Learning is a life-long process, and as it turns out, so is teaching.
Today’s educators are constantly shadow boxing the ever-changing world of standardized testing, technology, and best practices. As our students’ needs change, so, too, does our role in the classroom. I just had a conversation with a fellow teacher about how we are now a hybrid of educator and parent as a result of many of our students’ basic needs not being met at home. In addition to the responsibility of educating and graduating America’s future, schools are also feeding, clothing, and supporting kiddos in need. It’s a blessing we’re able to do it, but anyone who believes it doesn’t impact class time is a fool.
The truth is, educators need support, too. I’m not talking about Starbucks gift cards–though those are lovely please and thank you. I’m thinking more along the lines of opportunities and resources that allow us to offer a more personalized approach to instruction and the ability to focus on each student’s individual learning strengths and needs.
Ask and ye shall receive.
The educational angels have given us: Digital Promise’s Micro-credentials.
Are you all, WTF is a micro-credential? Don’t feel bad; I was, too. Basically, a micro-credential is evidence that we’ve mastered a certain competency. While not a full-blown degree, some micro-credentials will actually earn us college credits, but all will better our instruction and help us help our students.
Each micro-credential begins with an overview of a construct or idea in personalized learning that is supported by the latest research to help educators gain a deeper understanding of its importance in the learning process.
^^ That looks like this:
Educators are asked to identify a student’s strengths and challenges and create and implement a plan that supports the student in meeting their goals for learning. Then they collaborate with other educators from around the country WHICH IS AWESOME. Finally, we earn credit for skills we’ve developed AND many states recognize them as formal Professional Development. Score!
Digital Promise has designed a framework to guide the development of each micro-credential. This framework ensures that each micro-credential:
- Focuses on a single competency
- Has a key method that is backed by research
- Requires the submission of evidence
- Includes a rubric or scoring guide
Some of my favorites?
We educate in a time when our students’ learning needs are more diverse than ever. There’s no single certification that tells us how to meet every different need, but Digital Promise’s micro-credentials offer in-depth opportunities that help us reach as many students on as many levels as possible.