Professional Development

Greene County School Teachers Practice CBL for Their PD

A Tennessee school district will be issuing digital badges to its teachers to recognize their professional learning achievements. Greene County Schools is working with BloomBoard, a company with a platform that brings together professional development resources with micro-credentialing to provide competency-based learning for teachers. Micro-credentials are digital certifications that allow a person to show competency in a specific skill set.

BloomBoard works with non-profit Digital Promise, which has provided 150 different micro-credentials, issued by a number of organizations, including itself. Topics cover blended learning, checking for understanding, STEM teaching practices, data literacy, deeper learning, SAMR and dozens of other education topics.

Each micro-credential has its own submission requirements. For example, "Communicating with Families Using Data," requires the teacher to submit two "distinct examples" showing how he or she communicates with families using data, including answers to questions in written reflections. The BloomBoard platform provides the application process but also recommends various forms of professional development, which it also sells and delivers through its site, that will help the teacher achieve the goal.

Experts on the site also offer curated collections of content on specific topics. Those are designed to support the individual learning needs of teachers and help them gain understanding and apply information about a specific problem of practice.

According to the company, 550 educators at Greene County will be using its professional learning program. A core group of "learning leaders" will form and lead professional learning communities (PLCs) to address the specific development needs of groups of teachers. Those PLCs will be hosted through the BloomBoard platform, allowing people to meet with each other in private, virtual meetings.

"We selected BloomBoard because of its unique ability to support our shift to a teacher-centered, teacher-driven model of professional development," said Greene County Curriculum Supervisor Kristi Wallin, in a press release. "We are impressed with the quality of content available through BloomBoard, as well as the diverse library of micro-credentials that help teachers align their interests with their personal growth, and put them in control of their professional learning."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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