“Educators deserve recognition for their skills,” explained ed nonprofit Digital Promise’s Professional Development Manager Krista Moroder during a session at the annual 2014 ISTE conference. Such is the inspiration behind Digital Promise’s micro-credentialing program, an effort to bring a sense of market worth and rigor to digital badges. And now, teachers can be a part of it. This week, Digital Promise officially opened up applications for its 2014 summer micro-credentialing pilot.
According to Karen Cator, current president and CEO of Digital Promise, teachers participating in this pilot will have the opportunity to earn micro-credentials “by submitting examples of work from their classroom as evidence of competency associated with the micro-credential.”
In order to give teachers flexibility, evidence could be anything from an annotated video to sample student work. Each micro-credential will focus on mastery of a single competency; sample micro-credentials that pilot participants could acquire include “Idea Generating and Brainstorming” and “Productive Teamwork.”
Pilot results will help shape the future of DP’s micro-credentialing initiative, Cator tell EdSurge. “The input and feedback we receive from teachers participating in the very early stages will help us refine our approach to micro-credentialing to ensure the experience is a valuable one for teachers,” she says.
But why not just do regular old digital badges? Earlier this year, Moroder wrote an article in which she referenced issues with current badging systems:
“Despite these benefits, digital badges still haven’t reached mass effect in our profession. To have value beyond a teacher’s blog or Twitter feed, digital badges need to have both rigor and market worth. They need to become micro-credentials.”
Also announced by Digital Promise this week was the launch of the "Digital Promise Schools" initiative, a Verizon-sponsored project where DP is partnering with eight U.S. middle schools and documenting the creation of digital learning environments. According to Cator, “stories, resources, and policies of the participating schools will be shared in real time on the project’s website, creating a behind-the-scenes guidebook for supporting middle school students and teachers with learning technologies.”