I had a wonderful opportunity to lead our middle school students through a badge learning course on digital citizenship. The badge learning course was created by Tamritz, a digital badge learning network, where students connect online with students from other schools across the Unites States.
Students completed a Digital Age Learning course, where lessons were guided by the following questions:
- “How can I develop habits of a ‘connected learner’ to support my learning now and into the future?
- How can I develop habits and understandings of a digital citizen that will support my learning now and into the future?” (Blattner, 2013).
Each badge within the course utilized a number of tools and resources for students to interact with one another and the materials. They spent their time learning about and reflecting on connected learning, digital badges, personal learning environments (PLEs), digital footprints, online identities, digital savviness, intellectual property, copyright and fair use.
Prior to facilitating the Tamritz course with students, I acted as a student myself and took a summer badge learning course through the same organization. The Digital Age Teaching course is a six week course that:
- “Levels up teachers’ skill sets in digital media literacies.
- Immerses educators in a community of practice, supporting experimentation and collaboration.
- Models badge learning for future implementation at individual schools.
- Engages teachers in game-like playing and learning” (Blattner, 2014).
The course is described as a place where:
Learners are immersed in a community of practice where learning happens through a variety of tools that are appropriate for the Grades 5-12 classroom. Participants may access the course materials anytime, anywhere, in the spirit of online learning. The course takes place inside a “walled garden,” meaning only other course participants can interact with learners and access artifacts and discussions. Educators are encouraged to explore, tinker and play at their own pace.
Grounded in principles of Connected Learning, current research and trending pedagogies, educators will be engaged in a peer community, sharing through journal reflections, learning artifacts and discussions. While the experience is self-directed, TAMRITZ educators facilitate the learning, providing frequent feedback, pacing cues and support throughout the journey (Blattner, 2014).
Blattner, S. (2013). Course overview: digital age learning [Handout]. Tamritz, Portland, OR.
Blattner, S. (2014). Teachers. Retrieved May 19, 2016, from http://tamritz.org/teachers-pd/