‘My dream came true at E2’ – a report back on the Microsoft E2 Educator Exchange in Redmond in May by MIEExpert15, Linda Foulkes

This is another guest post from Linda Foulkes one of South Africa’s Microsoft MiE Experts for 2015. Linda’s blog can be found at: https://folklind.wordpress.com.


This year eight teachers from South Africa, who had been selected as Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts for 2015 attended one of the two Global Forums as part of their prize. In the last post we will featured a report back on the Dubai Global Forumby Karen Stadler.  Today Karen Linda Foulkes reports back on her visit to Redmond.


Linda says:

Ever since I can remember, I have always been drawn to Microsoft Technologies, whilst working in corporate and academic training environments for more than 25 years – it all started at UCT, many moons ago, and two of my biggest dreams were to visit THE Microsoft building, or to work for Microsoft. Thank you, Microsoft, for making one of my dreams come true during 2015!  The opportunity to be physically present @ Microsoft Redmond, Building 92, was awesome!

It was a memorable experience being able to travel to Redmond representing South Africa at the Global Forum with Warren Sparrow, Mabore Lekalakala, and Mokhudu Cynthia. Great moments were had with this bunch, as well as with Angela Schaerer [Microsoft in Education : Academic Programme Manager] 🙂

There were 249 MIEExperts attending the Redmond Global Forum from around the globe, I am extremely privileged to be one of them!


After travelling to Redmond, we had the opportunity to write the MCE exam the following morning. I will write an additional post about this stunning certification, but we were thrilled to have passed the exam, which was a great start to the Global Forum E2 visit.


The keynotes at E2 were extremely motivational. BRAVERY, COURAGE AND LEADERSHIP was the theme for the entire forum – even down to the DrumCafe session. Anthony Salcito, Vice President, Worldwide Education, Microsoft addressed us with his presentation on EXPECT MORE, DO MORE, BE MORE



This was a fantastic opportunity to showcase our learning activities and collaboration at its best! We were grouped according to technologies used,which was great as we could interact with each other as to how we have created the learning experience for education. The atmosphere was buzzing with MIEExperts from all over the world setting up at round tables. The session was arranged so that each MIE had an opportunity to walk around and get to know one another and explain their activity. At this session I was pleased to have met Aaron Maurer, who’s activity really engaged me – he encouraged one to interact practically with his learning activity. You will see a pic of him [in the bowtie] on the TeachMeet slideshow, below as well as a pic of my toothbrush motor I created at his table. The other highlight for me was a discussion with Mike Tholfsen [Programme Manager, OneNote] who introduced me to the OneNote Engineer – Scott who listened to me discuss how I would enhance OneNote for Teachers.


Before leaving for Redmond, the MIEExperts chose from a list of Educator Led Sessions to attend at the Global Forum.  I attended the session on Office 365, run by SA MIEExpert, Warren Sparrow and Mette Hauch. Warren really did SA proud!  We were taken on a journey through the features of O365.

I also attended the session on the use of Minecraft in the Classroom, which was a panel driven conversation – very interesting to hear from those who just started using Minecraft in the classroom and those who have been using it for some time.

The last session I chose was OneNote [of course, I chose that session as I love OneNote 🙂 – always more to consume]. Joshua Sawyer and Kevin Sait [Head of IT Strategy for Wymondham High Academy Trust in the UK] were absolutely outstanding – learnt so much from their experiences with OneNote and also how Kevin implemented Wymondham High O Team, a group of students who have been instrumental in developing the use of Office 365, OneNote and mobile devices at his school.

Angela Schaerer and Warren Sparrow presented on 21C Learning Design,
a great session with an interactive task!
THIS WAS AN AMAZING OUTING – I thoroughly enjoyed the visit to the 2015 Technology Expo – a venue FULL of little children who are using technology extensively in the classroom.  I was blown away by the confidence and knowledge of these little beings.  Such an inspiration! A few really stood out for me, so I will share these but there is so many more experiences I had during this expo.

These two boys demonstrated how they use OneNote at school. They engaged in adult conversation with me and had an answer for any question I asked. I had such a cool chat to them and we shared how we would enhance the programme for teachers



This little girl explained all the icons in order to draw – after she explained so confidently, she made me sit down and go through all the icons myself to draw a picture. She kept coming back to help me when I was stuck and explained how I needed to use the tools – BRILLIANT!

The Tech Integration project below was another great experience for me – the topic was banned and un-banned books and why parents do not let their children read books which are banned. The boy on the right created a game where you would be given a list of books and need to select whether banned or un-banned – you wll see a child completing the assessment in the picture below:


There were so many more moments at the tech expo, but think you have the idea.


The Global Educator challenge is where MIE Experts ‘walk the talk’ showing the impact of technology on students readiness, classrooms, educators and communities worldwide. MIE Experts are divided into groups with peers from different parts of the world to design a project around the use of Microsoft technologies within the specific theme of Bravery, Courage, and Leadership.

I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction with all these wonderful MIEExperts – we really did a good job getting to know each other – collaboration and continued interaction is the key to forums such as this. We are all staying in contact and have the advantage of seeing each others work being part of the Facebook group for MIEExperts.



Note to self to remember everyday for 30 days for 30 seconds a day, to build the habit. I MATTER
My superpower is….

These are just a few of my best moments from E2 – the most beneficial for me was the contacts and collaborative opportunities I achieved through being an MIE before, during and after the E2 Global Forum. I encourage every teacher to submit their learning activity for 2016 and that you sign up for the Educator Network on http://www.educatornetwork.com for amazing free tools, learning activities, tutorials, projects and earn badges for free professional development courses.


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