What is it?: Educator Micro-credentials provide teachers and others with a professional learning pathway through which they can gain validated recognition for the skills and competencies they learn throughout their careers. Through an innovative online system, educators select the micro-credentials they are interested in earning, make decisions about the learning they need, submit evidence of their learning, have it reviewed by experts and peers, and earn digital recognition of specific competencies. Educators can earn 3 unscheduled in-service hours for the completion of a single micro-credential.
Why? A focus on the demonstration of competency is a critical shift for educators' professional learning. Instead of placing an emphasis on what is learned and the amount of time spent in the learning, micro-credentials identify specific competencies educators may need or want and define what it will look like for the educator to demonstrate that competency in their practice. Educators make decisions for themselves related to what will be learned and practiced in order to develop the chosen competency and they select artifacts from their practice that demonstrate the competency for others. These artifacts are submitted and assessed by trained evaluators against the communicated expectations for demonstrated competency. Educators will receive feedback related to their submission, and if the submitted artifacts meet the required criteria, they will earn a digital badge signifying their competency in this area.
How do I participate? Bloomboard.com provides the learning platform for the educator micro-credentials developed through Digital Promise. The website is full of great resources and the micro-credentials being offered through BloomBoard are free to access. If you are interested in completing a micro-credential, you will need to sign-up for a free account with the BloomBoard.
- Phase 1 - Learning And Exploring: Once you have BloomBoard account, you can begin by studying the references and resources provided within the micro-credential that interests you. Each micro-credential description will include a variety of background material and/or examples to support you in developing your understanding of the competencies within. The learning is at your own pace and you may choose to supplement these resources with other available materials. It is important in this first phase to clearly understand the criteria that your final submission will be evaluated against and ensure that your learning prepares you to meet this criteria.
- Phase 2 - Application: Because micro-credentials are competency-based, nearly all of them will require the educator to apply their learning in an authentic setting (classroom, PLC, PD session, etc.) to demonstrate the acquired skill. The educator will most likely be required to submit evidence of their plan, activities, and reflections. Each micro-credential contains a clear description related to the expected materials that will be submitted. Educators are advised to practice and develop the skill prior to attempting to submit evidence. This practice could be done with the help of a coach or administrator to support accurate evidence collection and reflection. Because the final submitted evidence will be assessed by the micro-credential issuer, educators are encouraged to develop a strong understanding of the the concepts involved and examples from practice that clearly demonstrate the required criteria BEFORE attempting to submit evidence in BloomBoard.
- Phase 3 - Submission: Once you have completed requirements for the micro-credential, you can submit your evidence in BloomBoard by clicking the APPLY button within the appropriate micro-credential. You should not click the APPLY button until you are ready to submit and finalize the micro-credential. You may be required to upload multiple files as part of your evidence. Once submitted, the evidence will be evaluated by the micro-credential issuers who developed the original requirements. Within approximately 2-3 weeks you should receive electronic confirmation of your result. Educators who are successful in receiving a micro-credential will get an email containing a digital badge related to that competency. The badge can be shared with others in different platforms or attached to an email signature. The confirmation email from Bloomboard serves as your documentation of completion, and should be forwarded to Dr. Keith Wilson, Director of Professional Learning in order to receive 3 uscheduled in-service hours. If you are not successful on your first attempt, you can practice further and resubmit evidence. If the evidence submitted is deemed "not yet" ready, the issuer will provide feedback on how it may be strengthened or improved. Hours will only be awarded for successfully completing a micro-credential.