As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, we have made some changes to our makerspace this year, one of them being to rebrand it as Zorro Astuto Studio. Another major improvement we are implementing is a badging system for all students who create in Zorro Astuto. Throughout grades 4-12 (all of the levels that attend our school on the Fox Tech Campus) students can earn badges when they reach certain criteria for each of three levels. The criteria for Level 1 includes students getting a 100% on the relevant safety certification test and creating a project with that tool or software. Levels 2 and 3 increase the expectations, and students who reach a Level 3 in any area will be prominently featured on our “Studio Masters” bulletin board, which is in the mall area outside our space.
Once a student earns a badge, we laser-cut a physical one using special acrylic from Inventables. We provide them with a small chain so they can hang it on their backpack.
In addition, we wanted to digitally manage the badges. Our intention is to keep a running record for students as they move through grade levels. We also want teachers to have a quick reference. This will allow teachers, when students ask to use Zorro Astuto resources (like the 3d printer) for projects, to know if the student already has experience or will need to spend time learning a new tool or software.
I researched many digital badging systems and ultimately decided that the Flippity Badge Tracker would best serve our purpose. Although it is does not have as many features as Mozilla Open Badges or others, it does have simplicity going for it. With as many students as we have going through Zorro Astuto, we needed something that would work with multiple users and could be easily accessed by teachers across campus.
Tomorrow I will talk about who comes through Zorro Astuto, and the many ways we are trying to make it a place where all of our learners have multiple opportunities to create.