On January 29-30, Digital Promise gathered thought leaders, influencers, and practitioners to dive into the world of micro-credentials. We identified strategic questions facing the micro-credential ecosystem and began to tackle many challenges. Through a comprehensive system of micro-credentials, participants hoped to build the capacity of the workforce to gain recognition for skills they master throughout their careers.
Teachers, coaches, and administrators had several thoughts on what micro-credentials could mean for strengthening professional development. This blog post discusses what they had to say during the event. Read more
To truly be successful, micro-credentials must reflect the real needs of educators and provide meaningful recognition for learners. This blog post delves into what this means in practice. Read more
This EdSurge article explores the major themes of the Educator & Workforce Micro-credential Summit, including the need to maintain a focus on the learning process and acknowledge teachers’ autonomy. Read more
Promises and Practices
During a panel discussion, Connie Yowell from the MacArthur Foundation, LaVerne Srinivasan of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and Brent Maddin from the Relay Graduate School of Education described the history of badges, explored the potential impact of micro-credentials on educators, and tackled major questions guiding implementation. By focusing on competencies and empowering adults to guide their learning, micro-credentials can help build a system that is “about valuing learning at every level.”
What considerations must micro-credential developers make while creating high-quality, competency-based micro-credentials? Current and prospective micro-credential developers discussed how they determine key characteristics of their micro-credentials, how they plan to couple their content with scalable assessment, and how they connect with other developers through Digital Promise’s online platform. Developers also discussed why micro-credentials are a vehicle for educators to engage with their content.
Educators gave their perspective on what motivates them to teach, coach, and lead and discussed how micro-credentials could support their learning goals. Teachers highlighted the idea of being able to drive their own learning and share their victories through social networks. Coaches loved the opportunity micro-credentials provide to put teachers in the driver’s seat and help them build professional learning networks. And administrators believed micro-credentials would help them recognize, retain, and reward outstanding educators for making their schools great.
Building micro-credentials to support personalized, lifelong professional learning will require careful implementation and a supportive ecosystem. Each of the Summit breakout sessions addressed some aspect of implementation in greater depth and highlighted many areas of focus for 2015. This included developing user trust, piloting to identify best practices, using effective storytelling to spread the word, and keeping learner voice (educator or other professional) at the heart of the experience.