Issue 3 of the ET4TP Monthly is a slight departure from the normal format. Given the forthcoming SUNY New Paltz Faculty Senate vote on microcredentials on December 5, it seemed important to share news emerging from the edtech world (both K-12 and higher ed) on the subject.

Please take a look at the following resources at your convenience, and feel free to add more resources, questions, and comments below (see the “Write a Comment” button at the bottom of the post). This newsletter is meant to offer resources on both sides of the debate.

The primary debate regarding microcredential boils down to this:

  • PRO: students can learn at their own pace and on their own path, and can gather microcredentials to demonstrate skills in discreet, focused areas, particularly at a time when skills and knowledge are moving at a more rapid pace than ever before.
  • CON: there is lacking data demonstrating how seriously employers view prospective employees’ microcredentials; it seems like a fad that simply repackages already-existing degrees and credentials; it has the potential to reshape and even eradicate professional training programs (such as teacher education).

Continue reading and viewing to find out more. The following resources touch on a wide spectrum of perspectives on microcredentialing and badging.

What Does the Education Community Say?

Microcredentials: Teacher Learning Transformed by Microcredentials offer a new way for teachers to document their learning using work samples, videos, and other artifacts and have the potential to transform professional development. (Click here to read more of this article from Phi Delta Kappan.)

In Evolving World of Microcredentials, Students, Colleges and Employers Want Different Things by Jeffrey R. Young. Many colleges these days are experimenting with short-form online degrees to try to reach new audiences and offer new options, often at a lower cost. And new upstart providers are also getting into the mix, including coding bootcamps and startups like Udacity, which offers unaccredited nanodegrees. These trends raise a host of questions about the future of credentialing. (Click here to read more of this article from EdSurge).

Microcredentials Show What You Know by Dan Brown, Dwight E. Rhodes, and Deidra Gammill. Over the past decade, the concept of personalized student learning has taken center stage in discussions about educational improvement. Now it’s time to recognize that teachers need personalized learning, too. Whether they are aspiring educators or seasoned veterans, they need to know precisely where they stand on the path to real professional expertise so they can determine how best to move forward. (Click here to read more of this article from Phi Delta Kappan).

Netflixing Human Capital Development: Personalized Learning Technology and the Corporatization of K-12 Education by Heather Roberts-Mahoney, Alexander J. Means & Mark J. Garrison. Advanced by powerful venture philanthropies, educational technology companies, and the US Department of Education, a growing movement to apply ‘big data’ through ‘learning analytics’ to create ‘personalized learning’ is currently underway in K-12 education in the United States. While scholars have offered various critiques of the corporate school reform agenda, the role of personalized learning technology in the corporatization of public education has not been extensively examined. Through a content analysis of US Department of Education reports, personalized learning advocacy white papers, and published research monographs, this paper details how big data and adaptive learning systems are functioning to redefine educational policy, teaching, and learning in ways that transfer educational decisions from public school classrooms and teachers to private corporate spaces and authorities. The analysis shows that all three types of documents position education within a reductive set of economic rationalities that emphasize human capital development, the expansion of data-driven instruction and decision-making, and a narrow conception of learning as the acquisition of discrete skills and behavior modification detached from broader social contexts and culturally relevant forms of knowledge and inquiry. The paper concludes by drawing out the contradictions inherent to personalized learning technology and corporatization of schooling. It argues that these contradictions necessitate a broad rethinking of the value and purpose of new educational technology. (Click here to access this article from Journal of Education Policy.)

Should Learning = Earning?

This dramatized video, Learning is Earning, demonstrates the potential for microcredentials to eradicate professional training programs and institutions of education. Ultimately, the video argues that anyone can become a teacher, and that education can be commodified through something called the ledger, a digital degree-tracking mechanism based on a system of cryptocurrency and social impact investment. Microcredentials pave the way for this type of digital education ecosystem:

Bloomboard leads the teaching profession in the area of microcredentials: “Teachers are the most important driver of student growth and learning, yet studies show most professional development opportunities don’t meet their specific needs. Teachers want professional learning that is personalized, collaborative, and geared towards meaningful outcomes, while also empowering them to take control of their own growth and advancement.” (Click here to read more about Bloomboard’s take on the concept.)

There are many more pieces of information out there, including resources that have been shared across campus over the past months as colleagues have dug into the literature on the topic. Thank you to the Applied Learning Task Force on Microcredentials for initiating a discussion to that end! Let’s keep the conversation going as we decide whether or not (and how) we might adopt a microcredentialing approach here at SUNY New Paltz.

