- According to Education Week, micro-credentialing is becoming more popular in K-12, helping to reinvigorate teacher professional development efforts.
- In higher ed, micro-credentials have been part of a shift away from old-fashioned credit hours and traditional continuing education programs, typically offered as part of shorter programs focused on specific skills.
- Part of why the idea of micro-credentials — which also tend to be more digital friendly and reliant on tech — is attractive as a form of educator PD is because studies have revealed a lack of effectiveness in traditional professional development methods.
Micro-credentialing has been gaining steam for the past few years as a professional development trend at large, but that popularity is growing at a relatively slow pace in K-12.
Recently, a report from nonprofit ed-tech advocacy group Digital Promise and consulting firm Grunwald Associates surveyed teachers about the use of competency-based micro-credentials as part of professional development, finding that only 15% of teachers reported being "somewhat familiar" with micro-credentials. After being debriefed, however, 70% of teachers expressed interest in using them as part of their ongoing professional development.
Typically, those enrolling or participating in shortened programs focused on specific skills and are ultimately awarded with a credential or digital badge to display online, for example, in a LinkedIn profile. That way, it's demonstrated by a third party that they've acquired a certain skill. Especially when it comes to digital training, the concept holds promise. Digital Promise has already partnered with 15 organizations that are helping to develop and publish 120 different micro-credentials on a variety of topics that include "deeper learning, teacher leadership, and data literacy" in the K-12 space.