In August 2020, I was accepted as a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIE Expert). What does this mean? MIE Experts are described by Microsoft as:

  • Self-driven educators who are passionate about teaching and learning
  • Share their expertise in using Microsoft products for teaching and learning with their colleagues
  • Work as change agents within their organisations to use Microsoft technologies in innovative teaching and learning practices

To be accepted as a MIE Expert, there is a certification process that involves completing a minimum number of hours of on-demand training through the Microsoft Education Centre and completing a submission about why you should be accepted as a MIE Expert.

I used Microsoft Sway to build my application, showcasing the ways in which I used Microsoft technologies to enhance my students’ learning. You can see my application here.

What are the benefits of being a MIE Expert?

  1. Networking: there is a broad, global network of educators using Microsoft technologies in the classroom, including an active MIE Expert network on Twitter. Here in Australia there are regular Teams calls with MIE Experts showcasing new features, upcoming events and people discussing challenges they’re facing in teaching and learning. I’ve learned a lot from fantastic educators not only in Higher Education, but in the K-12 space too.
  2. Visibility: it helps to surface and share the work you’re probably already doing in the classroom using Microsoft Teams, OneNote, Stream and other tools. I was already innovating with Microsoft Teams (I’ve blogged about that here and here) and gaining MIE Expert status is a great way to formally recognise this work and the expertise I’ve developed in the process.
  3. Troubleshooting: you gain access to a network of Microsoft experts to help tackle specific issues that you come across that our LX.lab support staff may not be able to help with. You’re also connected to MIE Experts in Higher Education (there are only 6 of us in Australia).
  4. Exposure: since becoming a MIE Expert I have presented about my work using Teams and OneNote for learning at Microsoft EDUDay and will be part of Microsoft’s presence at EduTECH, Australia’s largest educational technology conference. In September this year, I was also invited to speak briefly at the first Australian MIE Expert Teams chat. It was a great opportunity to talk about Academic Integrity in current times and see how much interest there was from other attendees about improving Academic Integrity education in the K-12 space (which might become a future research project!).

Next round of MIE Experts

Based on this year’s process, it is likely Microsoft will call for nominations for the MIE Expert program in about May 2021 for the 2021/22 cohort. In the meantime, there are lots of fantastic, free self-paced courses at the Microsoft Education Centre if you’re interested in learning more about Microsoft technologies including OneNote, Teams, FlipGrid and even Minecraft!

If you’re thinking about applying in the next round, please feel free to get in touch – I’d be more than happy to mentor others through the process.

Image by XiaoXiao Sun on Unsplash

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