The Hopkins, MN School District is turning fun and games into learning and responsibility. Benjamin Friesen and John Wetter of the Hopkins district discussed how their badge program encourages students to demonstrate iPad and digital proficiency.
To create a culture of learning and sharing, Hopkins implemented a fun badge program where students earn badges by passing 10-question exams that demonstrate their knowledge of their iPads. The badges include a color scheme, similar to a karate system, where white is the first belt and then as exams get progressively harder, they can build all the way to black — where students are certified as Ninjas. Benjamin said, “the kids are motivated by this, they want to play.”
This has caught on so well, that Hopkins has rolled out a few more badges, including:
Footprint — This badge ensures students understand digital responsibility, ethics, and how to navigate an increasingly digital world.
Online — This badge ensures students know how to interact professionally with their teachers and can backup important documents to the cloud.
Scholar — This badge ensures that students understand what academic honesty means and why it is important in school.
The badge program has been wildly successful and in the 2013-14 school year, Hopkins rewarded 2,440 badges to students who earned them.
Hopkins is taking this to the next level by creating a ‘Genius Team’ of students that can help other students and teachers with IT questions. Ben sees these students as “the first line of defense.”
As an added bonus, those in attendance had an opportunity to earn a white badge by answering a few elementary questions about the iPad. We won’t tell you how many passed!
Watch the full video of this session now.