After working with NEA JumpStart last summer, I received an email from the NEA in May inviting me to apply to work on a new initiative to build micro-credentials in conjunction with Learning Forward and Digital Promise. I applied and was accepted to the LGBTQ team.
We met in June to learn more about blended learning and micro-credentials with Learning Forward. With a team of three others, two from the LGBT cadre and two of us new to the group, we set out to translate the curriculum to a blended learning format. In helping build the blended learning platform, I helped organize the group to identify which pieces translated to online modules so that we could go back later and fill in the pieces as a team.
In this model, a local facilitator from the association will gather a group of 15-20 educators. They will take a pre-assessment that we designed and a virtual learning coach from the cadre will then select modules for the group to complete. These modules include virtual coaching sessions on Zoom with the group and a trained facilitator. Each set of modules ends with an action plan, and the local facilitator meets with the group in the end to help them share their action plans.
Unfortunately, I had to leave the June training to train our NEA Jump Start at home. I was asked to return in July, as the team of two only finished two micro-credentials at that time. When I returned in July, we had lvie support from Digital Promise. When NEA finishes, they will offer over 100 micro-credentials in Digital Promise, making them the largest provider of micro-credentials.
In July, we had four members again, and split out the work based on the work of prior modules. I designed the micro-credential on advocay for LGBTQ students, using our communication module as the foundation. Teachers have to explore their context, practice re-framing anti-LGBT messages, create a communication piece and develop an action plan for advocacy in their context.
I was also able to make a connection between NEA nationally and our local association to become a local pilot of the blended learning modules. This reflects teacher as leader, taking opportunities to lead in the national and local association, now in a new role as a national micro-credential write and as a local facilitator.