In March, and throughout the year, we take the time to celebrate women. March 1, 2023 marks the start of Women’s History Month, designated by presidential proclamation to honor women’s contributions to history. Additionally, March 8, 2023 is International Women’s Day, an annual global holiday that celebrates the “social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women... while calling out inequality.” This month, we are honoring women who have engaged learners in digital skill development in Davis County School District as well as women who have made prominent contributions to human rights advocacy and sports.
Celebrating three MIE Experts
Microsoft Innovative Education Expert
To help celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we are sharing the experiences of three inspirational women from the Davis County School District (DSD) in Farmington, Utah. Jennifer Morgan, Hollie Fisher, and Ashtin Johnson are Microsoft Innovative Education (MIE) Experts who are using digital skills to take teaching and learning to the next level.
Jennifer Morgan, a School Technology Specialist, was the first MIE Expert in the state of Utah and brought her expertise to DSD where she has helped grow the MIE program for the last six years. DSD serves over 72,000 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, with two Microsoft Showcase elementary schools and one incubator middle school that is working to become a Microsoft Showcase school.
Morgan along with her colleagues in Technology Integration Center developed a staff training program in the district that utilizes online courses from Microsoft Learn as well as in-person training and coaching. When educators complete their training, they are encouraged to apply to become MIE Experts and continue building technology skills that students will use throughout their lives. Morgan has coached educators who were once “petrified of using technology.” After growing their skills through the MIE program, these same educators have now created technology mentorship opportunities between upper and lower grade levels.
Microsoft Learn user interface
Hollie Fisher, a 4th grade teacher at Lakeside Elementary, started her Microsoft journey in DSD and quickly became a MIE Expert and Microsoft Education Trainer. Fisher excitedly brought what she learned into the classroom to her eager students. In 2018, she developed a Junior Microsoft Expert program that is now being used throughout the district. Its success has received attention from schools across the United States.
Fisher’s Junior Microsoft Expert program allows 3rd and 4th grade students to become proficient in using a variety of Microsoft tools, such as OneNote, Teams, Sway, and Reading Progress, and to develop their 21st century skills. After self-selecting to learn a tool, students take an assessment using Forms to show their knowledge before earning a badge.
Fisher states students have become empowered leaders who are able to troubleshoot, and problem solve when issues arise. Her students have supported learners in other grade levels to develop their technology use, such as showing others how to use Minecraft Education, and how to open an email in Outlook. This program helps build student agency and Fisher has seen an improvement in academic scores and engagement as well as real-world application of learning.
“It gave my students a sense of pride. They were super excited about the things that they’d learned [from the Junior Microsoft Expert program] and they felt value in that. It made all the curriculum more accessible to students because technology was never a hold-up in our classroom.”
— Hollie Fisher, 4th grade teacher, Lakeside Elementary School, Davis County School District, Farmington, Utah
Ashtin Johnson, a 5th grade teacher at Kay’s Creek Elementary in DSD, has been implementing the Junior Microsoft Expert program in her grade level team for the last three years. Johnson has expanded upon the program by adding an end-of-the-year showcase where students share projects they created using the skills they learned. A few examples of projects from prior years’ showcases were the development of an app, the creation of marketing materials with a business partnership, and a 3D printed prosthetic for animals.
Additionally, Johnson boasts that the accessibility features that Microsoft provides, like Dictate and Immersive Reader, allow educators to enhance learning for all students. These features also enable her students to show learning in a variety of ways, such as developing a PowerPoint, Sway, or video, in addition to traditional methods like essays and tests.
“Microsoft helps students right where they are. The 21st century learning skills that they learn aren’t just applicable [in the classroom]. They’re applicable as they go on into upper grades, into college, and into the workplace.”
— Ashton Johnson, 5th grade teacher, Kay’s Creek Elementary School, Davis County School District, Farmington, Utah
Honor women with Flip Live events
Learn more about the contributions of influential women during Flip Live events in March.
A Tribute to Mrs. Coretta Scott King with her Daughter Dr. Bernice A. King
March 8, 2023 at 10am PT
Flip Event ad for A Tribute to Mrs. Coretta Scott King with images of Coretta Scott King and date and time
A global thought leader, orator, peace advocate, and CEO of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center For Nonviolent Social Change, Dr. Bernice A. King, joins us as we celebrate one of the most prominent women leaders of our time, her mother, Mrs. Coretta Scott King. Her contributions as a human rights activist for social change and peace have had a global impact. She was a living example of faith, fortitude, and integrity. It’s with much gratitude that we celebrate her life and legacy for Women's History Month.
The Science of Speed with Olympic Gold Medalist Erin Jackson
March 16, 2023 at 10am PT
Erin Jackson holding a gold medal from the Bejing Olympics
Did you ever get a science lesson from an Olympic Gold Medalist? Meet the fastest woman in the world—Erin Jackson! From as far back as she can remember, Erin Jackson has loved skating and science. Hear how she put those two things together to wind up on the cover of Sports Illustrated as the first Black woman in history to win an Olympic Gold Medal in speedskating!
Women Inspiring Change: A Talk with Heather C. McGhee & Carlotta Walls LaNier
March 21, 2023 at 12pm PT
Join us for an inspiring conversation with Heather McGhee and Carlotta Walls LaNier, two Black women who have made significant contributions to the fight for social justice. Learn about their personal journeys and the importance of community activism in creating positive social change. Discover the role of education in building inclusiveness and understanding, and how their books can be used as resources to support teaching and learning about diversity and inclusion.
Throughout the year, with added emphasis in March, we honor women who are making an impact on teaching and learning. Take a moment to celebrate with Flip and continue improving your skills with Microsoft Educator programs.