Douthit, Chris


Ferdig, R. & Pytash, K. (2014). There’s a badge for that. Tech & Learning, 34(8), 24-30.          

Summary: “There’s a badge for that” is an overview of the concept of badges and how they could impact teachers’ realities in terms of their own training and how they evaluate students.  Ferdig and Pytash define badges as “digital recognition for accomplishing a skill or acquiring knowledge after completing an activity (e.g., a course, module, or project)” (Ferdig & Pytash, 2014, p. 24).  Badges have come into vogue because of massive open courses, which often don’t produce credits but need a way to recognize student achievement.   The authors state that badges are good for educators in terms of professional development, teacher education, and as part of teachers’ own assessment of students.  The article culminates with further explanation of how to develop badges of one’s own.  

Evaluation: The idea of using badges of for professional development makes a lot of sense because these environments are fluid in their participation–some teachers take one kind, while others focus on a different kind.  Badges would make assessment and recognition easier within a school and for district accounting.   In the classroom, badges seem to be a very equitable and egalitarian alternative to grades, which are often limiting and do not motivate greatness in students.   Badges could take pressure off students while also developing in them a sense of cooperation and accomplishment, especially in terms of education that is increasingly self-driven.  

Jolene Nechiporenko


Grant, S. (2014). Badges: Show what you know. Young Adult Library Services, 2014(winter).

All About Badges

In her article Badges: Show what you know, Sheryl Grant explains the concept behind these digital credentials and their potential.

“In 2011, Secretary Arne Duncan of the U.S. Department of Education introduced digital badges to a national audience for the first time.”  This launched the Badges for Lifelong Learning initiative.  According to Secretary Duncan, “Today’s technology-enabled, information rich, deeply interconnected world means learning not only can–but should–happen anywhere, anytime.”

Badges enable us to recognized anytime learning. They also function to encourage participation. 

“In 2006, internet researchers estimated that only 1 percent of people on the internet contribute content, 9 percent edit, and the rest consume what others produce.” (Nielson, 2006)


Nielsen, J. (2006, Octiber 9). Participation inequality: Encouraging more users to contribute. Retrieved from