VISD Professional Development Badge Program

Learn stuff, do stuff, earn badges.

Venus ISD's professional development strategy is changing to better meet the learning needs of teachers, so they can better serve their students. The process is simple:

  • Learn something
  • Apply it in your classroom
  • Apply for a Badge (top right corner if viewed on desktop)
  • Your learning gets verified (probably by some handsome guy in glasses)
  • Receive your badge

There's nothing magical about the badge itself, but our hope is that it serves as a visual indicator of the tools in a teacher's instructional toolbox. The badges can be displayed outside of your classroom door, so it's easy for people to see what you can do. If others need help, it's easy to find the expert(s) on that skill on campus because your badges show what you know.

What do I do with my badges?

The hope is that you'll put your badges on your Badge Framework Poster, located outside of your classroom/office door, so others can see your skills. You'll earn the Badge Framework Poster by completing the SAMR Framework training.

Throughout the year, there will be various incentives, contests, challenges, and other activities that will involve Badges (ex. the first PLC group to earn three badges gets a Sonic drink).

How is this different from what we've done before?

For the most part, you only earn badges (get credit) for things that actually make a difference in your classroom/workplace. It may seem harsh, but if it doesn't benefit students, it doesn't make sense to spend time and resources on it. We've all attended a workshop/webinar/whatever for the sole purpose of earning hours to meet an arbitrary requirement. Seat time spent in professional development does not correlate to effective instruction or higher achieving students.

The solution is to do less counting hours, and instead focus on instructional practices that positively affect learning.

What about CPE hours required for maintaining certificates?

There will still be some "traditional", session-based PD in which you'll earn a certificate for the time you spent in training. You can get a certificate for badge-based PD, if you want one. It will be generated upon request, once you've earned a badge and submitted a log of hours documenting your learning process. to more accurately reflect the time spent learning and implementing the new skill, rather than how long you spent sitting in a session.

Learn differently, if you want to.

We all know that students learn differently. Adults learn differently, too. Combined with the fact that adults also have unique jobs, families, hobbies, interests, schedules, etc., it doesn't make sense to tie all professional development to certain days, hours, or learning modalities.

With the badge program, you are free to learn however you choose:

  • If you want to chart your own course, learn independently, and achieve the performance indicators on your own, you can.
  • If you want to meet face to face so an instructor can facilitate your learning, you can.
  • If you want to blend face to face and independent learning, you can.

Why?

Venus ISD's primary reasons for implementing a badging program are:

  • It's more important to measure what improves student learning, not the number of hours spent in PD sessions.
  • It's more important to focus on the skills that teachers learn, rather than stipulating how they learn it.
  • If we want to develop motivated and independent learners, we need to provide our teachers with the opportunity to be motivated and independent learners.
  • Creating a culture of professional learning and growth in every classroom will benefit our students.