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Two Women Talking

A Fresh Tactic for Professional Development

by Laura Devaney

eSchool News

Article excerpt

How micro-credentials could have a chance

Micro-credentials could have a hugely beneficial impact on teacher professional development, according to a new study — provided some big ifs swing in their favor. The study, from nonprofit ed-tech advocacy group Digital Promise and consulting firm Grunwald Associates, takes a detailed look at how teachers say they feel about professional development and competency-based micro-credentials.

Our take

New Option in Professional Development: Micro-credentials

A Digital Promise study suggests that the use of “micro-credentials”—also referred to as digital badges—could hold promise for professional development (PD), ensuring that today’s teachers stay up-to-date in an increasingly dynamic environment. But, only 15 percent of respondents were currently familiar with the concept. Teachers who learn about micro-credentials are generally favorably disposed to giving them a try; could they play a role in your professional development activities?

It’s a new idea, but given the current level of general dissatisfaction with PD, the concept of micro-credentials or digital badges certainly deserves exploration. One area of caution: while teachers indicate that they would be potentially interested in the concept, they’re not favorably disposed to making these credentials mandatory, or using them as a form of teacher assessment.