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Microcredentials: Modern Professional Development & Continuing Education

With the advent of the internet, educators and administrators alike must constantly stay abreast of the latest and greatest apps, programs, and digital tools. Administrators can keep their educators in the know by employing a microcredential program for PD that individualizes and personalizes the professional growth of individuals. Offering administrators the ability to verify knowledge and appropriate resources, microcredentialing provides a plus for both sides, especially when educators can complete PD in their own time. Figuring out if they’re right for your district and schools doesn’t have to be difficult.

What is a microcredential?

According to the NEA, a microcredential is “a short, competency-based recognition that allows an educator to demonstrate mastery in a particular area.” They are typically research-based and created to support specific areas of need or demonstrate competency. They are personalized based on the individual’s experiences, career goals, and the needs of their districts and schools.

Why are they desired?

  • Performance-based - Skills are demonstrated and certify you as having mastered them, rather than an “I showed up” certificate like PD of the past.

  • Research-backed - Solid research is used to develop these courses, supporting a positive impact in your classrooms and schools.

  • Flexible - Educators can fit their studies into their own schedules.

  • Individual or Community Options - Work on your own or join a learning community for support and camaraderie.

  • Specific - Hence the “micro,” these courses zoom in and give specific training in areas of need or interest rather than a large overview.

  • Rigorous - Earning one of these indicates you’ve been through hardcore training and are poised and ready to apply it in your district, school, or classroom. There’s no dozing off during these presentations or modules.

  • Cost-Effective - Members of certain organizations can earn microcredentials for free. Others must pay nominal fees to apply for admission.

  • Future-Facing - Educators who seek out microcredentialing are demonstrating their desire to build upon their knowledge base and further their education, making them more attractive to potential employers.

  • Varied - There isn’t just one option available for the whole school or district, but rather hundreds of options for individual learning.

What options are available?

There are literally hundreds of options, so you can really focus on your areas of interest and develop a new and/or supplemental knowledge base. Even businesses are jumping in, with Apple and Google creating their own microcredentialing courses.

Here are some examples of categories and classes for microcredentials:

  • Administration & Leadership

  • Advocacy

  • Anti-Bias Education

  • Arts Integration

  • Collection Management

  • Computational Thinking

  • Classroom Culture

  • Cybersecurity

  • Digital Literacy

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

  • Every Student Succeeds Act

  • Formative Assessment

  • Internet and AI Cloud

  • Intellectual Freedom & Copyright

  • Inquiry-Based Scientific Thinking

  • Machine Learning

  • Marketing & Outreach

  • Photography Basics

  • Python

  • Songwriting

  • Sports Performance Analytics

  • STEAM Learning

  • Supporting LGBTQ Students

  • Teacher Leadership: Diversity, Equity, and Cultural Competence Pathway

  • Teacher Leadership: Policy Pathway

  • Teaching Impacts of Technology

  • Technology Integration

  • TESOL Preparation

  • Virtual Teaching

  • Volunteer Service

  • Web Applications

Where can I learn more?

Check out School Library Journal’s list of companies offering microcredentialing options.

Microcredentials may be the wave of future education, where educators and administrators find their niche and establish themselves as perpetual students of the ever-changing world. If you haven’t looked into them yet, it’s time!


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