Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE): Is it worth all the hard work?

This blog features contributions from the LTC’s Lisa Schwartz and Holly Kelly

Earning new badges, certifications, and micro-credentials can do wonders for your professional career. Not only do they bolster your career prospects, but they also offer you an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and grow your capacity as an educator. They also offer an opportunity to practice patience, discipline, and dedication as you work through the application process and put what you’ve learned into practice in the classroom.

While there are a lot of self-paced certification options out there, one that many educators overlook is the Mircrosoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE) certification. That’s a shame because the program is tailor-made to help educators learn, grow, and connect alongside a community of like-minded professionals, regardless of what platform or apps their district utilizes.

After recently completing our own MIEE journey, we’ve repeatedly been asked the same question – is this Microsoft-centered certification worth it? Again and again, we’ve had the same answer: yes! Even if your school primarily uses Google or Apple products, MIEE has a lot to offer you as a growth-focused educator.

Here are 8 quick reasons you should consider earning an MIEE certification:

8 Reasons You Should Earn MIEE

  1. Grow your professional skill set – MIEE isn’t a Microsoft beginners course. Through it, you’ll learn next-level methods for utilizing Microsoft apps to engage today’s learners.
  2. Challenge yourself – Everyday, we ask our students to challenge themselves so that they can grow intellectually and emotionally. We should do the same for ourselves, and MIEE’s multi-step certification process is a great way to step out of that comfort zone.
  3. Build mentorship capacity – You aren’t the only one who benefits from MIEE. Your fellow teachers can learn a lot from you when you share what you learn during the certification process.
  4. Grow your network – While working toward MIEE, you’ll have the chance to connect with fellow educators from all across the country. Even after completing your certification, you can turn to those connections for advice and support as you work through the latest educational challenge.
  5. Bolster your resume – No matter your career goals, a recognized certification like MIEE can be a major boon to your future prospects. It can even help you advance your career in your current position, including through promotions and new leadership opportunities.
  6. Maintain your learning mindset – After teaching for a few years, educators sometimes get comfortable with their present edtech utilization. MIEE can rekindle your old learning mindset and show you how much potential some of today’s most versatile apps offer.
  7. Access exclusive offers – MIEE status comes with added perks, including access to special offers for partner platforms like Book Creator and Buncee
  8. Attend MIEE annual summit – All MIE Experts also get tickets to the annual MIEE and SCS Summit, both held at Microsoft HQ in Redmond, Washington.

Our MIEE Journey – 1 Big Takeaway

We learned a lot during our journey toward earning our MIEE certification, including how to harness Microsoft’s Education Transformation Framework. But above all else, we learned the importance of accountability when striving towards this major certification.

Like many educators, we knew that our time and motivation for earning this certification would be strained by our day-to-day workload. Luckily, we also knew that we would be more motivated to stay on track if we had some accountability built-in to our application process. So, we decided to become accountability buddies, setting aside time on a regular basis to check-in with each other and support one another towards our shared goal.

Accountability can be the key to earning MIEE, in particular. The MIEE journey involves multiple learning paths and a full application process, so it helps a lot to have someone at your back who can encourage you to keep moving forward.

Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Q & A

Here’s a few more questions often asked about the MIEE certification and application process. You can also learn more about MIEE on Microsoft’s website.

What is MIEE?

Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert or “MIEE” for short is a program that recognizes educators around the world who are using Microsoft technology to enhance student outcomes and change the face of education. After completing certain prerequisites, individuals may nominate themselves for MIEE status, which comes with numerous benefits including access to a massive network of fellow Microsoft experts.

Are there prerequisites for MIEE?

Yes, prospective applicants will need to complete several prerequisites in order to earn MIEE status, including:

  • Become a Microsoft Innovative Educator by completing two hours of coursework from Microsoft’s 205 courses and 32 learning paths.
  • Become a Microsoft Innovative Educator Trainer by implementing what you’ve learned to mentor other educators
  • Apply for MIEE, including completing an exam that tests your knowledge of Microsoft education tools and submitting an artifact of your prior work

Do I need to complete an exam for MIEE?

Yes, MIEE applicants must pass an exam that tests applicants on their understanding and implementation of Microsoft’s learning tools. This exam consists of multiple choice, order sequence, and long answer questions.

When is the deadline for MIEE?

The 2022-2023 MIEE application window opens May 15, 2022 and closes July 15, 2022. More information can be found on Microsoft’s MIEE resource page.

Start on your own MIEE Journey Today!

With this year’s MIEE application window opening in just under a month, now is a great time to grab an accountability buddy and start your own MIEE journey.

The LTC is here to support you along that journey. If you have questions about the MIEE process, feel free to reach out to two of our team’s current MIE Experts – Holly Kelly (hkelly@ltcillinois.org) and Lisa Schwartz (lschwartz@ltcillinois.org). You can also connect with other prospective applicants and fellow Microsoft users over on the LTC Community.