All this week we'll be going into more depth on each of the areas of the Microsoft Educator Community, and exploring the ways that people can take value from the wealth of free teacher CPD resources and peer interactions that can be found through the site that is being colloquially known as the 'MEC'.
If you missed our previous post about how to join the MEC, you can find it here:
With six main areas of the site for teachers to immerse themselves in, we're going to look at each of them through the eyes of an educator, and hear from them how they have used materials, courses, tutorials or the network of other members of the MEC to further their own personal development and put the new skills or approaches into practice in the classroom.
In the guest post below Henry Penfold, one of our #MIEExperts has explored how you can use the Microsoft Educator Community to connect with guest speakers and subject experts from all over the world, including other #MIEExperts and educator trainers.
Connect with others
by Henry Penfold
Connecting with people is an important part of being an educator to share ideas, work effectively and share best practice. This can be successfully achieved through the Microsoft Educator Community.
Connect with Guest Speakers:
Since discovering the Connect with Others section on the Microsoft Educator Community, my class and I and have engaged through a number of ways. One particular highlight, when connecting with guest speakers, was chatting to Trina Roy. Trina, an employee of Pixar, explained about how her programming she used make it easier to the animators to animate. This opportunity removed the barriers of the classroom being able to connect with her in America.
Regardless of this, it was 3pm UK time at the start of the Skype call which was 7am American time, and by doing this the children also began to understand about the different time zones across the world. We were able to use maps for children to understand where in the relation to the UK America was.
In the primary curriculum, giving children the opportunity to be engrossed in their learning can be hard. In year 2, one of the topics they study is explorers. Through connecting with guest speakers, we arranged a skype session with an explorer called Justin. The class had prepared all about what he did. It was fantastic for their project to become real life. They were in awe and amazed at what Justin did. The excitement from the teachers and students then buzzed around the school. Everyone wanted to connect with people to stimulate their projects.
When teaching children whether in primary or secondary it is important to give them the a range of different opportunities. This is a fantastic example that removes the walls of the classroom to connect with educators and speakers all over the world.
Know you know how to connect with others using the Microsoft Educator Community, why not get a guest speaker into your school? With the ability to search by subject, country, skill and more, there is something to benefit every student in every class.
Or if you want to share your experiences and bring lessons to life for students across the globe, we would urge you to become a guest speaker with the Microsoft Educator Community.
If you have any questions or queries on how to connect with others on the MEC, be sure to tweet us on @microsofteduk using the #MECweek hashtag. You can also join our Microsoft Educator Community webinar at 4pm on 24th March to hear from Microsoft employees and #MIEExperts.