I’m Adam. I’ve been hired by Coach Mark for Summer Dreamers 2015 as the Digital Badge Champion! This is a new role for Summer Dreamers, and I’ll let you decide whether it means that I’ve been championing digital badges, or that I am the reigning champion of the first ever digital badge battle royale (Hint: it’s the first one). But that doesn’t much matter.
What matters is that digital badges are coming.
This isn’t exclusive to Summer Dreamers Swim & Water Polo. Digital badges of every sort, shape, size, color, and function have been rolled out across the nation in the last few years as part of a gameification process for everything from insurance premiums to education. This means shiny, individual rewards are awarded to commemorate typically uncelebrated actions–actions that someone else wants you to believe are important.
In our program, we have put in a lot of effort to create activities, lessons, and goals that we think are important enough to get excited about. The badges are hopefully the way to share this excited attitude with kids–for them to be more deeply involved in the lifelong efforts, like fitness, literacy, and goal-achievement, that we hope to nurture.
For you guys, this means getting excited about these things too!
I understand that, realistically, it may not be the case that you’re excited for every badge, so at the very least I want you to be familiar with the activities and programs that have badges to award. Mark and I did extensive work creating these and including explanatory write-ups so that you have the information about each badge and activity at your fingertips.
Reading and exploring is paramount.
You may find some badges on these resources that are not yet finished or fully thought through. Don’t panic. Maybe even consider looking at what has been thought up so far and contributing ideas or constructive criticism in the associated Talk pages. Poke through all of the digital badges and see if you can wrap your head around them, as well as the different activities that it takes to earn them. If you have any questions, drop a line on the associated Talk page and anyone who knows the answer and visits the talk page will suggest an answer.
During the summer, you will each be an integral part of this process. Not only will you run the activities that finish by the awarding of these badges, but you will be the administers of these badges too. We will hold a training session in the near future going through the basics of this badge-awarding process and the badges that we all will be focusing on for the summer.
It’s an exciting time for programs like this that are part of the wave of digital badges–don’t be afraid to get excited about it too!
Digital badges are here.