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Microsoft Industry Blogs - United Kingdom

April this year saw Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Experts from around the globe donning their berets and purple OneNote capes to descend upon Paris for this year’s E2 Global Education Exchange for three days of honouring changemakers in the classroom!

Team UK at E2

The essence of E2 is celebration, recognition, collaboration, and inspiration. As always, the E2 Team UK, didn’t disappoint and were there with game-changing energy flying the flag for all corners of the UK!

The UK saw six MIEExpert attendees alongside four representatives from the Leaders track. They embarked upon the experience with full tenacity and came back enthused with ideas to shape the future of technology in education in the UK.


    • Elaine Topham, Senior Learning technologist from the Grimsby Institute
    • Julie Fletcher Head of ICT from Ysgol Y Strade, Llanelli, South Wales
    • James Wilton, English teacher and Housemaster from Repton School in the Midlands
    • Dawn Jones, ICT Curriculum Trainer in Education Sector and O365 Cloud Strategy, Scotland
    • Owen Davies, Maths and Science teacher and Teacher Training Educator lecturer, Bangor School of Education
    • Donna Shah, Digital Technology Lead , Newington Green and Rotherfield primary schools in London

Leaders track

    • Graham Feek, Deputy Chief Executive, Greenwood Academies Trust
    • Andy Perryer, Digital Learning Adviser, Cognita
    • Chris Owen, Head of Digital Learning, Welsh Government HwB
    • Kirsty McFaul, Senior Education Officer, Education Scotland

E2 is all about forming new bonds with fellow educators. During the first educator challenge, our educators kicked off the fun by canvasing the streets of Paris with their teams and making a statement.

MIEExpert stands in front of the Eiffel Tower

James Wilton, English teacher and Housemaster from Repton School in the Midlands, said that he “learnt a great deal about collaboration and a strong sense of the educational values that united us. That in itself was enormously special.”

The Learning Marketplace provided another key opportunity for the educators to connect and collaborate as E2’s mini trade show. Team UK made a stamp here also on both fellow educators and Microsoft representatives alike.

By showcasing the unique ways they are using Microsoft technologies in their UK classrooms, our educators shared their wonderful ideas and left inspired by other educators from around the globe. Julie Fletcher, Head of ICT from Ysgol Y Strade, Llanelli, South Wales, was even able to connect with some of her primary school students live from the marketplace.

Collage of MIEExpert in at E2

Breakout sessions during the week saw our MIEExperts learning a whole host of new skills from experts themselves. They also had the opportunity to take part in product focus groups. Donna, Digital Technology Lead , Newington Green and Rotherfield primary schools in London, attended a product focus group led by Mike Tholfsen, looking at learning tools and upcoming elements.

The Keynotes didn’t disappoint either. “Brianna’s keynote was exceptional. The confidence and passion she delivered to a room-full of global educators was incredible, definitely a future world leader in the making,” said Julie.

On the final day with the Awards Gala, E2 Team UK took the spotlight again, bringing home four awards:

  • Overall winner: Elaine Topham and her team
  • Collaboration winner: Owen Davies and his team
  • Inclusion winner: Dawn Jones and her team
  • Creativity runner up: Donna Shah and her teamTeam UK at the Awards Ceremony

Moving forward with Team E2 UK

Following on from their amazing change-making experiences in Paris, what are the plans for our E2 Team now?

James has plans to introduce Micro:bits and Flipgrid to his students. He also plans to take part in TweetMeets to connect with other educators.

A keynote speaker at the E2

Elaine is now even more empowered to continue on her journey inspiring colleagues to become changemakers and encourage them to go forward to experience their own global connections.

Donna left E2 full of inspiration and eagerness to further explore the world of Minecraft. She also aims to ensure that every pupil, teacher, and parent in her institutions will know and use the learning tools confidently.

Owen plans to develop a digital training and STEM Space for all ages and abilities in North Wales.

Dawn will take away many valuable teachings, strategy plans, approaches and learn from them to enhance her own cluster improvement plans.

Finally, Julie has actioned the most recent integration between Wakelet and Sway through requesting the feature via Twitter. Her voice was heard and within a week the feature was enabled.

This shows there really is not limit to what the fabulous E2 Team UK can achieve!

Here at the UK Microsoft Education Team, we know that passion is priceless and our wonderful community of educators have that in bucket loads. We hope a final statement from Elaine leaves you with the determination to go outside your comfort zone. Put yourself forward for new and exciting opportunities in the new academic year to come.

Team UK at the Awards Ceremony

“I am determined to go forward with renewed confidence in myself and look for opportunities in life, rather than shy away from them because they may be too bold. I feel my passion and enthusiasm for teaching is renewed and I am inspired to try new things.”

– Elaine Topham, Senior Learning technologist from the Grimsby Institute

Find out more about our educators and see firsthand their experiences at E2 in Paris.

Feeling inspired and want to attend E2 next year? Become a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert! Here’s how

We invite all educators to join the Microsoft Educator Community. There, you’ll find on-demand professional development and training courses that can lead to becoming a certified Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE).

From there, you can continue your journey toward becoming a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE). Nominations are open now until July 15, 2019. The 2019-2020 class of MIEExperts will be announced August 21, 2019.

About the author

Kristy HillKristy Hill is Microsoft Learning Consultant on the Microsoft Education team in the UK. She is also an MIEExpert and a Skype Master Teacher. She is passionate about education, technology, and training. With a background in Primary Education, she has first hand knowledge of the use of technology embedded within the curriculum.