We all like gold stars. Even adults. Admit it. It’s what makes apps like Angry Birds and Candy Crush timeless….even if we finish all the available levels, we can go back and try for three star finishes. What if our work or schoolwork could still earn us gold stars? It might just be the pat on the back that gets us through the day (or an hour of a tough day). A colleague suggested creating badges instead of gold stars, since the badges can be tailored for specific accomplishments. I like the simplicity of gold stars, but badges are more creative and on target. I was a Girl Scout, so I can appreciate collecting a variety of badges to represent smaller accomplishments. Also, badging is/was a popular trend in education. The tool Class Badges allows me to easily create badges with their stock icons or search public domain graphics to make badges with. Yes, I can use a photo editing tool to make my own, but I’d never be able to keep up with writing blog posts if I was that thorough.
Warning….so, at this point, I should reveal that I do not use this tool as it was intended. I’m supposed to be assigning badges within the tool so that students receive the badges only within the badge website. But, I don’t want my students to leave the classroom to review badges, so I take a screen shot (with Jing) of my completed badge and attach it to my response in the classroom.
Goal: Give visual support to students in an online classroom setting with more than my generic gold star JPG (created in Word)
- There is a tutorial, though the process is not difficult to figure out on your own.
- Easy to use tool, for the most part (see Drawbacks). I created a half-dozen badges quickly, and only stopped because I ran out of feedback worthy of a badge.
- Access to public domain or stock graphics, though I didn’t really find what I was looking for through the public domain options
- Cannot download graphic file of badge and text
- Requires login…okay, that’s not a big deal, but it’s just another place for my email and a password
- The search function can be a bit quirky. It wants to match the word as you type, which may cause confusion while typing. The keyword search results list is pretty limited.
Insider View: It may help to think through the types of badges and text before starting to use the tool, though I was inspired by the graphics I found through general searches for relevant key words (e.g., write, read, group). You can also upload your own graphics, but I’d like just find mine in Pixabay so I use the search feature in Class Badges.
Final Thoughts: I would give this tool a 5/5 rating if I could download the graphic/text that I create for each badge. But, hijacking the graphic with Jing works, though I have no idea if I’m then violating some copyright or other restrictions. (Probably should have checked that prior to posting this to my blog.)