As it was stated in the Connected Learning TV - Erin Knights and Open Badges discussion, badges are being seen more in the STEM fields.
Luckily I teach at a magnet school that focuses on STEM and our math department in our district is all about STEM! I think my administration would see the badges as a way to increase our students' understanding of STEM, specifically the technology piece, but it would also be a way to expand their work process and product on the Internet. Badges could be used to develop students' online skills in an academic setting and it would also provide teachers with a form of "assessment" to determine their knowledge of the online resources that they are using.
In her blog post, Marsha Ratzel mentioned how she sees badges as a way to promote students to independently work outside of school to gain knowledge and understanding of the Internet. Her blog post started with a comment about online digital identity and I too think that the badges could provide an excellent guideline for helping students establish and refine their digital footprint. As a teacher I sometimes think that my students do not want to learn when they go home, but then I remember how many of my students talk about watching Animal Planet or Discovery Channel. Kids do like learning when they leave school, as long as it is something they are interested in. Why not give them something like badges to get them interested in learning about the Internet? I bet they will be more likely to learn a new skill if it interests them.
The more our students are producing academic work and using the Internet to do so, the more likely it is that their digital footprint will be more of academic based. I fear that most of my students' digital footprint now is more social and through the IT&DML program, I am learning more each day on how I can provide them with guidance in creating a digital footprint that is a better representation of who they want the world to see them as, rather than how the Internet sees them as. If that makes any sense at all.
In conclusion, I see myself investigating the possibility of creating or finding badges that the students could use to gain skills that will assist them with expanding their work and product using the Internet. I am afraid that there are a number of teachers who try to integrate the use of the Internet into their classrooms without thinking of a student's digital footprint. In my opinion, it is very important that all teachers should educate their students on using the Internet properly to produce work. Instead of limiting student access to the Internet though, which some teachers may do because they are afraid of digital footprints, teachers should encourage students to use tutorials, guidelines or badges to learn the skills necessary to continually produce work online.