Teacher Tech blog with Alice Keeler

Paperless Is Not a Pedagogy

Alice Keeler

Why Gamify with Badges in the Classroom

Why gamify with badges? Providing a visual display of student achievement can be fun and motivating.
Why Gamify with Badges in the Classroom

Gamification is a great way to increase student engagement and make your class more fun. Join me March 14th for a free OTIS presentation on Maximizing the Impact of Digital Badges with Google Sheets. Why choose to gamify with badges in the classroom? This visual representation of student achievement is a fun way to get going with gamification. 

What is a Badge?

A badge is a visual representation of an accomplishment. This could be as simple as a certificate such as “student of the month.” However, to gamify with badges in the classroom we want to set up a collection of badges that students can earn instead of a single certificate.

Think Digital Stickers

Certainly physical badges can be utilized where you print them out or have stickers made. The obvious cost and time make a digital option attractive. Usually these will be round or other sticker like representation with a graphic.

Why Gamify with Badges in the Classroom

Using badges to gamify learning in the classroom taps into the power of goal setting and personal achievement, and helping to develop a growth mindset. This strategy makes learning interactive and fun, motivating students to engage and take charge of their educational journey. Badges serve as visual markers of success, recognizing everything from mastering new skills to demonstrating positive behavior. This recognition not only boosts students’ confidence but also encourages them to set and achieve new goals. It supports individual learning paths, allowing students to progress at their own pace and explore their interests. 

Maximizing the Impact of Digital Badges with Google Sheets

Badge it up with Google Sheets: share, access, and celebrate student achievements! Dive into the world of digital badges with Alice Keeler, the queen of spreadsheets! Alice will guide you through the ins and outs of using Google Sheets to create badges and share them effectively with your students, ensuring they feel recognized and motivated. Alice will also cover strategies for accessing and managing your badge collection throughout the school year, making it easy to assign new badges as your students hit new milestones. Plus, get tips on how to involve parents in the celebration of their children’s achievements. Whether you’re a newbie to digital badges or looking to refine your approach, this session is packed with practical advice to help you celebrate student success in a fun way.


Professional Learning with OTIS

I frequently team up with OTIS to provide free workshops on a variety of EdTech topics. Registration is free. If you are unable to attend, registration gains you access to the recording afterwards. View the list of upcoming workshops each month. 

Previously, I blogged about how to create badges in Google Sheets. This was intended to be an introduction to the steps of making the badge. However, I had several requests for how to create the systems to facilitate the badge process in the classroom. This is what I am sharing in the OTIS presentation.

Getting Started with Badging

My best advice is to start small with badges. Consider what 5 achievements students can goal set for. Having more badges than you can keep track up will possibly end up in you giving up on giving badges. 

Make One for Fun

Consider the list of achievements you want students to reach. I recommend including one badge that is more fun than academic. 

Why Give Badges

For fun is one great reason to assign badges! “Silly spaghetti hat badge.” By adding some accomplishments that encourage students to try something fun this can provide students with low self efficacy a starting point to get into the challenge. Success builds success! Helping students visually identify that they were successful makes it easier to tackle other tasks.  

Encourage a Challenge

Unlike a list of assignments, not all badges have to be required. Certainly some can be, however, the option to earn a badge for tackling a particular challenge can help encourage students to think outside the box. For example, instead of writing a paper in a Google Doc the student could be challenged to use sign posts in Minecraft to craft a story. 

For students who are already excelling, there is no where to go. They have an A and there is nothing higher to goal set for. Having badge challenges that allow them to look beyond the grade to try new things can be a win win. 

Academic Goals

Completing unit 5 is certainly an accomplishment. A Unit 5 badge is a great idea! However, you can also create accomplishments to support finishing the unit. A badge for key standards might also be something you consider. 

Mix it up! Find a variety of ways students can show they accomplished something and design a badge for the occassion. 

Why Google Sheets

Why use Google Sheets for badging? Besides my passion that “the answer is always a spreadsheet,” getting started by using Google Sheets has many advantages. 

  • If you are a Google Workspace user it is free
  • Easy to find in your Google Drive.
  • Badges require data tracking. 
  • Formulas can help manage badge approval.
  • Works with other Google Apps.
  • Displays images.
  • Apply data visualization with student badge data.
  • Ease of sharing spreadsheets with students.
  • Flexible to fit your style or system.

Learn More about Google Sheets from Teacher Tech

Start with My Template

For the OTIS webinar we will talk about some systems of organizing and managing badges. However, you can get started quickly with my badge game template. Make a copy at alicekeeler.com/badgegame. This is pre-loaded with badges. Simply make a list of quests/challenges and share a copy with students. 

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