Reflections on COETAIL and Badging


From Pixabay


What a ride it has been. Things didn’t always go as planned.

I tried to put my COETAIL learnings into action for this project. Here are some thoughts that came to my mind, as this was taking place.

  1. Things (relationships, cultures, projects, learning) take time to build. I kinda wish I could have done this project last year where I was in my fifth year at the school, had units to rework, relationships already built, a culture already created. I didn’t have that this year at a new school, in a new library with no culture.
  2. This project reaffirmed something I already knew.
    • Library’s can be magical. I saw kids discover new books and new ideas, as a result of the badging. That was cool.
    • Library’s are especially magical for outsiders – shy kids, “different” kids, and I love that about libraries.
  3. I envisioned that the kids would be hooked by the platform. That was a mistake. I thought they would want to play around more with it. I was hoping they would get hooked on checking out the possibilities of each badge. Instead, for most kids, they weren’t into it. Grade 3, however, loved the physical badges.
  4. Transformational tech experiences (correct, if I’m wrong) are easier to design with middle/high school. I was a little out of touch, and it could just be a “it’s my school” thing – actually, I think that’s the case. We have a BYOD policy for grades 4 and 5, but they don’t know how to use the machines. Our grade 3 kids have no idea how to use basic software – Word, Outlook, – or any APPS.
  5. Editing my video was actually much more fun than I anticipated. I really enjoyed the process! It’s time consuming, too. It’s the second movie I’ve ever made, and I hope to make more in the future.
  6. Badging is not for me. This external reward system  doesn’t suit my mission as a librarian or as a human being. 
    1. Warren Buffet talks about the inner scorecard , and it’s something we should all have.  I’d rather use that inner scorecard as a motivator than badges.
    2. One of my favorite moments from the project was when a student who I thought was going to love competing with others for a surprise said: “I don’t want badges. I just want to read for fun.” What else can I say, except “go for it, buddy.” 
    1.  Libraries are about collaborative inquiries. Moving forward in my career, whether it’s as a teacher or librarian, I know this much: Teaching and working in isolation is never good! Always, if possible, work, consult, share, and plan with others. It’s bound to be better!!! For this project I was able to work a little bit with teachers, but it wasn’t the level of collaboration I preferred. Basically, it was like: “Yea, Mike. Great idea. You guys can do that during our library time. I’ll stop by.” In time, I think I’ll have relationships with teachers where collaboration happens easier, but this was our first year together.  We’re just not there yet.

Thanks for watching my video.







This entry was posted in Course 5 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Reflections on COETAIL and Badging

  1. Hi Mike,
    Your badge idea was awesome! It’s always interesting to see what motivates people. I understand what you mean by external rewards however, don’t give up on it. I started creating stickers for adults who attend my trainings. The teachers put them on their computers. They’ve been surprisingly popular and create community. A suggestion would be to have a passport for the badges. They can blog about the book or share a short video such as SeeSaw. Part of my job is to meet with weekly with teacher librarians. I am going to share your idea!

    • Debra, thanks for the feedback, and thanks so much for the suggestion! I’m going to give it a try!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *