Learning Paths with Microsoft Education

by / Thursday, 31 October 2019 / Published in Teaching with Technology

Educators are often on the lookout for professional development opportunities to keep relevant and help deliver effective and engaging lessons in a supportive, student-centred environment. For many of us, schools and institutions offer several PD options throughout the year or on an ongoing basis through dedicated training departments. Such opportunities blend well with the specific needs of a school or department but for those wishing to take their PD in a different direction, online resources can provide a number of interesting options.

One of the more comprehensive online catalogues of PD offerings is found at the Microsoft Educator Center (MEC). At the time of writing, the MEC has just about 75 different courses open to anyone, with each offering readings, videos and quizzes to support learning. The courses range in length from 30 minutes to 8 hours, allow you to collect ‘points’ to reflect your completed PD and cover loads of topics including gaming and gamification, digital teaching and learning, inclusive classrooms, problem-based learning and digital storytelling, to name a few.

MicrosoftEducationBadgeWith so many courses and options, however, it can be difficult to decide which courses to take and when. The MEC helps educators make those decisions, though, with the help of ten different learning paths, each of which groups courses together and offers them sequentially so knowledge builds logically. While educators can choose to take any of the self-paced courses they want at any time, following a learning path can help fill any knowledge gaps and offer cohesion to a professional development plan.

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The paths focus on topics covering general theory and pedagogy, as is the case with the 21st Century Learning Design and Creating a Digitally Inclusive Learning Community paths; on learning to incorporate a number of Microsoft tools into your teaching and learning, as is the case with Microsoft Innovative Educator Training Academy and Office 365 Teacher Academy paths; and, with deeper focus on specific Microsoft tools, as is the case with the OneNote Teacher Academy path. The learning paths can take anywhere from 4 to 36 hours to complete, though some inevitable overlap means courses taken in one path can help you complete other paths more quickly.

There are so many benefits to be had in participating in online professional development such as the type offered by Microsoft Education. Not only can it be something to add to a growing CV and fulfill any professional development requirements set out by your institution (though you are advised to double check that this would be the case in your own context), but doing so can help broaden the scope of your PD, enhance your practice and, most importantly, benefit your students and their learning experience.

One Response to “Learning Paths with Microsoft Education”

  1. Leigh says : Reply

    This is a great resource! Thanks for sharing, Samantha.

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