Today, badges have gone from physical to virtual. Examples of virtual badges are ones gamers have depending on their skills in a particular game. Then you have websites where you create something and are awarded badges based on amount of views, longevity, etc (think about what http://www.smore.com has done with badges. COOL!!) Check out people's blogs and what badges they proudly display on their sidelines.
What's so great about badges? Why should I care about badges when I'm just an educator? Here are a few reasons...they are the PERFECT vehicle to
1: display individual achievement
2: create a "want to, can do" attitude
3: they show how far a student has come from where they used to be.
Think back to the days of stars on a posterboard showing classroom achievement. Those who did well could swell with pride because they're always at the top of the charts. But what about those poor souls who weren't able to do what needed to be done in order to get a star? One word: humiliation. And that's one powerful word! When virtual badges are used, they are individually awarded, not grouped. They can be shown on one person's site, not a chart. Best of all, YOU get to create them so every student is capable of badges based on their personal strengths.
So where do I get them? Here are six sites I really like that are creative and useful. Distribution is up to you (email, a curated site of badges, a teacher's website for students to download, et al). It's worth a try to start making them :) So, in no particular order:
banners, icons, and badges you can make. Includes curved or straight text as well as color options Downloadable
Need to register for this site. Add a badge from their design group, or search for a particular one you may need that isn’t shown. Create a class of students and award them indivdually and virtually.
Keep an eye on this site. has an offline badge maker you can create hands-on. Email for the kit. Is in beta format…continuing to work on it for more options