18 Sources for Microcredentials, Certifications, and More Learning Options

Our curated directory covers the nuts and bolts of professional development opportunities beyond the MLS. 

A school librarian’s education can expand beyond the MLS. This curated a list of 18 programs can help new and established librarians expand their knowledge and sharpen or diversify librarians’ tools and talents. These virtual and in-person opportunities provide certification in a variety of school library-relevant subject areas, from STEAM to media literacy to anti-bias education.



ALA Online Learning

Webinars, courses, workshops, and e-forums are part of the American Library Association's (ALA) eLearning offerings on everything from digitization to advocacy and strategies for navigating teen behavior. AASL’s eCollab platform is available to those with an AASL membership, or can be accessed with a $99 subscription fee. ALSC and YALSA  e-learning content are also available.


Apple Teacher Certification

Educators can explore (free) self-paced learning on using iPads and Mac devices with students.  A guide is available with suggestions on how to run a professional development experience.


CK-12 Certified Educator

Learn how to use the CK12 platform and leverage its resources. To earn a free certification, valid for two years, you must attend at least five live webinars and two on-demand courses over the course of one school year.


Common Sense Educators

The goal here is to get participants to encourage students to “think critically and use technology responsibly.”  Three steps of this free “Learn, Do, Reflect” course must be completed during the school year (46 hours of work time in total) and prior to applying for the certification badge, which remains valid for two years.


Digital Promise Educator MicroCredentials

A portal site for 450 discrete microcredentials. Choose an issuing organization or theme (called a “stack”) or search for a topic. The format, length, and assessment cost vary based on the organization and the microcredential sought.


Discovery Education Professional Development for Educators

Topics here include leading change, going digital, STEAM learning, inquiry-based scientific thinking, and other curriculum-based areas. 


Educators Rising

These five progressive microcredentials include collaboration, engagement, formative assessment, classroom culture, and anti-bias education. Educators Rising was developed in partnership with Digital Promise, where the courses are hosted. Each credential costs $35 and courses run five to 15 hours.


EDUCAUSE Microcredentialing

EDUCAUSE offers more than 100 distinct microcredentials within four categories: volunteer service, expertise development, leadership, and awards. For example, gaining expertise may include taking their course (three sessions, 1.5 hours each) on telling stories with data. It’s free, but organizational membership to EDUCAUSE is required for setting up individual profiles. Course length varies.


Google for Education

Google offers credentials for educators using G Suite tools in their classrooms and learning communities. Start by working on Levels 1 and 2 of the Certified Educator (GCE) program, which demonstrates your ability to integrate G Suite for Education tools into your teaching practice. Certification is valid for 36 months after successfully completing each exam. The cost for the GCE Level 1 exam is $10, and the Level 2 Exam is $25. Coursework is about 13 hours divided among 55 lessons in Level 1 and 13 hours in Level 2 among 47 lessons.

If you’re ready to go further, you can consider becoming a Google Certified Trainer. After completing GCE levels 1 and 2, you do 30 additional hours of coursework and take a $15 skills assessment. All Google certifications are valid for 36 months.


Library of Congress Professional Development for Teachers

The Library of Congress offers online resources and in-person training for educators looking to increase the use of primary source documents in their classrooms. Options include Summer Teacher Institutes, week-long on-site training using LoC’s primary source collections. You will be prepared to deliver a primary source-based activity at your school and contribute feedback to your session cohort. The Institute is free, but attendees must pay for travel and lodging. LoC also offers 15 learning modules for educators to build their own professional development plans; these free PDF-based courses require 45 to 180 minutes.


Maker Educator Microcredentials

Maker Ed’s free program offers six microcredentialed courses that focus on maker educator skills. Hosted on the Digital Promise platform, you can learn about learner-driven curriculum planning, designing the perfect maker space, and more. 


Microsoft Certified Educator 

Expand your technology literacy with the Microsoft Certified Educator program, which consists of 8 courses for a total of 20 hours of learning. A $127 exam is required to gain certification. Keep your certification valid by completing annual “Staying Current” courses.


Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE)

Educators who earn 1000 points through a variety of tech-based activities can claim the MIE badge. Additional badges may be gained specific to the technology used.


National Archives Professional Development for Educators

Similar to the Library of Congress, the National Archives offers summer training and freely available web-based learning. Educators can deepen their understanding of primary sources and learn how to bring targeted historical topics into the classroom. The Summer Professional Development program is a series of in-person workshops held at the Archives and various Presidential Library locations. Costs vary by location and workshop type.

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