Are micro-credentials the key to personalizing professional development?

Dive Brief:

  • Micro-credentials, which offer learners the ability to master a single topic based on their needs or interests, offer administrators a way to personalize teachers' professional development, Education Week reports.
  • Delaware, Florida and Tennessee are among states, along with individual districts elsewhere, that have experimented with the model through providers such as the nonprofit Digital Promise, some of which allow educators to provide evidence including student work or videos and award digital badges for LinkedIn.
  • Amid the growth in popularity, there is also increasing attention to the need for standards around rigor, value for stakeholders, oversight and teacher incentives for earning them.

Dive Insight:

Amid the growth in popularity around personalizing learning for students, more attention has been given to the potential of applying the same approach to educators' professional learning opportunities. As educators on a panel at SXSWedu agreed, doing so can allow teachers to expand and improve their pedagogy in the areas where they see needs or that match their personal interests. And eschewing a one-size-fits-all PD approach can also prevent boredom and burnout, fostering more creative ideas.

Programs that provide greater flexibility around the individual skills educators can learn, like those focused around micro-credentials or digital badges, potentially simplify this process. The ability to, for example, offer clusters of interested teachers micro-credentialing opportunities focused on very specific skill sets that match their needs, rather than investing in a larger, broader program, could help administrators maximize PD funds and offer more opportunities throughout the year.

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Filed Under: K12