The Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert programme

We are approaching the end of August, which is when the new Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts (MIEE) are normally announced.   I am looking forward to hopefully continuing as an MIEE for what will be my seventh year as an MIEE.   I note I am also a Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE), although I did my MCE before I got my MIEE status, although normally the route is the other way round.  So why is the MIEE status useful?

Recognition and Applications

I think the first thing to say is that it isnt the status that is useful although it is always nice to have a little pin badge and recognition.    The most important feature of the MIEE programme is the community.    I often use the phrase “the smartest person in the room, is the room” and if we take this as true, the combined experience and knowledge of MIEEs across the world is huge, backed up by various opportunities to share, discuss and collaborate.

As to the application process, this isn’t a massive effort as if you are already using technology in school, you will likely already have evidence to support any application, therefore meaning all that is required is 30mins to an hour to actually do the application itself.

Tweetmeets and Sharing internationally

Through my MIEE status I have had the opportunity to take part in tweetmeets, being part of a team of educators from across the world leading the discussion on twitter on a variety of different educational technology topics.   I have found these opportunities very useful as they allow you to share thoughts and ideas with educators from different contexts including different school types, age ranges, nations with differing education systems, differing values and cultures, and different access to technology resources.   And it is this broad sharing that I believe is the biggest benefits of the programme.   I believe the more I appreciate how education differs, and also is the same in schools and classrooms across the world, the better my understanding of education, teaching and learning, and the better I can be in supporting the use of technology in schools.

I have also had the opportunity to collaborate directly with educators in other countries as a result of the MIEE programme.  This includes working with a teacher in Saudi Arabia as a guest native English speaker to assist his students in their English language studies, plus discussing professional development with educators from Azerbaijan.   Again, I believe these experiences enhance my understanding.

Connection Calls and Face to face events

As part of the MIEE there are also the regular connection calls where latest updates on Microsoft solutions are shared, where efforts of MIEEs are celebrated and where resources and ideas are openly shared.     And there are also the face to face events, such as the MIEE gatherings at the BETT conference where you get to meet in person those individuals who previously you had only seen on a connection call teams video call.     Sadly I have missed out on the BETT meetup over the past couple of years although this is something I hope to address in 2023.

Conclusion

The Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert programme is excellent in providing access to a wide range of educators, to info on development of the Microsoft suite of products, to resources and the thoughts and ideas of educators from across the UK and the world.  

And with that I now await this years announcement and hopefully beginning my seventh year as a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert.

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Author: garyhenderson2014

Gary Henderson is currently the Director of IT in an Independent school in the UK. Prior to this he worked as the Head of Learning Technologies working with public and private schools across the Middle East. This includes leading the planning and development of IT within a number of new schools opening in the UAE. As a trained teacher with over 15 years working in education his experience includes UK state secondary schools, further education and higher education, as well as experience of various international schools teaching various curricula. This has led him to present at a number of educational conferences in the UK and Middle East.

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