Stay tuned for a School of Education forum on microcredentialing in the Spring 2019 semester.

Volume 1, Issue 2

Welcome to the second issue of the ET4TP Monthly! Have an idea for a submission for next month? Email Kiersten Greene at greenek@newpaltz.edu.


“We start the meetings by saying, ‘This is hard, we’re in a new frontier, but who is going to help us?’” said Krista Boan, who is leading a Kansas City-based program called START, which stands for Stand Together And Rethink Technology. “We can’t call our moms about this one.” (Click here to read more of this story from The NY Times).

Can I Show Netflix in My Class? Copyright For Teachers Made Simple by Eva Harvell. Can I show a video from Netflix in my classroom? Can I make 25 copies from my favorite math workbook? I just need three more copies of our book, can I make those? As educators, we use a variety of resources in our classroom to enhance a lesson. Knowing when our decision to use something falls under fair use and when it is a copyright violation can get tricky, but it doesn’t have to.

Before we dive too deep, let’s get a basic understanding of copyright and fair use. (Click here to read more of this story from EdSurge).

Challenges to Creating and Sustaining Effective Technology Integration in Teacher Education Programs. White paper released at 2018 AACTE Annual Conference, and posted on the Office of Education Technology website. by Liz Kolb, Farah Kashef, Candace Roberts, Christine Terry, & Arlene Borthwick. Historically, the relationship between learning and digital technology has been complex and convoluted in K-16 education. Over the past few decades, some studies have found no impact on student learning when using digital technologies (Cuban, 2001; Russell, Bebell, & O’Dwyer,O’Conner, 2003; Robertson, 2003; Waxman, Connell, & Gray, 2002; Wenglinksy, 1996). At the same time, other studies have found positive gains on learning outcomes when using digital technologies (Kozma, 2004; Kulik, 1994; Meyers et al., 2016; SIIA, 2000; 1998; Sivin-Kachala, 1998). This lack of clarity in research has led to a long debate over if and how technology should be integrated into learning. (Click here to read the full white paper.)


CIE@NP Dash & Dot Sandbox on November 6, 9:00-10:00am. We’ve heard from many of you that you’d like some more hands-on workshops at the CIE@NP, to try out new resources and supplies. To respond to that request we’re partnering with the Mid-Hudson Teacher Center to institute a series of sandboxes. What is an edtech sandbox? you might ask! It’s time and space carved out to explore an edtech tool. In this session, we’ll have a bunch of Dash & Dot robots and iPads available for participants. The only goal of the workshop is to mess around and see what’s possible! Come and join us for an hour of hands-on play, Tuesday, November 6, from 9:00am to 10:00am in the CIE/CMC (OM 215).

NYSCATE Annual Conference
It’s not too late to sign up for the NYSCATE conference in Rochester, NY, November 17-20! It’s the largest gathering of educators in the service of edtech and tech ed in the state, and it’s worth going if you can get there!

Did You Know?

Mid-Hudson Teacher Center PD Workshops. School of Education faculty members are able to sign up for professional development workshops through the Mid-Hudson Teacher Center for free. Check out their online catalogue and find out more here.

EdTech Fellow Sign-Up. Liz Brennan, Our EdTech Fellow (ETF), will continue to be available for drop-in support hours on Mondays and Thursdays 2-3pm in the CIE/CMC, and virtually on Tuesdays 10am-12pm. Find out more and sign up here.

Tool Tip

Want to do a quick formative assessment, or a no-hassle temperature read to see if your students are picking up what you’re putting down? Try out Mentimeter! It’s a great little tool for creating and viewing quick, online polls with an easy-to-use interface.

Thanks for taking a look! Stay tuned for Issue 3 during the last week of November.

Volume 1, Issue 1

Welcome to the first-ever issue of ET4TP MONTHLY, a new edtech newsletter at SUNY New Paltz for teacher candidates, inservice teachers, and teacher educators.

Sections in ISSUE 1:

Relevant, recent stories in the edtech world.

Did You Know?
Need-to-know facts about edtech integration in teacher preparation.

Upcoming workshops, events, and RFPs/CFPs.

Tool Tips
Suggestions for new tools or tech tips for use in the classroom.


