For classroom teachers, understanding your students’ learning differences is important and worthwhile.
Think about it: if the adults in a child’s life really, truly know how to reach that child–how that child learns best–would’t we be able to move mountains?
Thanks to Digital Promise’s Micro-Credentials for learning differences, educators today can really learn about what makes their students tick. Educators can really learn about and understand their students’ learning differences.
Think about it:
- Wouldn’t it be amazing if each student who walked into our classroom was cut from the same cookie-cutter mold?
- How easy would lesson planning be if each child had the same learning style?
- How quickly would students learn if each one learned the same, exact way?
We all know that the above scenario is far from reality, and we all know that teaching would be super boring if every student learned the same way. Real-life classrooms couldn’t be further from what’s mentioned above.
But what if we had the key to each student’s learning differences from the start? What if teachers had research-based information to help them along the way?
Every child has unique and special learning differences, and it is our job as educators to make sure those needs are met. But it’s not always easy, and research is changing all the time.
Digital Promise’s Micro-Credentials for learning differences can help educators stay on top of the research.
I’m thankful that I was asked by my friends at We Are Teachers to learn about and share Digital Promise’s Micro-Credentials for Educators because before today, I was not in the “know”about how micro-credentials worked.
Here’s the skinny. . .
Support Your Students’ Learning Differences — Micro-Credentials for Teachers:
There are four things you need to know about Micro-Credentials.
First: What are Micr0-Credentials?
Micro-credentials provide competency-based recognition for the skills educators learn in both formal and informal settings. The Digital Promise Micro-credential Ecosystem, comprised of educators, content developers, districts and state-level educational agencies, among other stakeholders, works to establish micro-credentials as valuable and desired tools in an educator’s professional journey.
BloomBoard and Digital Promise have partnered with some states to offer professional development credits for awarded micro-credentials. These credits or points can often be used toward re-licensure/recertification and continuing education requirements. In these cases, an educator who is earns a micro-credential is eligible to receive credits in those states.
Second: Why should I care about Micro-Credentials?
You should care about Digital Promise micro-credentials because they are:
- On-demand – Micro-credentials live on an agile online platform, allowing educators to start and continue the process of earning micro-credentials on their own time.
- Personalized – Educators can select the micro-credentials they wish to earn from a catalogue of over 300, ranging in competencies from teaching binary code to using exit tickets effectively, and create a professional learning journey aligned to their specific needs.
- Shareable – Educators can display their earned micro-credentials as digital badges on LMSs, social media sites, or a blog to signal their demonstrated skill-set.
- Competency-based – By focusing on an explicit skill, micro-credentials allow educators to demonstrate ability in that skill through evidence from their practice — such as classroom videos or student work.
Third: How can Micro-Credentials Help Me Be a Better Educator, Aware of Students’ Learning Differences?
Take a look at some of the offerings.
I particularly am interested in the following Micro-Credentials:
- Foundations of Practice in Working Memory: Educators understand what working memory is, how it affects student learning, and can identify general strategies to support working memory in the classroom context.
- Foundations of Practice in Learner Motivation: The educator develops an understanding of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and how they affect student learning and can identify general strategies to foster intrinsic motivation in the classroom.
- Attention: Educator identifies and supports students who have learning challenges related to attention.
- Build a Student-centered Plan to Support Learning Differences: Educators must demonstrate ability to collect and use data (including student input) in order to build an actionable, learner-centered plan to support a student’s learning differences.
- Emotional Regulation: Educator identifies and supports students who have learning challenges related to emotional regulation.
But there are a million other offerings.
And these micro-credentials support educators’ bringing into practice a more personalized instructional approach, focusing on each student’s individual learning strengths and needs. 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. Educators are then 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.
Fourth: How do Micro-Credentials Work?
To earn a micro-credential, educators:
- Select a specific skill or area in which they want to develop and demonstrate competency, or an area or skill they already possess competence in
- Collect the required evidence as articulated in the micro-credential (e.g. videos, audio, writing samples, samples of student work, reflections from students and/or teachers etc.)
- Submit their evidence through the online platform
- Assessors then review the evidence against the scoring guide and rubric If educators successfully demonstrate competence, they receive the micro-credential in the form of a digital badge.
What interests you the most? Do these sound like something that would improve your practice? Have you tried micro-credentials?
I’d love to hear!
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fyi: This is a sponsored post written in partnership with We Are Teachers and Digital Promise’s Micro-Credentials. As always, my opinions are all my own, influenced only by my experience as a parent and educator.