Improving Professional Development Through Micro-credentials

While not my main goal, one of my hopes for this course is to increase my ability to leverage social media and web 2.0 tools to provide high quality professional development to teachers in Florida. I have set this goal for myself because I started a project in May to restructure some of our office’s professional development using these tools. As part of this restructuring I will be using a combination of micro-credential, canvas, and a social media campaign. For those not familiar with micro-credentials they are an increasingly popular method to display achievements and skills a person proves competency in. These digital “badges” are verifiable, with embedded information and evidence of the demonstrated skills and achievements. By using these tools, I hope to transform our professional development from sit-and-get sessions where teachers are information consumers into sessions where teachers will display competency by becoming a producer.

I have this project broken into three milestones currently, where I will complete three pilot programs of different sizes:

Pilot 1:

Will consist of a group of 20 science content developers & reviewers for a series of summer science symposiums our bureau is hosting. These content developers & reviewers will be awarded micro-credentials for creating science content tied to specific state standards (Check out the grade 6-8 badge criteria here!).

Pilot 2

Will be for a group of 500 made up of facilitators and teachers at the summer science symposiums. The facilitators will train the teacher in the content, and how to implement this knowledge within their classrooms. The teachers will then be required to take this knowledge back to their districts and create some form of evidence (still being planned haha!) to display use and competency of the learned skills.

Pilot 3

Will be a state-wide event for science teachers, which is around 9000 teachers within the public-school system! Course Description Awareness Day will highlight the exciting challenges students face, and overcome, in courses due to the alignment with Florida’s rigorous standards. Furthermore, increased awareness of course and standards alignment will enhance classroom teachers’ instructional practices. As part of the Course Description Awareness Day, Florida teachers will be awarded Open Badge micro-credentials in recognition of their participation. They will complete a short canvas course to learn how to navigate CPALMS to their course description (Here is what the one for Biology 1 looks like!) and view/export the description. They will have to complete a survey and enter information which is only displayed within the description. This will hopefully be a hook to complete one or two higher level micro-credentials within the course where teachers will have to create a lesson plan and a reflection on how learning this information affected the creation of this lesson. The final level will be creating a video displaying the usage of their new knowledge within the school. This could be in a classroom, or something like an instructional coach planning session.

I would love any feedback on how I might improve these plans, develop a social media campaign, or your general opinion!




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1 thought on “Improving Professional Development Through Micro-credentials

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      Congrats! This is an impressive undertaking, which will undoubtedly prove to have widespread positive impact. I love microcredentialing. As I have proceeded through this ISLT program, juggling the schoolwork with family and work, I have kept telling myself that I will take a break from coursework. And then…some new microcourse or program grabs my attention. Ultimately, I want to be able to build microcourses for high school students interested in understanding current events in greater depth.

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