It’s been a challenging year for educators, to say the least and our Microsoft Innovative Educators (MIE) Experts were no exception. The MIE Expert Canadian cohort, made up of approximately 150 educators from across the country, are a group of inspiring teachers, EdTech coaches, and leaders who are dedicated to creating engaging and collaborative learning opportunities with students at the centre.
MIE Experts support the implementation of digital tools in the classroom in unique and meaningful ways. However, last fall, many expressed that it was simply too difficult to be innovative and there wasn’t time to try new things or projects, as they faced new daily challenges pivoting to hybrid and remote learning. Despite feeling the pinch, the reality was, our heroes sprung into action.
Without missing a beat, members of our community were prepared to support their students with digital tools that allowed them to hear, see, engage, and ultimately ensure their students’ well-being whether virtual or face-to-face. We saw MIE Experts use Microsoft Teams to virtually meet with their students, allowing them to learn, collaborate, do group work, and socialize with their peers. Others hosted virtual office hours, homework help sessions, and one-to-one meetings for students who needed extra help. These educators relied on tools like FlipGrid, OneNote and Kahoot in Teams to help students feel engaged and to share their work and reflections in creative ways.
These same digital tools laid the foundation to build teacher communities and connected teachers with one another, to deliver training and PD and host PLCs to ensure that classrooms across their schools and districts were equally as equipped. Our MIE Experts recorded training videos, led PD sessions, and shared resources. They created virtual staff rooms on Teams or Minecraft, they led parent teacher meetings, virtual morning announcements, and community wide trivia nights involving students, teachers and parents. And, they shared their learnings and resources with one another.
Although it may not have felt like there was room for vast innovation or new projects, it’s clear that this year’s MIE Expert community innovated in their own ways. The unique challenges of this past year resulted in some incredibly innovative solutions.
Our Microsoft Education team continues to be inspired by their resilience and has been thrilled to share their stories in numerous occasions this year, including events like E2 and ConnectEd, storytelling blogs and videos, and the upcoming Education Reimagined series and SummerEd programs.
Today, we’re excited to share the first three of a series of MIE Expert Spotlight videos, introducing you to just a few of the everyday heroes in the Canadian MIE Expert community.
If you think you have what it takes to join this amazing group of educators, applications are now open until July 15, 2021, to join the MIE Expert program.
About the author
Renee Goncalves, Customer Success Program Manager – Education, Microsoft Canada
Renee As the Education Customer Success Program Manager for Microsoft Canada, Renee’s role is to work with educators, leadership and IT teams to better understand their goals and help develop a roadmap for the adoption of Microsoft tools within a district, board or school community. Her work focuses on empowering educators to bring technology to the classroom in meaningful ways with an emphasis on engagement, collaboration, and inclusive education. Renee also manages our engagement programs; the MIE Experts and Microsoft Showcase Schools!