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Microcredentials and Professional Development Strategies in Union Schools

Micro-Credentials and Professional Development Strategies in Union Schools

Join us for a conversation with Dr. Donna Spangler and the faculty of Hershey Middle School to hear about the innovative ways she has worked with teachers unions to provide meaningful, job embedded professional development on her campus. Get specific examples of Microcredentials you can use with your teachers today. Plus, hear from real teachers about how using video-enhanced Microcredentials impacted their professional growth and their student’s achievement.

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Microcredentials as a Disruptive Innovation in Education

Traditional professional learning and student learning:

  • Outdated
  • Vague and static communication device
  • Combine many topics into unclear learning
  • Often does not result in “doing”

Transformative potential of micro-credentials:

  • Increases transparency and quality of professional learning activities and services
  • Transforms communication about learning
  • Represents discrete learning that the earner of the micro-credential knows, understands, and / or has demonstrated the ability to do


What is Microcredentialing?

It is the process of earning a micro-credential which is recognition achieved through demonstrating mastery of a defined skill or competency.

What it is:

  • Competency-based
  • Self-directed with a personalized component
  • Demonstration of new or existing expertise
  • Available on demand
  • Job-embedded
  • Learning by doing

What it is not:

  • Seat-time based
  • One-size-fits-all without opportunities to offer choice or personalize
  • Everyone shows expertise exactly the same way
  • Available only at set times
  • Separate from school or classroom context
  • Learning by memorizing information

Some Misconceptions and Challenges of Microcredentialing


  • Must be purchased from an outside, often for-profit, organization
  • Easy to put together this kind of professional learning
  • “Activities” versus actual structured “competency-based learning”
  • Doesn’t take time to create a quality micro-credential


  • Time factor
  • Misuse as extrinsic motivation to entice learners
  • Too many micro-credentials or badges that they lose their meaning
  • Grain size associated with micro-credentials results in granular approach
  • Unless careful, “parts don’t equal the whole”


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Jarod BormannHosted by Jarod Bormann from Professionally Driven




Microcredential Panelists

Hershey Middle School

Microcredential Panelists




  • Dr. Donna Spangler—Creator of the HMS Micro-credentialing Project and instructional coach at the middle school
  • Mrs. Barbara Clouser—Hershey Education Association President and instructional coach at the high school
  • Dr. Aaron Shuman—Hershey Middle School Assistant Principal
  • Mrs. JoAnn Delaney—6th grade geography teacher and HMS Micro-credentialing Year 1 participant
  • Mr. Greg Eckert—7th grade ELA teacher and HMS Micro-credentialing Year 1 participant
  • Mrs. Renée Owens—8th grade ELA teacher and HMS Micro-credentialing Year 2 participant
  • Mr. Nate Beamer—8th grade ELA American Cultures teacher and Micro-credentialing Year 2 participant

Special thanks to Miss Christen Manari for running our tech today for the meeting.


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