“Badges, certifications, skill identifiers–you’ve probably seen micro-credentials in one digital form or another. But how do we know whether they actually matter in the real world?” How can we “get micro-credentials to the point where they’re valued as evidence of what adults have learned and can do.”
Here are a few of their suggestions.
Keep time and autonomy sacred
Badging platforms need to talk to one another
Micro-credentialing should target the process, not just the end
I recommend reading the full post as it tackles many of the tougher issues around micro-credentialing.
This article shares the story of Albermarle County Schools’ experience integrating maker education throughout all the schools in the district. In particular, snapshots of Agnor Hurt Elementary and Albermarle High School are spotlighted. I recommend diving into this article and considering how Albermarle’s experience and ideas can impact your classroom, school, and district. Here are just two nuggets I gleaned from reading this.
“Making shouldn’t be isolated. We want to get away from that idea. Makerspaces and classrooms are one and the same.” — Andrew Craft, Elementary Teacher
“When people make, they get back to the basics of who they are as humans. Making puts the learner at the center of the work — and when that happens with our kids, the content makes sense to them.” — Pam Moran, Superintendent
“A Maker is an individual who communicates, collaborates, tinkers, fixes, breaks, rebuilds, and constructs projects for the world around him or her. A Maker, re-cast into a classroom, has a name that we all love: a learner. A Maker, just like a true learner, values the process of making as much as the product.
“Making holds a number of opportunities and challenges for a teacher. Making, especially to educators and administrators unfamiliar with it, can seem to lack the academic rigor needed for a full-fledged place in an educational ecosystem. However, project-based learning has already created a framework for Making in the classroom. Let’s see how Making could work when placed inside a PBL curriculum unit.” — Patrick Waters
With micro-crentialing educators “can no longer attend a workshop and receive credit for merely being there. Instead, they must take their learning back into their classrooms and try it out, submitting evidence, receiving feedback from peers and refining their approach. They also have to reflect on what they learned through those experiences. Participating teachers then submit these artifacts, which are evaluated before the micro-credential is awarded. If the reviewers feel the educator did not submit strong enough evidence of learning, they can provide feedback and ask the educators to try again.” — Katrina Schwartz, Mind/Shift
“Digital badges have captured the imagination of many educators, including those frustrated with current assessment techniques and practices…a simple definition for a digital badge is digital recognition for accomplishing a skill or acquiring knowledge after completing an activity (e.g., a course, module, or project). In the world of digital badges, there are those who create badges, those who attempt to achieve badges, those who recognize badges, and those who seek to know people who have obtained certain badges. Digital badges have arguably taken off in popularity given the increase in massive open courses that are often free and thus do not produce credits. In sum, digital badges have become an important way to demonstrate a shared understanding of accomplished outcomes. Though they may have capital in multiple domains, digital badges are often new to teachers and those who offer professional development. However, there are at least three key areas where digital badges have implications for teachers and their continuing education.” — Richard Ferdig and Kristine Pytash, Tech & Learning
The International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments recently published a special issue focused on flipped learning. I had the opportunity to interview the authors of one of the articles included in the edition. In this episode of Talking Ed.Lenie George and T.J. Kopcha discuss their experiences with flipped learning and share some of the findings from their research.
Over at Daily Genius, Jeff Dunn shares a good primer about this topic. In it he shares that “flipped learning is more than just having students do homework during the school day. It’s more than just putting the onus on students to teach themselves. In fact, it’s neither of those things. Don’t be fooled by simple explanations of flipped classrooms that simplify a highly complex undertaking” (Source).
Yesterday I had the opportunity to take one of my graduate classes on a tour of new 3D Printing Lab in the University of Memphis Library. We received training in computer-aided design (CAD) and use of the 3D printer, and had the opportunity to see it in action. Our conversation about integrating 3D printers with learning was packed with ideas and I left feeling energized. Additional educational uses have been popping into my mind since.
The following video and photos showcase some of the various projects that were printed. The Memphis skyline is my favorite and look even more impressive in-person.
The following album offers snapshots and captions of our tour.
What experiences have you had with 3D printing?
Can you see potential ways to connect 3D printing with learning?