Anyone involved in education knows it can be a challenge to stay current and keep students engaged in school. Greeneville Middle School works hard to stay abreast of current trends and technology that will benefit its students. One advantage that the middle school has is that they have 4 of the 13 Tennessee Microsoft Innovative Expert Educators in house. Andrea Tolley became the school’s first #MIEExpert in 2016, and she recruited three other teachers in her building. Janis Young, Jeremy Simerly, and Jason Shelton have joined the Microsoft Innovative Expert Educator community and the team is sharing and learning at conferences throughout the United States.
Tolley teaches essential digital skills to Greeneville’s 700 sixth through eighth grade students, and also works to spread that knowledge to fellow teachers. “Students have the ability to apply the skills that they learn to their classwork, and teachers can become certified in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel through the Microsoft Imagine Academy,” Tolley states. “I have also had secretaries and custodial staff become certified.” There have been approximately 25 certifications given to teachers, and 10 given to support staff.
A key benefit to being a part of the #MIEExpert community is access to like-minded individuals and Microsoft Learn online. With like-minded individuals, she can bounce ideas around and ask questions about things that she wants to know more about or topics of which she wants to develop a deeper understanding.
“If I don’t know how to do something, I can put a question in a chat window online and get an answer in no time flat”, Tolley says. “Whereas, if I am trying to figure it out myself, it’s going to take forever. Calling on a whole roomful of brains is so much better than trying to do it on my own.” -Andrea Tolley
Written by Guest Blogger