By Jennifer Pieratt

With the release of LRNG Micro-credential national platforms and the growing momentum of public companies such as Credly, it’s safe to say that the badging craze is only just getting started.

And while badging may be the way of the Millennials and generation Alpha, who is to say that older generations don’t want to play too? Teachers in particular, who love learning and delight in boasting their “flair”, are the perfect audience for badging to fall upon-just ask the folks at Digital Promise and New Tech Network (which recently launched a new LMS with a fully integrated badging system for students and teachers) who have found creative ways to integrate teacher badging into professional development.

Pieratt Blog 2Inside One Badging Experience

This summer, the recently-launched CraftED joined forces with the work of LRNG’s initiative in San Diego and partnered with the local anchor organization, FabLab, to provide the first of a kind Maker Educator Badge. Here is a quick overview of the badge:

  • 10 hours of developing a teacher’s’ craft, related to Maker Education
  • Three digital experiences (what LRNG calls Digital XPs), similar to a self-paced tutorial where teachers can learn on their own time at home. Topics include:

→ Developing a Maker Mindset in students

→ Setting up a MakerSpace

→ Background on the Maker Movement in schools

  • Three in person experiences (what LRNG calls Local XPs), all held at Fab Lab.

→ Make and Take Challenge (offered again in the fall)

→ Tinker Time (offered in summer and fall)

→ Be a Maker (which encourages teachers to have some fun and go try out a class at Fab Lab and put themselves in the shoes of a learner.)

Pieratt Blog 4High Tech High North County teacher Jen Howard is part of the founding group involved in the Maker Educator Badge. For her first local XP (what LRNG defines as an in-person event), Jen attended CraftED’s Make and Take Challenge in June. To receive credit (toward her badge) for her attendance Jen was required to submit documentation of the process and final products via photographs and a reflection on the process and classroom application.

Jen’s colleagues who are pursuing the Maker Educator badge will attend CraftED’s event Tinker Time in November and one other event at FabLab, in addition to completing self-paced work related to understanding the maker movement and taking steps toward integrating it into their curriculum.

When it’s all said and done these teachers will have 12-15 hours developing their teaching craft, CEUs for their time and effort AND a micro-credential to boast!

The possibilities for badging to reimagine professional development are endless. With the #pdrevolution and #makered gaining momentum, micro-credentialing could be one of the answers to empowering teachers and providing more personalized learning for our teachers.

For more, see:

Jennifer Pieratt is the Founder and President of CraftED Curriculum and a former teacher. Follow her on Twitter: @JennyPieratt.


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