The College of Education and Human Performance at the University of Central Florida strives to be at the forefront of innovation in teacher training and development. We know a key component of that is constant collaboration with our many district partners. After several visits to local schools to learn more about the technology they’re using to develop 21st-century learners, the idea of micro-credentials being a valuable part of a teacher candidate’s training at UCF became clear.
Traditionally, colleges of education prescribe a fixed set of courses for their teacher candidates to complete. If successful, they all earn the same degree. Grades and assignments may differ of course, but how can a teacher candidate show they have gone beyond the required curriculum to deepen skills learned through coursework and hone better classroom practice and potentially increase their marketability to principals and schools?
Micro-credentials provided a way.
Micro-credentials were included in the Elementary Education program at UCF to provide students an opportunity to engage in personalized learning opportunities in multiple ways. We specifically selected the Educators Rising micro-credentials since they so beautifully aligned to course objectives in our program and to Florida’s Educator Accomplished Practices framework. Throughout several core courses in the Elementary Education program, students are given the choice to complete one of the five Educators Rising micro-credentials.
Some of the Educators Rising micro-credentials’ submission requirements call for artifacts from classroom teaching, such as teaching videos. Gaining access to students and coordinating permission in our local schools to record our students teaching can be challenging. Luckily, our innovative mixed reality simulation, TeachLivE, provided a solution.
TeachLivE allows teacher candidates to refine their pedagogical skills with avatars. With close to 90 global partners taking advantage of this “flight simulator” for teachers, TeachLivE is allowing more and more students to pause, reflect, and change course to best support student learning.
By pairing micro-credentials with TeachLivE, UCF is equipping its students with the ability to harness the power of technology to personalize their own professional development.
The Beginning to Teach micro-credential stack is only one of the efforts UCF is undertaking to create opportunities for personalized learning. We continue to research and implement new ways for students and educators alike to show what they know while pursuing personal areas of interest that meet their professional learning needs and goals.