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Benchmark your skills, become a Microsoft Certified Educator

By February 25, 2015One Comment

In your education circles you may have heard of Apple Distinguished Educators and Google Certified Teachers, but have you come across any Microsoft Certified Educators? I hadn’t until recently.

I became a Microsoft Innovative Educator back a few years ago now but was pleased to find out about this opportunity.

The Microsoft Certified Educator accolade is different those offered by Apple and Google. Whilst anyone can apply to become and ADE or GCT, not everyone gets on. There is an application process. The experience with both Google and Apple involves attending a ‘academy’ or ‘institute’ for a few days. Both proved very valuable CPD, particularly the Apple experience. That was, for me, the best CPD I’ve ever had.

The Microsoft experience is something different completely though. Firstly, the opportunity is open to everyone and the title ‘Microsoft Certified Educator’ (MCE) is applied upon successful (80% pass rate) completion of an online exam.

The exam can be organised through a variety of different Certiport approved online test centres. The test cost about £40 to complete.

The MCE qualification and exam is mapped against UNESCO’s ICT Competency Framework for Educators. I found it to be a really thorough grounding across many areas of knowledge linked to successful use of technology across the curriculum.

They provide you with access to a comprehensive study guide and if you sign up to the Microsoft Partners in Learning (PIL) network, there are a number of really good resources including online tests to prepare you for the exam in the ‘Teaching with Technology‘ course.

The PIL network gives you access to lots of free apps and resources too, if you’re a Microsoft user:

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 16.53.50

My favourites still remain; Chronozoom, Auto Collage, Microsoft Mathematics, Photosynth and my old favourite SongSmith – brilliantly creative tool for learning in the classroom.

Back to the course; the different areas of the course include:

COURSE 1: Why does the UNESCO ICT-CFT promote technology literacy? 4 hrs 15 mins
COURSE 2: Selecting ICT resources to support curriculum outcomes 5 hrs 25 mins
COURSE 3: How do technology and pedagogy mix? 7 hrs
COURSE 4: Use basic ICT tools to support teaching and learning 10 hrs 40 mins
COURSE 5: Organize and manage the use of ICT in your classroom 6 hrs 30 mins
COURSE 6: Technology literacy and your professional development 3 hrs
This course is also certificated and is free.
Whilst we’re on topic too, there are some other great courses there to help skill you up which are also provided free of charge including digital literacy and more:
Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 16.41.06
I found the experience, whilst ever-so slightly Microsoft centric, to be really well balanced. It echoed my thinking across the board and I found it a really validating experience. So, if you’re looking to accredit yourself with skills in using technology as an educator – bearing in mind there are no tests on how to use Excel or anything like that – it’s just about the areas highlighted above; I can highly recommend it. No, there isn’t a conference with great networking opportunities. True. But the PIL network is a great place to help skill yourself up whatever edtech you favour. It’s well worth checking out!
If you’d like to find out more, drop me a line, or even better, sign up for the Partners in Learning Network and find out more for yourself!
Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson, @ICTEvangelist. Click here to learn more.

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