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Microsoft UK recognises innovative teaching

A UWTSD lecturer selected as a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert is using her expertise to help improve student learning at the University.

Laura Hutchings, Programme Director of the Education Studies programmes at UWTSD is currently part of the Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Community which allows her to provide expertise on a range of digital learning approaches that support her students.  

“Each year, through the MIE programme Microsoft selects innovative educators from across the world to share ideas, try new approaches and learn from each other as a global community dedicated to improving student outcomes through technology.

Laura Hutchings commented: “The MIE Expert programme has not only enabled me to further develop my skills and knowledge in relation to innovative technology but has provided me with the opportunity to engage with a wider community of individuals who also have a passion for using technology in teaching and learning.”

The key focus for Laura is sharing her expertise with her students. 

Already, Education Studies students can directly access resources and training as a result of Laura’s selection as a MIE expert. 

Over the last year and during the Covid-19 restrictions, there has been a strong focus on digital learning where it has been essential to create opportunities for students to gain new and innovative ways of learning themselves, as well as having the skills to support other people’s learning.  Laura added:

“This programme has helped me to inspire students with creative thinking.  All students on the Education Studies programmes at UWTSD are now being encouraged to complete their Microsoft Innovative Educator badges so that they are equipped with the skills and knowledge to become educators of the future. 

This year our students participated in the Microsoft Education Exchange event. We have been very fortunate to be provided with this opportunity because it links with the University’s graduate attributes framework and will further strengthen the foundations for future employability for students taking part.”

Laura has also supported the wider lecturing team within the Childhood, Youth and Education Studies team, providing ideas and support to underpin their work with students across a range of subjects.  Dr Glenda Tinney, Senior Lecturer, at the University, is one of the academic staff members to benefit from Laura’s expertise.  She commented: “It has been great to have an expert on the team to discuss and try out new ideas and to see examples of what can be done online”.

Laura has also created new ways of communicating with students alongside traditional methods and it has been great to work with her to trial these new approaches.

Laura’s expertise will be vital moving forward to the new academic year so that students can benefit from a high-quality blend of both face-to-face campus experiences and engaging, interactive, online learning.”