Lessons Learned from Microsoft Innovative Educator Academy

The University of Texas at Arlington (College of Education) recently hosted the TCEA Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) 1-day Academy, presented by Miguel Guhlin. This blog post shares some highlights gleaned and ways to learn more to enhance your productivity and make connections to teacher preparation

picture of laptop and notebook

Beyond the workshop, there is a wealth of resources for further professional growth! Microsoft has a website platform for educators to earn badges and points. From their website:

Badges are a great way to find experienced educators in the community and showcase your expertise with educators around the globe. You can earn points for each course successfully completed and for a variety of other activities as well. Find out how to earn points and see the different badges below

One of the newer badges is the Microsoft Innovative Educator Surface Classroom ProThis advanced badge is exciting because you have the potential to become an expert on the Surface. This is one I would like to explore and pursue, among other badges. More on this below!

TLDR: Major lesson learned from the workshop–>There is tons more to still explore. The academy was an overview of Office 365 tools. I was looking for ideas on how to align these tools with learning outcomes for both preservice and inservice teachers. I did get some ideas! Also, seeing as how we are integrating ISTE standards for educators into teacher preparation, I thought it would be a good idea to learn about as many tools and pedagogical approaches to technology integration as possible!

Side note: Here are links for further exploration from Microsoft:

“Big Ideas” from the workshop!

  1. As noted above, there is a lot more to learn! A good hub site is the Microsoft Educator Community Home Page
  2. Microsoft Sway. I  think we were really impressed with the tool (“new-to-me”) called Microsoft Sway. Most importantly, this tool is accessible via the web and is FREE. It reminded me of Smore.com (which is no longer truly free) as well as aspects of Adobe Spark! It provides a visual way to create multimodal text s. We thought of ways to to use it for teaching. I can envision using this tool for my Literacy Studies 5346 graduate course (Teaching the Writing Process). This tool is worth checking out for professional use and integration into teacher preparation courses. *If you are a K-12 educator, please leave ideas for how to use it in K-12 in the comments section!
  3.  Skype in the classroom. This is something I want to impart more to preservice teachers. There are a ton of resources to explore and consider from guest speakers and beyond.
  4. Microsoft Teams. Would like to explore this further for the PLC use and also for collaborations. Click here for a resource from Miguel Guhlin.
  5. I want to earn some badges and take the exam! Motivations to complete badges include: increasing learning, increased credibility as a teacher educator, chance to globally connect with others, integration of ideas into my teaching, pushing myself to reach concrete goals with tech integration while critically analyzing it, and learning  more on a “meta” level how  badging works.

A few badges that look especially interesting to earn are:

And there’s more! Workshop presenter Miguel Guhlin from TCEA (Texas Computer Education Association) has blog posts about Microsoft on his resource page. A few that I particularly want to read right away are below:

To check out (starter list of interest):

  1. Expand Classroom Possibilities with Microsoft
  2. Microsoft Teams Updates
  3. Twitter Takeaways-Microsoft Sway in Education
  4. Our 2017 Microsoft Resource Round Up
  5. Improved Teaching with Microsoft
  6. Forms Smackdown: Google vs Microsoft
  7. Ten Ways to Customize Microsoft Classroom
  8. Multimedia ELL Assessment
  9. Visualizing Our Understanding with Graphic Organizers
  10. Podcasting with Microsoft Sway
  11. Microsoft Classroom Assignments
  12. Creating Six-Word Memoirs

What teacher educators can share/curate:

  • Share lesson plan ideas and resources from the Microsoft Educator page to increase awareness of possibilities of using Microsoft tools in the classroom. Discuss ways to effectively use these tools for specific objectives, topics, content, and learning outcomes.
  • Model Skyping in a guest speaker or K-12 educator into their class to model use of the tool.
  • Share quick tip videos with educators.
  • Consider earning badges and points yourself to a) gain knowledge and b) model the lifelong learning process for preservice and inservice teachers. I plan on doing this and then Tweeting out, etc. as to which badges I am working on.
  • There is a student teacher educator program, but I have not yet explored it.

I’m still wondering which Dallas-Fort Worth and Texas districts are using Microsoft 365 in PK-12!

What are your thoughts, ideas, and goals with Microsoft tools for education? What are considerations or cautionary tales? Please share in the comments!




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