Return to Headlines

Badge program promotes innovation in classroom

Khara Barnard

Teachers with Princeton ISD might feel like they are back in Scouts as they have the opportunity to earn badges showing they have implemented innovative techniques or technology into the classroom.

The Innovation Badge program was implemented by the district’s new technology coach, Robert Brown, who is coming up with ways to assist teachers with new ideas for their classrooms.

“Through the Innovation Badge program, teachers are being recognized and rewarded for trying new and innovative ideas in the classroom,” Mr. Brown said. “We want to encourage teachers to step out of their comfort zone and try new things.”

According to Mr. Brown, they earn stickers for their chart for each new idea they try, and the stickers show off what they have accomplished. In addition, it lets fellow teachers know they have experience in a certain technique or program.

“When they let other teachers know what experience they have, they can help and support each other,” Brown said.

Teachers can earn prizes for completing certain levels on the chart. For instance, as they gain badges for things like creating a QR code to share resources or a test review using a Quizlet, it shows they have built on their technology skills and moved to higher levels of competency.

Anthony Beimer

Southard 8th-grade social studies teacher Khara Barnard is one of the teachers who has already been recognized.

“When Mr. Brown came in, he encouraged us to use more technology in our classrooms by giving incentives to the teachers,” she said. “I uploaded some of the ideas and things we do in social studies, and Mr. Brown spoiled me with a jeans day.”

Ms. Barnard is a firm believer in the benefits of technology.

“In reality, teachers use technology more than we realize,” she said and cited an example of a current class project.

“Just this week, the kids were working on a quick method of research that will help them in high school and college,” she said. “Each student completes a slide on an assigned topic and they are put into a slide doc and the kids can now study off one another's slides. It's pretty cool.”

Ms. Barnard plans to continue to earn Innovation Badges.

“For me, this is a great way to keep my attention on what I can do with technology and then provide those chances for my students,” she said.