How Do We Know If Technology Is the Solution or the Problem? by Sam Peterson. Has a more hotly debated or wholly unanswerable question ever been posed? One can easily imagine an Epic Rap Battle of History between the Luddites and Futurists on this very topic. And nowhere is that seemingly innocuous question more likely to ruffle feathers than in the realm of education. At EdSurge Fusion in October, we hope to find some common ground between the tech-forward and tech-resistant education communities. Furthermore, we aim to hit upon research-backed and evidence-based solutions to the most intractable problems that students and educators face in the tech-infused classrooms of today… and tomorrow….(click here to read more of this story from EdSurge).

Skim Reading is the New Normal by Maryanne Wolf. When the reading brain skims texts, we don’t have time to grasp complexity, to understand another’s feelings or to perceive beauty. We need a new literacy for the digital age. Look around on your next plane trip. The iPad is the new pacifier for babies and toddlers. Younger school-aged children read stories on smartphones; older boys don’t read at all, but hunch over video games. Parents and other passengers read on Kindles or skim a flotilla of email and news feeds….(click here to read more of this story from The Guardian).

Tech Integration in Blended Learning by John McCarthy. Blended learning continues to grow as an approach to meeting learner needs, especially as schools put more computers and other devices into student hands. The growth of blended learning is generally paced at the comfort of teachers as they expand their use of digital tools for teaching and learning—at present learning to teach with digital tools seems to be the greater focus than exploring how to deepen students’ learning….(click here to read more of this story from Edutopia).


NYSCATE/SUNY Smart Schools Summit
The 3rd annual NYSCATE/SUNY Smart Schools Summit on Tuesday, October 9 at SUNY New Paltz promises to be a hands-on, idea-generating day of edtech learning for P-20 educators. #SmartSummit18 is one of the few events that includes educators in both K-12 and higher education. Sign up to learn with and from your education colleagues across the greater Hudson Valley region today! $25 per person. Lunch included. For more information and to register, visit the website.

Call for Submissions
The Journal for Interactive Technology and Pedagogy (JITP) seeks scholarly work that explores the intersection of technology with teaching, learning, and research. We are interested in contributions that take advantage of the affordances of digital platforms in creative ways. We invite both textual and multimedia submissions employing interdisciplinary and creative approaches in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Besides scholarly papers, the submissions can consist of audio or visual presentations and interviews, dialogues, or conversations; creative/artistic works; manifestos; or other scholarly materials, including work that addresses the labor and care considerations of academic technology projects. Find out more here.

NYSCATE Annual Conference
Each year NYSCATE sponsors an annual statewide conference attended by 1,500 attendees and 150+ exhibitors showcasing exemplary education applications of technology. Half and full-day hands-on workshops take place on the first two days of the conference, which will be held in Rochester, NY. Over 120 presentations by teachers and technology experts are given over the three day period. NYSCATE recruits keynote speakers who are respected experts in their fields. NYSCATE’S website provides links to educational resources and current issues as well as conference, seminar and grant information. NYSCATE disseminates, through email blasts and newsletters, up to the minute information on issues and regulations relating to technology and education from both state and federal governments.

Why so much about NYSCATE, you might ask? Because they’re the premiere PD provider for edtech in New York State! Please share other events with Kiersten directly at greenek@newpaltz.edu.

Did You Know?

The SUNY New Paltz School of Education now has its very own Education Technology Fellow, Liz Brennan, who will hold drop-in hours in the Center for Innovation in Education @ New Paltz (CIE@NP). No question or problem related to technology is too remedial for Liz! Faculty and teacher candidates are both welcome to seek out Liz’s assistance.

Sign up for an appointment with Liz on:

  • Mondays 2:00-3:00pm in the CIE@NP
  • Thursdays 2:00-3:00pm in the CIE@NP
  • Tuesdays 10:00am-12:00pm virtually

Find out more about Liz and what the the EdTech Fellows program offers — and sign up for an appointment — here.

Tool Tips

Want your students to respond to something in a virtual environment in a more dynamic way than just posting a comment? Then try Flipgrid, a video discussion platform. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. But before you sign up for (or have your students sign up for) any app, it’s always a great idea to check out the privacy policy.

  1. Sign in.
  2. Create a grid.
  3. Share the unique code with your students and start posting!

Visit this link to find out how to get started.

We hope you enjoy this first issue! Look out for Issue 2 during the last week in October.

Be sure to subscribe by clicking on the ‘subscribe’ button in the sidebar (and then confirm your subscription via email).

If you have any questions or suggestions, email Dr. Kiersten Greene at greenek@newpaltz.edu.