It takes a community to support teaching

(Last Updated On: March 15, 2017)

The Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) programme has been refreshed and updated. Its courses provide measurable PD and helps members become more confident using digital technology. Here three teachers talk about the benefits they get from being part of this exciting community.

Bridget Crooks, Kerikeri High School, Northland


Bridget Crooks working with a group of her students


“I once heard that if you are the smartest person in the room – you need to find a new room! That’s what I love about the Microsoft Educator Community. I have incredible people and resources at my fingertips – and I can share the knowledge that I hold, too. The resources have been a valuable PD tool for me and my colleagues. I love the online tutorials. I have shared the Community with my colleagues and use the resources in IT training at our school. The content is relevant, immediate and an incredible resource, especially as I teach rurally. It makes the world a smaller place.

“Skype in the Classroom is also terrific. The guest speakers are a fabulous resource. Our Social Studies teachers have made great use of this.

“I am fortunate to be a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, which has been an incredible adventure for my teaching and learning. The way I have redefined my classroom since working with the Microsoft community is exponential. The possibilities are endless.

“I encourage my colleagues to be involved with the Innovative Educator programme. The immediacy of the community, the anytime, anywhere flexibility of it makes it a perfect addition to a busy teacher’s life. It is such a great opportunity to be enriched and excited and to grow as an educator. I’ve been teaching for almost 20 years … and I’m still learning! It is the best and most immediate PD you can find for Microsoft tools.

Sue McLachlan, Haeata Community Campus, Christchurch

“The Community is an amazing site where you can connect with others, upskill and learn new things, and share resources and ideas.

“I have my profile and have been working my way through the badges, learning new skills and reinforcing my knowledge of both software and learning design. The badges and certificates are an incentive to learn new things, and the resources are amazing.  I have shared lessons and looked through lessons for ideas. It is also a great place to connect for Mystery Skype.

“There are fantastic tutorials on how to use all of the Microsoft Office software, as well as ideas on how to use technology in the classroom. It’s great professional development and the resources are really well done. So much to do!”


Rachel Chisnall, Taieri College, Dunedin

“The Microsoft Educator Community is a hub for teachers looking to improve their teaching practice. I found it hugely valuable when I initially moved from an Apple school to a 365 school. I was able to work through the tutorials and upskill myself in my own time. As I grew more confident using the technology, I started to opt for some of the ‘bigger picture’ courses that had a substantial impact on my pedagogy. Currently, I am working through an EdX course on using Minecraft in your classroom, and the design, transform and deploy learning path.

“I recommend it to anyone looking to upskill. It’s free PD, so anyone can benefit. And there is a ‘friendly’ competition for badges.

“You don’t know what you don’t know, so even if you think you are a whizz on something like Microsoft Word, doing a 30-minute course on it can remind you of tips and tricks, or you can learn things you didn’t know. Pick a course or a quick-tip video on something that interests you or is based on a skill you need. And remember, you don’t have to do them all at once. Try and set aside an hour or two a week. It all adds up.”  

For more on the Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) programme go to


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