Throughout my PLN, I came across this document which highlights why collaborating and working on PD on your own terms is more rewarding.
The following document was shared through the Human Restoration Project and the following excerpt caught my attention as I truly agree with it:
"The majority of teachers use substantial amounts of their time honing their craft, and most of that effort goes unrewarded. Despite professional development initiatives set by districts, only 29% of teachers indicate they are satisfied with their formal PD opportunities. Even though the vast majority of educators are presented with ample PD, the majority feel it is not worth it. And, most educators do not have time to reflect and improve on their practice. Frequently, educators state that the best learning outcomes are when they have time to plan and collaborate with others - on their own terms."
I still remember those good old days as a Boy Scout where I proudly wore my badges as proof of achieving/mastering a set skill. Nowadays, the same can be achieved to prove that as a life-long learner, anyone can earn a digital badge that serves as evidence that you have attained and clearly implemented what you have learned through professional development; not just as a paper certificate with your contacts hours but a digital one that links your evidence for you or others to track, evaluate and recognize.
Therefore, educators should create and maintain an online portfolio where they can proudly showcase and provide evidence of these formal/informal ways of collaboration and learning which demonstrate how such professional development has actually impacted your students' learning plus the difference it has made in your teaching career.
[Enter here micro-credentials: Competency-based recognition for Educators].
Micro-credentials or digital badges serve such purpose. In this new interconnected and ever-changing world where the gate keepers of knowledge have left the doors open for ALL to access digital media in a let's say, unconferenced and/or informal approach through open-university courses, MOOCs, online institutes and workshops, and also those coming from national or international field-specific associations and organizations.
As a member of the online community hosted by the Center for Teaching Quality where as a community we strive to make a difference in the learning community through teacher-empowerment, one step at a time; a new initiative is being implemented to award educators with micro-credentials. Find more about this initiative here and continue the discussion on twitter through #Love2Learn or by following the Twitter moderator - Jennifer C. Kabaker.
For WL educators, see the impact that digital badges (micro-credentials) issued by reputable institutions can do for your students and for your professional growth: