The Day Before ISTE18 : Badge Summit, Unconferences, and Teach Meets Hold it Down

The excitement and the buzz of ISTE18 is feverish, ironically the weather is cool.  The Blue Line Train is rolling, ride shares are moving, and people are teeming from square buildings, corners and walkways. This Saturday is perfect and it so happens to be the eve of ISTE in Chicago!

Claudio Zavala and I have both landed at O’Hare airport ( he from TX and I from Atlanta) and are filled with the excitement of the learning, sharing the stories of the goodness in education and connecting face to face with our PLN in the days ahead.

On this day, Columbia College was host site to Badge Summit where Noah Giesel is the organizer. The event space shoulders multiple floors and certainly embodies the spirit of innovation and collaboration. When you walked into the large assembly, you noticed a balance between men and women as well as varied shades of people—it was a beautiful mix! This event was so informative and planned out well.

The conversations and sessions centered around emblems and micro-credentialing used to signify a level of distinction in education and other industries.  Business and educational thought leaders alike are thinking of ways in which young people, building staff and employees can demonstrate mastery and it mean something across multiple spaces.

The conference keynote was Samuel Dyson, Deputy Director of the Chicago Learning Exchange. Learn more about him here  and watch briefly here.

The day was followed by many great 2018 Conference Schedule   .

One of these sessions was led by Jennifer Williams of Participate and friends on alternatives to Top Down PD. A design thinking challenge was presented around teacher led professional development for groups that are usually left out. Hear the teacher share outs here .

The big takeaways for me were that there are individuals within industries that want to be recognized in a certain capacity by their skills but also that want to know that this recognition has some reciprocity across the board, regions, and countries. Catch Sarah Thomas’ scope of a local community Chicago youth who spoke about understanding the value of badging here and here.

There were many ideas in the room on how to get started and scaled up to more complex thinking from a panelist of Moon Shot Thinkers. See that conversation here. Gamifying badging and personalizing them were popular sessions as well. Catch those scopes on Claudio’s Twitter feed or periscope channel.

Finally, bridging communities and organizations with young people will be vital to this growing community. To learn more about organizations supporting Chicago’s Youth, visit The Hive Chicago Network and individuals like Sana Jafri (@jafs31) .

We look forward to Badge Summit 2019 in Philadelphia but be sure to connect with Noah Giesel online to learn more about this awesome space and community of educators and those that support education.

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