This is a sponsored post
When I was a classroom teacher, my main job was to educate my students but I wasn’t done when they left my classroom for the day. I taught my students and then continued my own education, taking classes to earn a second Master’s in School Administration and Technology Leadership from Johns Hopkins University. I was lucky that my degree was subsidized by the school system where I taught and completed my coursework before I had my kids.
But not everyone is so lucky. The truth is, teachers are expected to be lifelong learners. Professional growth is part of the job and while many options exist to support educators, time and limited financial resources can seem like big barriers to coursework necessary for subject area competency and to achieve a higher salary.
These days teachers can continue their education through in-person classes but a wealth of online options such as micro-credentialing exist to help busy professionals earn necessary credits or gain knowledge to help their students even in they’re strapped for time.
8 Reasons to Consider Micro-Credentials for Professional Development
For teachers who want to enhance their knowledge about a specific topic, micro-credentials can be an efficient way means of professional development. Micro-credentials provides digital certification for skills developed throughout their careers. Education Week describes micro-credentials as “more personalized, engaging, and relevant to teachers.” Shifting towards displaying evidence of progress in specific skills is also thought to make professional development more effective. Other benefits to micro-credentials include:
- Ability to earn credit hours in Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming though requirements may vary by district
- Some micro-credentials are worth graduate-level credit
- Focus on teacher competency, rather than seat time
- Effective way to meet the needs of diverse student populations
- Competency-based professional learning system allows for personalization and demonstration of learning through evidence
- Ability for schools and districts to focus on the discovery and application of new learning and not simply the time required to do so
- Cost effective professional development model for districts and educators
- Recognition for the skills educators learn in both formal and informal settings
Since that today’s digitally-connected world allows for new paths and methods for acquiring information to emerge daily, schools and districts have begun building structures that support this evolution in professional learning. Micro-credentials provide a strong starting point for doing so.
About Digital Promise’s Micro-Credentials
Teachers who are looking to increase their knowledge about financial literacy will appreciate Digital Promise’s new micro-credentials. Developed in partnership with George Washington University’s Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC), micro-credentials are designed to support teachers as they help students develop personal finance skills. The set of 20 financial literacy micro-credentials provide open access to high-quality professional development resources for use in the classroom, across disciplines are available thanks to the partnership.
Here are some of the financial competencies covered by the 20 Digital Promise micro-credentials:
- Discussing Risk and Return
- Credit Cards: Analyzing Pros and Cons Buying or Leasing
- Learning Investing
- Understanding Credit Scores
- Financial Decision Making
- Building Credit
- Applied Learning: Saving Strategies
- Student Loan Borrowing
- Tax Basics for Teens
- Protecting Identity Online
- Comparing Banking Options
- Exploring Career Options
- Calculating Compound Interest Experiential Learning: Automobile Insurance
- On-demand— Micro-credentials live ile online platform so educators to start and continue the process of earning micro-credentials on their own time.
- Personalized— Teachers can select the micro-credentials they wish to earn from a catalogue of over 300. There are a huge range of competencies about topics like teaching binary code to using exit tickets effectively. By picking and choosing, teachers can continue their professional learning aligned to their specific needs.
- Shareable— Educators can display their earned micro-credentials as digital badges on learning management systems (LMS), social media sites, or a blog to signal competencies in demonstrated skill sets.
- Competency-based— By focusing on an explicit skill, micro-credentials allow teachers to demonstrate their skills through evidence like classroom videos or student work.
Each Digital Promise micro-credential is developed using a framework to ensure they focus on a single competency, are supported by research, require evidence of competence, and include a rubric for evaluation.
4 Steps to Earning Micro-Credentials Through Digital Promise
Digital Promise’s micro-credentials are powered by BloomBoard. Here are the 4 steps to get started:
- Select a specific skill or area to develop and demonstrate competency. You can also select an area or skill you are competent in.
- Collect the required evidence as articulated in the micro-credential (e.g. videos, audio, writing samples, samples of student work, reflections from students and/or teachers etc.)
- Submit evidence through the online platform
- Assessors will review the evidence against the scoring guide and rubric. If you successfully demonstrate competence, you’ll receive the micro-credential in the form of a digital badge.
To learn more about micro-credentials and the role they play in educator professional learning:
- Visit the Digital Promise Micro-Credential site
- Access the Digital Promise’s report, Making Professional Learning Count.
- Follow Digital Promise on Twitter @DIgitalPromise
- Like the Digital Promise Facebook Page
This post was sponsored by Digital Promise and We Are Teachers. All opinions are my own.