- Badging can provide a means of demonstrating what students have learned in makerspace environments the way report cards do in a traditional classroom, middle school technology coordinator and makerspace director Nicholas Provenzano writes in Edutopia.
- Provenzano suggests using sticker paper to allow students to physically display the badges they've earned on their devices or notebooks, and notes that documenting the individual skills they've earned can also assist students in gaining jobs or internships.
- Additionally, he notes that badges can provide students with leadership opportunities if learners are allowed to create badges. But he also suggests a potential downside in that a badging system could create an environment focused more on the credential than the learning process.
As employers demand greater technical and soft skills, makerspaces are providing a nontraditional learning environment that emphasizes the use of new technology to solve problems while also encouraging creative thought and collaboration.
By introducing microcredentials, such as badges, into that environment, educators can give students a means to display what they've learned for both college and job applications. Skills they've shown a particular aptitude for could guide them toward better majors, or into higher-paying jobs out of high school.
If not every student is meant to go on to college, then better career and technical education opportunities are needed to serve students who don't plan to pursue a degree — especially as artificial intelligence and robotics disrupt blue collar jobs in fields like manufacturing and retail that have long employed high school graduates.