Digital badges are being widely adopted for students, but could the same principle be applied to professional development for teachers?
A study commissioned by the nonprofit Digital Promise analyzed the reasons teachers might adopt micro-credentials in lieu of, or in conjunction with, more formal professional development. To earn micro-credentials, teachers must follow online coursework, lead classroom activities, and prepare artifacts from those activities to demonstrate mastery in a given skill, such as effective use of wait time.
Because the concept is so new, only 15 percent of the 800 public and private K-12 teachers surveyed for the study reported being at least “somewhat aware” of such opportunities. Once they became more familiar with the concept of micro-credentials, however, nearly two-thirds reported being at least “somewhat likely” to try to earn one, according to the survey.
A version of this article appeared in the October 28, 2015 edition of Education Week as Digital Badges