Info for Teachers

How can I use digital badges?
Siemens digital badges can be used in a variety of ways. These are some examples of how they can be used:
*For an ‘out of school hours’ club - if such a club is attended by pupils of a range of ages, backgrounds and experience the digital badges are sufficiently varied and flexible enough to encourage a wide range of responses.
*For individual pupils for whom some additional challenge is appropriate, taking the form of enrichment and enhancement activities.
As parts of lessons to provide challenge and recognition for study and exploration.
*As an alternative curriculum offer for pupils for whom the mainstream provision was considered inappropriate.

Similarly, the way in which Siemens digital badges can be used in a teaching session can be varied as well, for example digital badges can be used as a:
*Stimulus to promote discussion, prompt thoughts on the part of individuals and generally engage pupils. The supporting materials provide ideas as to what can be used but these shouldn’t be seen as prescriptive.
*Group class activity. A teacher leading a group can encourage an exchange of ideas and cross fertilisation of thoughts. The badges are designed to allow a range of responses; there is never a single correct answer. At an earlier stage it is good to have an exchange of initial ideas, questions and suggestions without drawing out whole solutions. Generally speaking, getting pupils to the point where they have developed their own ideas to a fair extent is important before tentative solutions are shared.

The badges are designed as a way of pupils expressing their own ideas and developing their own solutions.

Badges can be used within a number of different ways to benefit young people. As the Siemens badges are supported by award winning resource materials, teachers will find it relatively straightforward to use an Explorer or Challenger project aligned with the curriculum, within the classroom.

What resources can support me to use digital badges in the classroom?
For the young people taking the badges, all required resources will be signposted within the badge missions. For teachers or those awarding the badges, full schemes of work and lesson plans for each of the digital badges can be found below:

How long does it take?
The badges range in difficulty as below:
  • Level 1 - Explorer badges (7-11yrs) - 35 minutes to 1 hour
  • Level 2 - Challenger badges (12-16yrs) - 1 hour (with tasks set for homework)
  • Level 3 - Careers badges (16+yrs) - TBA
As indicated by the suggested age range, explorer badge missions are simple to complete and are intended to spark students’ interest in STEM. Challenger and Career badges require a deeper engagement with STEM, as young people must use their research skills and creative thinking ability to progress skills relevant for a career in STEM. All badges have been designed to provide users with stimulating activities outside of the classroom and can be completed in one sitting.

Why use them with pupils?
There are three main reasons for using Siemens digital badges with pupils:
1. They recognise learning that has taken place in a less formalised or structured way, with more emphasis being placed upon attributes such as resourcefulness, resilience and creativity. These are some of the characteristics needed for tomorrow’s engineers.
2. It enables pupils to see those areas of the curriculum in a different light. It encourages them to make links and draw upon ideas from a variety of places, both within other STEM subjects and from the broader curriculum. It raises the profile of those subjects, but also encourages pupils to draw upon a wide range of ideas.
3. It provides a formal recognition of valuable learning with a simple assessment system. This is a useful opportunity for pupils to have their learning recognised without them having to comply with an extensive set of assessment requirements.

What the pupils will get out of using them?
Siemens digital badges provide young people with a way to develop STEM skills within and outside of the classroom. They are intended to recognise and reward young people for developing skills required for industry. Earning digital badges can support young peoples’ pathways from school to Further and Higher Education and into jobs and careers. Digital badges also provide young people with the opportunity to interact directly with future employers and build a digital CV and online credentials from an early age.

What do digital badges lead to?
Participating in and completing badges will allow young people to further their understanding of STEM topics and technologies, as well as develop skills required to pursue a STEM career path.

The digital badge missions also provide young people with the opportunity to engage with Siemens as a potential employer, unlocking exclusive access to information and opportunities relating to future careers in STEM.

For teaching professionals, badges are a recognised pathway for STEM based CPD, enabling them to build on practical delivery to help bring to life the interplay between classroom learning and the world of work skills and employability.
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