In general, badges can help teachers grow their craft and become proud of their achievements. Specific to language education, I see potential for badges to be a reflection of a teacher’s language proficiency, their ability to differentiate instruction or to integrate 21st century skills and their knowledge of how to embed culture into instruction. In addition to teachers having an innovative way to visually display such attainments, it would help me determine which teachers can lead professional development workshops in certain areas.
Our Superintendent recently spearheaded an initiative for administrators and teachers in the district to be aware of our strengths and to play to these strengths. She is motivating us to focus on what is strong rather than what is wrong. I see a strong connection between our Superintendent’s initiative and digital badges because, in essence, badges allow professionals to name and claim their strengths.
Tina Dong is World Languages Coordinator at Austin Independent School District.