Educators from around the world awarded for empowering students to achieve more
Last week in Toronto, hundreds of inspiring Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts (MIE Experts) from 83 countries came together to spark new ideas and celebrate outstanding teaching practices at the Microsoft Education Exchange (E2) event. Each of these MIE Experts is dedicated to empowering every student on the planet to achieve more. With over 6,000 MIE Experts worldwide, the attendees earned a place at E2 through local competitions in their home countries. For educators interested in becoming MIE Experts, self-nominations will be open April 15 – July 15, 2017. In addition to educators, system leaders from 8 countries attended the E2 Digital Transformation Symposium and had the opportunity to connect with educators and tour a local Microsoft Showcase School, to see innovative leading and learning in action.
We also had the privilege of celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday with the Honorable Reza Moridi, MPP, Ontario’s Minister of Research, Science and Technology, who welcomed us to Canada and spoke about the important role teachers play in the age of digital transformation.
We shared amazing experiences during this exhilarating week. Outstanding educators fueled new ideas for future lessons and technologies, and worked together to solve education challenges. Many of these educators have collaborated through the Educator Community for years and had the opportunity to meet for the first time at E2.
Even more exciting, they expanded their teaching prowess in professional development sessions and became lifelong friends. They also celebrated Microsoft Innovative Educators, the global educator visionaries who are using technology to pave the way for their peers for better learning and student outcomes, with 2017 Microsoft Education Exchange Awards.
Throughout the week, educators and thought leaders challenged participants to engage in digital transformation in their classrooms, support personalized learning and accessibility, and integrate STEM curriculum to prepare students for a changing workforce. Attendees were fortunate to hear from inspiring thought leaders in education, sharing their advice for supporting these innovative teaching practices in the classroom.
Our popular Keynote sessions featured speakers like Lisa Floyd, who shared her advice on bringing computational thinking into the classroom, Craig Kielburger from the WE Schools Program, who shared his inspiring message about helping students develop a lifelong passion for community service, and Meenoo Rami, author of Thrive: 5 Ways to (Re)Invigorate Your Teaching. We also heard from Daniel McDuff, who shared how educators can gain an understanding of their students’ experiences via moment-to-moment tracking of cognitive and emotional states, and Mike Tholfsen, who shared the latest news on OneNote Class Notebooks and Learning Tools.
Educators around the world join E2 online – watch on demand
On day 2 of the event, we opened the doors of E2 and invited thousands of educators from around the world to watch the keynote session streamed live. The online audience included educators from India, Vietnam, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Korea, Netherlands, Australia, Mexico, and many more. I encourage all educators to be part of E2 and watch the digital event on demand (view on-demand) and see share in this incredible event with inspirational keynotes.
“E2 was the opportunity of my life! It gave me, as a teacher, the experience I need, by learning more about the new ways of teaching such as STEM, and new updates in OneNote and Windows 10 such as Paint 3D. I got the chance to meet and interact with teachers from around the world, which helps us exchange knowledge and know-how with our students. I’m eager to go back home and apply all that I learned and share it with my students, colleagues and other teachers across Egypt.”
− Nelly Hamed, Arabic Teacher at Futures Language School Mokattam, Cairo, Egypt
“We give students tools so they can guide their own learning with technology. We do the same activities in more innovative ways, and when I give an activity to my students they are more engaged.”
− María Florencia Conforti, English Teacher at Belgrano Day School, Buenos Aires, Argentina
“When our country was hit by the typhoon, our students had a passion to take part in the clean-up. There was a spirit of volunteerism, so they collaborated and used Microsoft tools to write a letter to our school principal and local government to organize a clean-up drive. Students took part in the activity and [even got] parents and the community involved.”
− Lorelee Asignacion, Bata National High School – Bacolod City, Philippines
Microsoft celebrates STEM initiatives
As technology continues to transform the world and go beyond our imagination, we are committed to encourage students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills. Through our Make What’s Next (#MakeWhatsNext) initiative, we encourage girls to consider STEM careers, effectively doubling our potential to solve big world problems.
To help educators integrate STEM projects into their classrooms, attendees got hands-on experience with Minecraft, and had an activity to build a robotic hand, which is one of the Hacking STEM monthly project-based lessons that complement current STEM curriculum. Educators also had a chance to use their creativity and micro:bits to experiment with the new MakeCode, a new learn-to-code platform for physical computing from Microsoft.
At E2, attendees were thrilled with the opportunity to earn these globally recognized certifications for their teaching portfolios, including exams to become a Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE) exam, Microsoft Office Specialist, and Microsoft Technology Associate. As speaker Lakesha Kirkland from Atlanta, Georgia reminded us, “Microsoft Office Specialist Certifications empower both students and teachers.”
My favorite part of the event, and often the most exciting for all our educators, is the learning marketplace. Educators featured their learning projects at The Learning Marketplace, which had a buzz of activity. Educators all had the chance to share their individual classroom projects with one another and gain a better understanding of how teachers around the world integrate technology into their classrooms. Projects ranged from using the power of collaborative tools in Office 365 to teach English, to using Minecraft as a learning platform to teach empathy.
These classroom activities often help us define and build new professional development courses, such as the three new courses announced at E2, now available on the Educator Community: Developing workforce-ready skills with Office Online, Building Global Citizens and The Science of Gaming.
Microsoft Innovative Educators Recognized with 2017 Microsoft Education Exchange Awards
To celebrate our week together, all educators and speakers joined in for a final Awards Closing Ceremony. The Global Educator winners were presented by Janet Kennedy, President of Microsoft Canada. Awards were also presented to Educator Group Challenge winners and Microsoft Education Fellows. See the 2017 Microsoft Education Exchange Award winners here.
Thank you to everyone who participated in E2, whether in person or via our online event. I always say that educators are my heroes, and the Education Exchange provides us with an opportunity to shine a light on the amazing work educators around the world are doing with technology and for their students. Thank you. I am humbled by our Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert community and excited by the future ahead for all of us in education as we to continue to inspire students around the world to achieve more.