Guest Post by Victoria Thompson
How can I be more involved with Microsoft Education?
I get really excited when I am asked this question but I sometimes struggle on how to answer because there are truly so many ways to be involved, with one of the best being part of the #MIEExpert community. So, in this next series, it’ll be all about the steps and pathways to becoming an MIEExpert, as well as other ways to get involved in the Microsoft Educator Community.
Directly from the Microsoft Innovative Educator page:
“The Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) programs recognize global educator visionaries who are using technology to pave the way for their peers for better learning and student outcomes. These are a variety of programs to help both educators who are just beginning this journey, as well as programs for educators who are leaders in innovative education.”
Specifically, the #MIEExpert community (short for Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Community, and often hashtagged on Facebook and Twitter to indicate involvement) is a community supported by Microsoft made up of passionate educators who are constantly learning, growing and working together to change students’ lives and build a better world. When you’re a part of this program you have the opportunity to work even more closely with Microsoft tools, participate in Expert community events, and help to lead innovation in education. As an MIEExpert myself I have really enjoyed being a part of it and I cannot wait for continued opportunities for collaboration. This is a completely FREE program and community–no pricey tests or certifications required! As an MIEExpert myself I do love the fact that most opportunities are free and come at no cost to educators.
There are specifically three main steps that you can be a part of that can help you get to this journey (although once you reach the MIEExpert level, you have obtained all three!):
- Microsoft Innovative Expert
- Microsoft Innovative Education Expert Application
- Microsoft Innovative Education Expert Artifact
There are other opportunities to be involved as well, such as the Microsoft Trainer journey.
I just want to say that if you’re thinking about it, NOW is the time. Submissions for the MIEExpert cohort are usually due in July and accepted folks are announced every August.
The first step to becoming an MIEExpert is becoming an Microsoft Innovative Expert, or MIE. This is the entryway into the MIEExpert program, if completed properly. Here are the actionable steps on how to get started now:
- Join the Microsoft Educator Center, which serves as the central hub for all things Microsoft Education. It is completely free and allows for you to peruse webinars, training, and courses.
- Complete 2 hours of training via the Microsoft Educator Center. Previously, I’ve given recommendations for my favorite Microsoft Educator Center courses–feel free to check those out! However, definitely take a look at the various courses that the Microsoft Educator Center has to offer and take those that tailor to your needs.
This is just the first step though–if you’re interested in going further, there is more to come! Stay tuned for more information.
About The Author
Victoria Thompson is a STEM Integration Transformation Coach at Technology Access Foundation–a nonprofit leader redefining STEM education in public schools–a consultant for Ignite EdTech, and a learning specialist for NCCE. She has been in education for five years and began her journey teaching fifth and sixth grade math and science in Summerville, SC. After completing her masters degree in curriculum and instruction she moved to the Seattle, WA area in 2018, where her career has pivoted to focusing on STEM integration in schools, K-12 mathematics instruction with research on decolonizing mathematics curriculum for teachers and learners, creating inclusive math environments, and using technology to bridge equity gaps in math education. She has presented at ISTE, ImpactEducation, CUE, and DigCitSummit on topics such as creating inclusive math classrooms, culturally responsive STEM education, and equity in educational technology.