A number of years ago, on the Teachnet.ie Blog, there was a post made about the launch of an all new “Microsoft Educator training Centre”. In the time that has passed this site has grown into a hugely popular and well established Hub for teachers wishing to deepen their knowledge around all things Microsoft. The Microsoft Educator Centre now includes topics such as Office 365, 21st century Learning Pedagogies, Coding in the classroom, Minecraft Education, Developing Digital Literature Programs, Digital Citizenship and the list goes on.
Examples of the content:
21st Century Learning Design
Within all of these course titles there are numerous different shorter courses that can be undertaken at any time that suits the user. For example if you were interested in learning about the Microsoft 21 century Learning Design content there are 8 sub courses that you can sign up to:
- Introducing 21CLD
- Real world problem solving
- Skilled Communication
- Knowledge construction
- Self regulation
- Use of ICT for learning
- Embedding 21CLD in Practice
I initially came across this hub when I was looking to get some information on how to use Minecraft Education in the classroom. I discovered, that like most of the other topics, there was a vast collection of short courses where I could learn how to use Minecraft Education to support things like:
- STEAM education
- Collaborative gameplay
- And Much More
Each of the Courses can be accessed easily from the tabs displayed in the Centre and they are free to use:
These courses can be picked and chosen at random or participants can choose to follow a Learner pathway that Microsoft have developed. The Pathway gives participants a more structured approach to the learning content. Starting them at the beginning and working towards the more advanced features/elements of the course: They also give the participant the breakdown of what will be covered in each of the courses including the hours and content. Here is an example of the outline of the Minecraft Education pathway.
Resources (course outlines):
The courses are simple and easy to navigate, often there are some videos and links to explore. after you have completed a section there is a short quiz based around the content of that lesson. The videos are really informative and the links are very relevant to the course objectives.
A feature that I really like about this is the fact that you are rewarded points as you complete the courses. These points contribute to your certification as you progress through the courses. This makes the learning more measurable and is something you can add to your CV on completion.
Microsoft have stated that nearly 1 million of these courses were completed in the past month alone! That in itself highlights the success of this learning Hub. With the current educational landscape there is a growing need for teachers to become more proficient and competent in ICT. This platform is a fantastic way for us to upskill and renew our interests in our own time.
For more information on signing up and all the content visit: https://education.microsoft.com/en-us
Sign up to their newsletter to recieve regular updates on new courses at: https://education.microsoft.com/en-us/connectWithUs