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Make Badges with Google Apps

Gamification Works!! We know when we gamify activities it increases student engagement and increased engagement increases student learning. In my webinar today I went over how to create digital badges using Google Slides and Google Drawings.

Make Badges in Google Slides

I have created a template in Google Slides to help you to quickly create digital badges.

Create a copy of the template and then wait for the “Make Badges” menu to show up next to the Help menu.

Authorize the Add-on

I have NOT submitted this Add-on to Google. You will get a warning that it has not been authorized by Google, because I did not ask them to. It is safe to authorize. This (and all my Add-ons) collects NO user data.

Make Badge

By choosing “Make Badge” a slide will be added to the Google Slides that has a round circle on it with a thick border. I have updated the Add-on so the template has a transparent background. This is not noticeable unless you download the slide.

Design Your Badge

Use the Insert menu to add Word Art or add clipart images.

Make More Badges

By using the Add-on you can quickly create another badge. Simply select “Make Badge” and a new slide will be added.

Download the Badge

To use the badge, you will need to use the File menu and choose “Download.” Choose PNG as the file type. Using PNG will maintain the transparency of the background.

Drag the Badges Onto Student Work

I am a fan of using Google Slides over Google Docs. One of those reasons is I can drag images onto student work as digital stickers. Notice that when you download the badge in Chrome it downloads to the downloads bar. You can drag from the download bar right into a Google Doc or Slides! Save the downloaded badges to a folder on your computer and you can drag from the folder right onto student work as well. If you save them to Google Drive, use the Insert menu to insert images from Drive.

Badge Game

If you are using my spreadsheet for leveling up the Google Slides badges will not work. Make a copy of the game template:

Google Drawing

Instead, create your badges in Google Drawings to use them in the spreadsheet.

Square Canvas

After creating a new Google Drawing go to the File menu and choose “Page Setup.” Change to a custom canvas size. I like to use the units of Pixels and choose 500 by 500 pixels. (5 inches by 5 inches is close enough if you would rather.) Just make the two dimensions match so that the canvas is square.

Shift Key

After making a square canvas use the shapes tool to create a circle. By holding down the Shift key it will create a perfect circle. Center the circle on the canvas. Red lines will show when you are centered both horizontally and vertically.

Thicker Border

The real key to creating a good looking badge is to thicken the edge of the drawing. Next to the paint can is the line color tool. Next to the line color tool is the border weight. Have at least a border weight of 8 pixels.

Design Badge

Just as before, design your badge how you wish. Use the paint can to change the badge color. Add images and text to the badge.

Publish to the Web

It is important that you do NOT use the link at the top of the URL. You must use the File menu and choose “Publish to the Web.” Click the Publish button. Then copy the link from the publish.

Badges Tab

Back on the spreadsheet for alicekeeler.com/badgegame where you made a copy go to the Badges tab along the bottom. In Column B paste the link from your published Google Drawing. This will swap out the default badge I made for your custom one!!

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