Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Soft Badges

In addition to the Design Thinking badges I was keen to make some badges for "soft" skills so that I could start making some public acknowledgement of helpful approaches to learning. I was especially keen to set up some digital leadership for two reasons:
To offer opportunities for students to develop their own skills through supporting other's learning. Secondly, to free me up a little from the endless dreary round of: "click here", "go there", "have you watched the tutorial video I was up 'til midnight making?" and spend some time talking properly with students... especially those I don't know. 
If that sounds a little strange, you should know that Newmarket had two middle schools until the end of the summer term and as a consequence all my classes at the recently expanded Newmarket College are composed of a mixture of students I've known for some years and those I'm teaching for the first time. The most able, former St Felix, students still show a clear advantage over the rest in knowing their way around Google Apps and Mr. Brook. 
For complex, and frankly boring, reasons Google Apps was effectively unavailable to use with students until this side of half-term. This means I'm working far too many of my days off in preparation. If you follow this blog you'll know what I'm talking about. The effect of this is that sometimes one is over-prepared and has unrealistic expectations of how much "new stuff" learners can take. There's also that sense I hinted at above -  that they should be grateful for how hard I've been working and suitably amazed at the delightful pearls I am casting before them...They aren't though...

Two delightful boys in one of my classes listened attentively to my little speech about Digital Leadership, did as I had asked and sent me a brief email requesting the job.

I (Abc Defghij yr 8) would like to be digital leader because I am good at being patient and am a little techie as you required. I am also good at getting my work done in the limit of time you set us.

I was so pleased with the response I think I decided to ask for a request email for all badges. I've added a link to the slideshow below to my example e-portfolio. There are lots of soft learning skills I could have included but felt that this collection are key to my current scheme of work - and to building a genuinely participatory culture in our classroom...