Have you noticed the recent change of name of Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Network to the Microsoft Educator Network? (the URL is still http://www.pil-network.com/) This change took place on April 15th 2014. This post serves to emphasize some of the changes? But before we do so – have you joined the Microsoft Educator Network? There are amazing resources and great opportunities for professional development and opportunities to connect to teachers all over the world. In a nutshell on the the Microsoft Educator network, amongst a myriad of other benefits, you can:
- Get Learning Activities created by teachers using Microsoft tools
- Find tutorials on how to use Microsoft tools in the classroom created by teachers for teachers
- Download over 30 free tools to use in the classroom
During the redesign of professional development Microsoft worked with educators to get their input and feedback on the user experience. This included one-on-one interviews, having them use wire-frame prototypes and group feedback sessions. Here are some of the changes you will notice.
1. New name
As mentioned the name of Partners in Learning Network has changed to the Microsoft Educator Network.
2. Professional Development Courses Page
This is a new page on the site designed to present Microsoft’s seminars and courses in context to each other so that educators can determine which courses they want to explore in more depth. This menu opens to:
Here is a screenshot of the Courses page.
3. New features in Professional Development
My Learning Page
The new My Learning page associated with each course keeps track of an educator’s course status (what’s been taken, what’s left to be taken, a link to the transcript of what’s been taken and the button to generate the course certificate if they have completed the course). In the case below, you are seeing the course status for someone who completed the Teaching with Technology self-assessment and has a personalized learning path.
When an educator has fully completed a course, a button will appear on the page enabling them to generate a PDF certificate that they can download and print. The certificate can be printed in the languages the course if offered in.
4. Upgrades to the Teaching with Technology page
Microsoft Certified Exam
There is a new page that tells those who are interested in taking the MCE how they can get vouchers. In addition, they can download the Teaching With Technology Study Guide.
Teaching with Technology
This page also has several new statuses it reports to users to reduce some of the confusion users have when they are waiting for their assessment results to come back from the learning management system. There are number of these that are contextualized based on their situation.
5. New seminar: Windows 8 in the Classroom
Windows 8 in the Classroom takes all the Windows 8 videos and puts them in one place and enables users to earn a badge for watching them.
6. New badge for 21st Century Learning Design
Users can now earn a 21st Century Learning Design badge. Soon, we will be able to take 21st Century Learning Design courses on the Educator Network and earn a badge and certificate just like the other courses.
In the near future we will see the introduction of the localized Teaching with Technology (full course) and Teaching with Technology Basics (short course).
This is a great array of well thought-out changes! Why not visit the Microsoft Educator Network right now and see these changes for yourself?