Ed Tech News

Digital Promise Announces Merger with Edcamp, AI Pilot and New Digital Learning Microcredential

Digital Promise, the organization that focuses on accelerating innovation in education, especially through the smart use of technology, hasn't stopped moving ahead with initiatives, even as schools have had to slow down some of their operations.

Recently, Digital Promise announced that it had merged with Edcamp. The decade-old foundation helps teachers put on education camps, which are designed by the participants themselves as "unconferences" to address their own professional development needs.

In a letter to its community, Edcamp Executive Director Hadley Ferguson, wrote: "Our organizations share very similar missions and are both committed to powerful learning experiences for educators where they can collaborate and learn from each other to create inclusive and meaningful learning experiences for their students."

Ferguson, who said she was stepping down, added that Digital Promise would continue supporting the Edcamp programs, "maintaining access to tools and resources organizers need and a website listing of upcoming local and virtual Edcamps for participants to attend." An Edcamp "community team" led by former Director of Operations, Allison Modica, would handle the process of organizing edcamps, "including registration, promotion and sending out free resource kits with supplies and branded materials."

An Edcamp advisory committee made up of former Edcamp board members and organizers will help "ensure the integrity of the model and advance the growth of the community," Ferguson added.

Digital Promise has announced that it is seeking sixth- through eighth-grade English language arts teachers to join a fall pilot of "Project Topeka." This is described as a tool that uses artificial intelligence to give "instant feedback to students on their writing" and lend support to teachers in targeting their instruction. Those who complete the pilot are promised $100. Signups are being taken through a Salesforce Pardot website.

Also, the organization has launched five new microcredentials dedicated to helping teachers make the move to digital learning. All are freely available and designed as a "stack" to be earned in sequence. Those are:

Conducting a needs assessment for digital learning;

Developing a virtual desk for digital learning;

Designing synchronous and asynchronous instruction for digital learning;

Communicating with learners and families to support digital learning; and

Engaging in continuous improvement for digital learning.

The first one, as an example, helps the educator learn how to create or adapt an existing technology needs assessment to gather data on their students' access to and use of technology. Then those results are used to design the digital learning program. Earning the badge requires a lot of reading, viewing, writing, reflection and developing artifacts that can be submitted for evaluation.

Learn more on the Digital Promise microcredentials website.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.