Using Blog Badges To Motivate Students

My 4/5 GT students all have their own blogs, which can be found on the sidebar of my classroom blog, and they are all extremely proud of their blogs and get visitors and comments from students all across the country.  Ok, so you get the picture: my students blog and THEY LIKE IT!

Well, we recently completed an interactive simulation on establishing a colony.  This simulation lasted three weeks,  almost everyday for 15-40 minutes, depending on the day.  My kids loved this simulation and were excited to find out which colony had the most wealth units and was to be declared “Mr Atkinson’s Most Successful Colony of 2010.”  Of course I painstakingly deliberated over what I could do to celebrate this, and since my school can’t use food as any type of award I had to think outside the box.  That’s when it came to me…

Badges and Certificates!

I decided to create a badge that the winners had the privilege of displaying on their blog, as well as give them a paper certificate to be able to hang at home.  This, to my surprise was a huge hit!

Here is a picture of the badge I created on Adobe Illustrator:

I like the idea of using badges to promote healthy competition and a sense of pride with certain competitive projects.  I downloaded the vector for the badge here:  Web 2.0 Badge Vectors

Once I created the badge to be what I wanted it to I stored it in the public folder of my Dropbox and used an image embed script to add it to a “text” widget in Edublogs on each of the winning students blog sidebar.

In conclusion I like the idea and plan on expanding on it more in the future!