In one of my most widely shared articles I wrote about the benefits of using badges in the classroom. After field testing badges for several semesters I thought it was time to add some reflections and address some problems with badges.
For the most part I still believe that there are benefits to using badges but I also think some of the claims made on behalf of badges and gamification are overly optimistic. Badges are certainly not a magic bullet for address problems in education.
And, you have to be willing to learn from failure as opposed to letting it paralyze you into inaction. To do this Adams gives some very useful tips to remember including:
"Goals are for losers. Systems are for winners."
"Passion is bull. What you need is personal energy."
"A combination of mediocre skills can make you surprisingly valuable."
What social forces will have major impact in the next ten years? More than likely, whatever they are, there are already signs that they are at work changing our world. Since they are now small movements it is difficult to tell what effects they may have. More so since there are other small movements currently active which will come to naught. How can we distinguish the microtrends which will impact us from the ones that won't?
One option is to study previous microtrends that, in fact, have led to major changes. That is the subject of Mark Penn's book Microtrends.
Being goal oriented is a popular virtue these days. There are innumerable websites promoting all sorts of methods to increase productivity, wealth, health, happiness, and so much more. The sometimes unstated, but more often over-stated, message of many of these resources is that we need to sit down, clearly define our goal, and march directly towards it.
Our failure to achieve these goals is then attributed to our lack of focus, lack of drive, lack of persistence. But, what if our real failure is related to our attempt to achieve our goals directly? What if we shifted our focus away from our ultimate goals? Perhaps we would have better success in achieving them.
KEVIN J. BROWNE
Philosopher / Educator