I only discovered the Microsoft Educator Center recently. With this blog post, I want to put it on teachers’ radars in case – like me – you weren’t taking advantage. I will also outline some of the main features.
What is the Microsoft Educator Center?
The Microsoft Educator Center is a hub of high-quality educational content. The site can be accessed by signing in with any Microsoft account. In particular, it’s a goldmine of free professional development opportunities.
The most exciting features (in my opinion) are outlined below, but the site also includes downloadable lesson plans, multimedia resources and a calendar of webinars and online events.
When faced with a task or challenge in education, it’s worth searching the Microsoft Educator Center to see if there is any helpful content. For example, we’re currently working on a vertical plan for computer science to ensure that every student makes progress throughout school. I noticed a 2-hour course titled Create a computer science curriculum with the Microsoft Computer Science Curriculum Toolkit. I could write a whole blog post about how useful this was!
Courses and Learning Paths
As mentioned, the Microsoft Educator Center offers free online courses on a variety of topics (not just about technology or Microsoft products). With the huge range of topics, there is surely something for everyone! Teachers can collect badges and certificates by completing courses at their own pace. Courses can be filtered in multiple ways (by difficulty, duration, age group, subject, etc.) and there is also a search bar so that you can quickly find courses that interest you.
Learning Paths are collections of courses on a related topic. These can be filtered and searched, just like courses. After selecting a Learning Path, you can see the breakdown of courses that are included. For example, the screenshot below shows the outline of the Anti-racism journey for educators with students Learning Path.
The Microsoft Educator Center is also home to various programs: the Showcase School program, the Global Training Partners program, the Student Teacher Education Program and the Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) programs (see below).
“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.”
The screenshot below shows the steps to become a Microsoft Innovative Educator, a Microsoft Innovative Educator Trainer and a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert. I’d like to discuss the first one because it’s surprisingly easy to achieve! In just two hours, you could add Microsoft Innovative Educator to your CV!
To become a Microsoft Innovative Educator, simply complete two hours of training on whatever topics take your fancy! I tested this when I first joined by completing two 1-hour courses: (Girls in STEM – Closing the STEM Gap and Education for a sustainable world). The Microsoft Innovative Educator status and badge appeared immediately.
As you’d expect, MIE Trainer and MIE Expert require more expertise and commitment. Click here for more information.
I’m somewhat of a newbie to the Microsoft Educator Center so I’m barely scratching the surface in this blog post. There’s still so much to discover and learn. Tap into this free professional development hub and get started today! Let me know how you get on and drop any course recommendations in the comment section below. Enjoy!
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