Digital Badges

Teaching Matters Introduces Digital Badges for Teacher-Leaders

Teaching Matters, a nonprofit that focuses on improving teacher effectiveness, will launch a pilot program in which it gives "micro-credentials" to teachers who demonstrate the skills necessary to improve student achievement and sustain effective instruction in urban schools.

Teaching Matters will offer the micro-credentials, "digital badges," in a pilot program involving 150 teachers in New York City schools that will have meta-data embedded in them to provide evidence of the teachers' expertise and capacity to lead.

At the heart of the program will be a process that involves recruiting potential teacher-leaders, coaching, observing the teachers at work and data collection.

It is one of several programs the nonprofit is involved in to support teachers in urban school districts, primarily New York City.

The micro-credentialing pilot for teacher-leaders was announced October 22 at the Council of Great City Schools (CGCS) annual conference in Milwaukee. CGCS is an association of the 100 largest school districts in the United States that brings together superintendents and policy makers from urban areas to share best practices.

Teaching Matters' micro-credentialing program will join other programs it has developed over the last 20 years to assist teacher-leaders who can then pass on their best practices and skills to their colleagues. It includes the nonprofit's:

  • Teaching for Impact program, which identifies the leaders in 200 New York City schools and helps them create professional learning communities at their schools;
  • Writing Matters program, which is grounded in the best practices for writing instruction; and
  • Voices and Choices, which introduces students to the foundations, issues and responsibilities of democracy and citizenship via an annual citywide Civil Rights Summit or Constitution Today Town Meeting.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.