When I first applied to become a Microsoft Innovative Expert (MIE), I thought that this would be a great experience if I was fortunate to be selected. The application process itself was an opportunity to reflect upon how I use technology in my classroom and how I would like to expand my skills, knowledge, and personal learning community. When I received the email informing me that had been selected in to the MIE program and that I would be attending the E2 conference in Budapest, Hungary, I felt like I won the lottery. I knew there were many great educators doing great things in their classrooms that put their names forward, so it was a humbling experience to be accepted. The weeks leading up to E2 were ones of anticipation and preparation. I was excited to meet new friends, understand the program, and gain new insights into various tools. The time spent reading through materials, attending webinars, and exploring the process was very much worth it. The moment of truth finally arrived and on a beautiful spring like day in Saskatchewan as I stepped on a plane ready for a journey to Budapest. It was a long and tiring plane ride, but as soon as I got there … the city, the luxurious Hotel Corinthia, and meeting my Canadian cohorts were more than energizing. The next three days were outstanding to say the least from engaging keynotes and panels, creating a hack with wonderful teachers from across the globe, earning my Microsoft Certified Educator certification, sharing ideas and smiles during the marketplace, and experiencing a variety of hands on workshops … E2 had it all. The opportunity to explore the beautiful city of Budapest and meet some locals was appreciated, enjoyable, and educational. The people I met from my Canadian teammates, my hack the classroom group, the outstanding educators from around the world in attendance was the highlight for me. It is an honour and a pleasure to be associated with such amazing individuals. I definitely left the conference a better educator and for that matter person than when I arrived. I met many inspiring people and made some strong connections and new friends in the process. I deepened my knowledge and skills of a variety of Microsoft products, came up with an idea to revolutionize a class I have taught back at my school, shared stories about education from around the world, grew and strengthened my personal learning network, and had a few bowls of Hungarian Goulash (don’t forget the paprika). The E2 experience was a complete success and one I won’t soon forget. Hopefully, I will get a chance to do it all again someday as a fellow. Still the best is yet to come as I now feel part of a global family that’s mission is to provide students all over the world with a quality 21st Century education and eradicate borders and biases. I would and have highly recommended becoming a MIE to anybody doing exceptional things in their classrooms with Microsoft tools. You can get started down this rewarding path today by going online and exploring the Microsoft Innovative Educator website (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/education/educators/miee/default.aspx), take some of the online courses (https://education.microsoft.com/gettrained), and reach out on Twitter (#MIEExpert). Applications to join this amazing community is coming up soon so stay tuned and be ready. The family atmosphere that becoming an MIE presents is second to none and I am fortunate to be a part of such a dedicated and passionate of group educators. Budapest was beautiful in many ways and it is fair to say I was blown away, but this is only a beginning!
CTA – Check out the following Sways for more insights
My Day In Sway March 8 https://sway.com/ZC6RHwYNPP1pSC7x
My Day in Sway March 9 https://sway.com/JBbDD25rw9ATtKMS
My Day in Sway March 10 https://sway.com/BDE53Ai6Py5up6i1
Beautiful Budapest https://sway.com/V1DQIG7KxAHsSH5h
Using Minecraft In Math https://sway.com/b8kNs42T8hzJ5DeY
Dean Vendramin. Educator for over 20 years. Currently Education Leader for Math/Science at Archbishop M.C. O'Neill Catholic High School. Have a passion for all things in education with emphasis on technology integration, assessment, professional development, and 21 Century Education. Posts are articles he has written for the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation monthly newsletter The Bulletin, Saskatchewan Math Teachers' Society The Variable, blog requests from memberships he is a part of, and his own thoughts.