Tennessee Department of Education Partners with BloomBoard to Pilot a Competency-Based Professional Learning Program Supported by Micro-credentials
BloomBoard, the leading educator-focused professional development platform, and the Tennessee Department of Education have partnered to pilot a competency-based professional learning program for educators across the state. The pilot is part of the state’s broader initiative to make a shift toward competency-based learning and will serve as a model for other re-certification initiatives and state education agencies, looking to provide more personalized educator development.
“We believe that high-quality teachers lead to improved student learning outcomes, and we want to support Tennessee educators in developing the key instructional competencies they need to be effective in the classroom,” said Dr. Kathleen Airhart, Deputy Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education. “Our goal in launching this pilot is to better understand the micro-credentialing process and build partnerships with districts around micro-credentials, so we can effectively scale our efforts to implement a more competency-based approach to professional learning.”
The pilot will begin this fall with a select group of highly-effective Tennessee teachers from across the state who will be invited to participate in the program as mentors. These mentors will partner with novice Tennessee teachers through the BloomBoard platform, where they will have access to recommended learning resources and online collaboration tools as they work toward earning specific micro-credentials selected for their program.
Through its partnership with Digital Promise, BloomBoard offers a library with hundreds of micro-credentials that focus on a variety of skills such as effective reasoning, creative problem solving, and active listening. As pilot participants apply their learning in their practice, they can submit evidence of their competence through the BloomBoard platform for the opportunity to earn a micro-credential. Districts have the option to award teachers professional development points for every successful micro-credential earned.
“Research tells us that teachers’ greatest challenge isn’t lack of knowledge, but actually putting what they’ve learned into practice in the classroom. A competency-based professional development model not only facilitates rich learning, but ensures that new skills extend to classroom practice,” said BloomBoard’s CEO and co-founder, Jason Lange. “The Tennessee Department of Education’s mentorship pilot is an inspiring example of how organizations can make a shift towards a professional learning model where educators are empowered to take ownership of their own growth.”
Phase one of this pilot program will run through Spring 2017. Afterward, the Tennessee Department of Education plans to launch a broader effort to raise awareness of the program and inform districts of their options to integrate micro-credentials with re-licensure offerings.
Tennessee educators interested in learning more about competency-based professional learning through micro-credentials can attend the annual LEAD Conference hosted by the Tennessee Department of Education. BloomBoard will be co-presenting a session with Greeneville City Schools on personalized professional development and micro-credentialing. Details for the session are as follows:
Date: Tuesday, October 25
Location: Music City Center in Nashville
Time: 1:15pm – 2:30pm Central
Session: Personalizing Professional Learning through Micro-credentials
- Kelly Montes De Oca, Chief Learning Officer, BloomBoard
- Carter Myers, Region Director, BloomBoard
- Dr. Suzanne Bryant, Assistant Director of School for Curriculum & Instruction Greeneville City Schools
To learn more about BloomBoard’s competency-based program offerings, visit schools.bloomboard.com.