the way teachers experience PD. Large companies such as Google and Microsoft are offering educators ways to learn the tools and how they can transform their teaching. Further, other companies like Nearpod, Flipgrid, and Screencastify (among many, many others) provide instructors the same type of training for their apps. With these digital badges, teachers can showcase their knowledge of the tool itself but also will learn about the bigger picture presented in technology standards.
Once teachers gain comfort in finding, earning, and showcasing badges for their own learning they can begin to consider how games and badges could play a role in their subject area classrooms. Because if teachers enjoy earning badges to demonstrate what they learn, why wouldn’t students compete to earn them too?
Technology integration frameworks
More ISTE-aligned resources