Micro-credentials are a big trend in education, and the College of Education is making it easier than ever for teachers to earn professional development hours that not only transform teaching and learning but inspire student creativity.
The first courses designed for PreK-12 educators were co-developed with K-State alums. Genius Hour: Theory into Practice is ideal for teachers whose goal is to help their students discover their passions and creativity through inquiry-based learning. Flexible Seating: Theory into Practice and Application is a brain-based classroom redesign concept that fosters on-task behavior and boosts academic performance. Judy Hughey, associate professor of special education, counseling and student affairs, developed the college’s first micro-credential, Individual Plan of Study Advisor.
Tonnie Martinez, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction and coordinator of the office of innovation and collaboration, said micro-credentials have inspired students to address issues important to them.
“One Wichita area teacher watched in awe as Genius Hour students met with staff members from their local Human Society to propose their “Dog Tinder” App to eliminate the need to euthanize animals,” Martinez said. “Another Genius Hour group scheduled a 5K race to benefit abused animals and more than 200 people signed up. Student projects have also influenced school lunch menus and promoted community dialogue.”
Martinez added there is great power in allowing teachers to take ownership over their professional learning and K-State faculty are using this data to add to the college’s research on the power of individualized professional development for educators.
For more information about micro-credentials, please contact Tonnie Martinez at firstname.lastname@example.org. For a complete list of online courses and programs, please visit Global Campus.
The College of Education’s Office of Innovation and Inspiration found an innovative way to thank area teachers for their military service by surprising them with an Education Salute award during class.
The teachers who received the awards on Sept. 30 were Manhattan High School’s Ed Chandler, David Jordan, Pat McKinney and Eunice Rivera. Tonnie Martinez, assistant professor and coordinator of the Office of Innovation and Inspiration, developed the ongoing program as a means to demonstrate the wealth of knowledge many teachers bring to the classroom.
Martinez invited two officers from the Big Red One to help present the awards. They were First Lt. Anthony Magallanes and First Lt. Jessica Deason.
“A lot of the students in the classes looked like they had no idea that their teachers even served,” Deason said.
According to Martinez, that was exactly the point.
“Teachers bring an amazing amount of talent and experience to the classroom, but they rarely talk about themselves because they are so humble,” Martinez said. “It was so great to see the expressions on the students’ faces because they truly had no idea the types of missions their teachers had been on. Many of those students will look at their teachers in a whole new light.”
The College of Education has produced a new documentary that is also a tremendous resource for classrooms across the country as it includes lesson plans aligned with the common core curriculum.
“A Long Road: 150 Years of Collective Experience from Five African-American K-State Alumni” tells the stories of these highly successful professionals who have had distinguished careers at K-State. They are: Kathleen Greene, David L. Griffin, Sr., Juanita McGowan, Charles I. Rankin and Veryl Switzer.
Tonnie Martinez, assistant professor of education, and former College of Education faculty member Albert Bimper developed the project.
“It was our team’s privilege to be selected for a Michael C. Tilford Faculty Incentive Grant,” Martinez said. “Viewer response affirms that our distinguished alumni have a relevant and inspirational message for all audiences.”
The documentary and lesson plans are free can be found on the website for the Midwest Equity Assistance Center at www.meac.org.