January 09, 2023
Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Elevates Upper School
Ed Conroy, Upper School humanities department chair, recently attended the US Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert and Showcase School Leader Exchange conference in Atlanta with several hundred other leading 21st-century educators from around the country. Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts (MIEEs) are named each year by Microsoft to recognize the best of those educators who regularly work with Microsoft applications, share resources and strategies with their colleagues, and train them in best practices. In Microsoft’s words, Conroy and his MIEE colleagues are “global educator visionaries” who are “constantly changing the boundaries of what a classroom looks and feels like.” Named an MIEE for the first time in 2021, Conroy was one of eleven in Maryland that year. As part of that cohort, he participates in monthly digital workshops and shares new ideas and approaches to teaching and learning. Microsoft’s nomination as a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert affirmed what many in the Glenelg Country School (GCS) community already know: Conroy is an agent of change for enhancing the student experience in every way.
This year’s exchange, at Microsoft’s east coast Atlantic Yards campus, connected people from across the country to learn from each other and selected tech experts invited to present at the conference. In his showcase opportunity, Conroy presented the bildungsroman project that each ninth-grade GCS student completes in his ancient studies class. His presentation focused on integrating video journalling with Flip, a video discussion app from Microsoft, to foster greater participation and more meaningful discussions about literature in the class. Conroy also attended presentations and workshops designed to maximize the use of Microsoft tools in innovative, inclusive, and engaging ways.
He returned from the experience inspired and invigorated. “Little add-ins available through PowerPoint and creating more accessible documents for a broad range of learners are two things I started using immediately,” says Conroy. “But I was so inspired to see the potential of Minecraft and general e-sports learning and gamification that I want to keep doing more to make our learning more immersive and student-driven.”
In addition to chairing the humanities department and teaching ancient studies, Conroy teaches 12th-grade Integrative and coaches varsity girls basketball. He and his wife, Chelsea, are also members of our parent community with children Aaron ’31, Cora ’38, and Cullen ’33, all happily attending the Lower School.
Middle School English teacher Katie Burkman was also named a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert in 2021 and joined Conroy in his first year of the program.