Spotlight on Micro-Credentialing Systems for Educators
Educators are always learning new skills to apply to their roles -- but those skills have traditionally been difficult to track throughout a career. Microcredentialing offers digital tracking of very specific skill sets to streamline the process for educators, districts and other educational organizations. This Spotlight examines the benefits of microcredentialing and digital badges to boost literacy and foster professional development.
Continuing education has traditionally come with logistical headaches for districts and other educational organizations. In order to streamline the process, digital badges are quickly replacing paper and certificate-style credits that recognize competencies and learning outcomes for continuing education courses. They help build a portfolio of learned skills that can easily follow the recipients throughout their careers. Mark Otter, CEO of Participate, says that the main purpose of microcredentialing for teacher professional development is to give teachers autonomy in their professional learning. Read the full article to learn more about microcredentialing, digital badges and the benefits for educators.
With the right approach, literacy can see a boost from technology and educators who know how best to use it. STEM topics, and the technology that often drives them, do not need to be separate from literacy initiatives, according to Dr. Jennifer Williams, a senior education strategist at Participate. "Instead of as a competing force, I have seen the push for STEM shine a big, bright light right back on reading and writing," Williams says. Read the full Q&A to learn more.
Alyssa Voigt, a library media specialist, says traditional "one-size-fits-all" professional development rarely is relevant to her daily work, but microcredentials are changing how she and other educators view PD. Voigt details how the approach helps to personalize PD for educators.
Microcredentials, which are growing in acceptance among educators, should be backed by rigorous research, according to a white paper from Digital Promise. The white paper includes questions organizations should ask to help define their vision, plus a template they can use for drafting the credentials.
Penn State University Libraries is using artificial intelligence to make its microcredentialing programs more efficient, information literacy librarian Emily Rimland writes. The technology compares drafted responses to questions with previous student responses and also allows graders to provide customized feedback using AI that analyzes the depth and grade level of answers.
Some school districts nationwide have changed their approach to teachers' professional development, allowing educators to take more control over what they learn. This approach includes a focus on more online professional-development materials and other resources available to teachers.
School leaders can help to recharge teachers during the midyear slump by introducing micro professional development in routine meetings, suggests Michael Gaskell, a middle-school principal in New Jersey. In this commentary, he shares ways his school has adopted five-minute micro PD.
Students at a Pennsylvania high school are learning culinary skills in a program that allows them to earn a microcredential in the field. Officials say they hope to soon offer students an opportunity to work as apprentices at local businesses.
Participate partners with organizations and school districts to engage learners in online Communities of Practice. These communities, each focused on a particular domain and around a shared practice, give learners the opportunity to follow personalized pathways of growth and participate in meaningful, blended learning. We envision a world in which all educators have access to the compelling, collaborative and practical learning experiences and resources they need to build creative, inclusive and engaging experiences for their students. Visit our website to learn more.
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