How to start your CPD with the Microsoft Educator Community


If you are a frequent reader of the blog, you may have seen many of our posts recently referring to the Microsoft Educator Community. This digital community is your one-stop shop for everything you may need for teacher training and CPD, combining experience of the Microsoft Educator Network and Skype in the Classroom.  This site is a central destination where you’ll have access to over 1.5 million educators around the world, a fresh selection of professional development courses and resources, thousands of inspiring lesson plans, and access to live lessons and virtual field trips.

Next week we have an exciting few days which will aim to capture everything that the community has to offer through #MECWeek. As well as a blog series which will look at the various areas of the Microsoft Educator Community through the eyes of the teachers that use it, you will see MEC week spanning across our social media channels, including Twitter and Facebook, throughout the week. This will offer great opportunities to get involved with live chats, competitions and more.

We would encourage you to join our MEC webinar at 4pm on Thursday 24th March, where members of the Microsoft team and #MIEExperts from our Showcase Schools will be on hand to help you get up and running on the Microsoft Educator Community.

In the meantime, here are some highlights and top tips to help you get started in preparation for #MECWeek:

Getting started

You can access the Microsoft Educator Community at education.microsoft.com, where you will be greeted with the home page as shown below. If you have already visited the site, you may already be signed in so you are ready to get started! If this is your first time, then signing in couldn't be easier as the site offers numerous log in options. Whether you are using your Office 365 account, Microsoft account (e.g. Hotmail or Outlook.com), Skype, Twitter or Facebook - just select the option that is best for you and fill in the details that will go on to form your own profile.

Homepage

From this moment onwards, signing in to the MEC will mean you are welcomed with the home page each time you log on. This opens up a world of great resources, learning paths, discussions and so much more - all of which you will be able to find out more about in the coming week.

Top tip: Using your Twitter or Facebook login makes it really easy to share your learnings and achievements with your social media networks

Your profile

When your account is set up, you will see your profile will be automatically generated and accessed through the grey bar where you found the 'Sign In' tab. There are a number of things you can do through this function:

  • Edit your personal details, interests and subject focus
  • Visualise your Skype usage using your Skype Activity Map, which will show you your number of participations and miles travelled
  • Reflect on your achievements, including you Development Progress and the badges you may have earned
  • View your content
  • Collaborate with those you are connected with, or add to those connections

Top tip: Access your badges through your profile and use them to add to your LinkedIn, Twitter, e-mail signatures and any other platforms where you can demonstrate how MEC has helped you develop your teaching and learning for your students

Engaging in training and CPD

Teacher training and CPD could not be made any easier than with the help of the Microsoft Educator Community. Using our Get Trained, Find a Lesson and Connect with Others tabs you can access hundreds of quick tip videos, learning paths, lesson plans and training courses. Whether you want to learn more about a specific application, such as Sway or Office Mix, or gain a wider understanding of what 21st Century Learning Design really means, you will find the resources you need here.

Getting involved in the community

The Microsoft Educator Community provides a great platform to collaborate and communicate with other educators around the world. You can share your expertise, connect with others and join the discussion, all within the MEC using the links that are found on the home page.

Top tip: Hover over the home page tiles to find out more about what is in each section to get a snapshot view of what is available to you

Earning badges

Earning badges is fun, challenging and can spark some great competition! Each of the resources that can be found within the space either offer completion awards individually, or as a part of a wider badge. This is a fantastic way to show your development and achievement, and gives you something more tangible to show for all your hard work!

Top tip: Keep an eye out over the coming week for some competitions! Earning badges may give you the chance to win…

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