Romania Empowers Educators with MCE Certification

In the age of online learning and hybrid classrooms, teachers are re-evaluating their approach in the classroom. Educators who find ways to successfully leverage technological tools positively impact students’ learning in the classroom. In fact, Romanian educators are seeing this firsthand. With the Microsoft Certified Educator certification and the corresponding 21st Century Learning Design course, Romanian teachers have discovered successful techniques for digital pedagogy. Find out what Romania is doing to empower educators with the skills needed to successfully incorporate technology into their classrooms.

Technology and Romanian Education

According to the 2022 European Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), Romania is behind digital progress in other European Union countries, with a very low level of basic digital skills compared to the EU average. Although information technology courses are required for all Romanian students, there was minimal nationally supported technology training available for teachers. This gap in digital training and skills was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, when school shutdowns forced teachers to dive headfirst into digital tools. Romanian teachers were in great need for professional development courses in digital skills and digital pedagogy.

Changing the Narrative

The disruption of the pandemic provided an opportunity to adjust the educators’ resources and trainings provided by the Romanian government. Before the pandemic, the Romanian Ministry of Education did not have a comprehensive digital pedagogy training course to help teachers effectively leverage digital tools for a higher quality classroom experience.

Daniel Rusen, Marketing and Operations Director of Microsoft Romania said, “Learning models and methods are constantly evolving in the direction of digitalization, and today's students need adequate training for the professions of the future. We understand that to have a solid training for jobs over the coming decades, we must start in the classroom. With that goal in mind, we developed solutions to familiarize educators with new technologies, helping them consistently learn with their students and update their teaching methods.”

The Ministry of Education knew it was time to introduce professional development resources to help teachers to elevate their instruction. Ultimately, they found the solution: the Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE) certification. The Microsoft Certified Educator certification is a professional development program that bridges the gap between technology skills and innovative teaching, allowing teachers to teach with technology in all types of courses. Educators holding a Microsoft Certified Educator certification can prove they have the skills needed to provide rich, customized learning experiences for their students that incorporate critical 21st century skills using Microsoft tools.

When asked about the Microsoft Certified Educator program, Anca Denisa Petrache, Director of the National Centre for Teacher Development at the Romanian Ministry of Education said, “We appreciated the modern design of the Microsoft Certified Educator course and how well aligned it was with the Digital Competence Framework for Teachers in Europe. MCE was one of the first digital pedagogy courses made available to teachers in the pre-university education sector and, in the context of the COVID pandemic, an extremely useful resource for teachers across the country, who suddenly found themselves in a new normal, one governed by blended learning.”

Partnering for Success

The Romanian Ministry of Education connected with multiple strategic partners to take Microsoft Certified Educator certifications and curriculum to teachers across Romania. Certiport’s Romanian partner, Certipro Education, worked closely with Microsoft Romania, and Fundația EOS to provide the resources Romanian teachers so desperately needed.

The Fundatia EOS team localized the 21st Century Learning Design (21CLD) guide, the curriculum built for the MCE certification exam, into Romanian. Certipro Education spent many months translating the certification exam as well, allowing educators across Romania to certify in their own language. All the partnered organizations worked together to ensure the curriculum and certification was mapped to the European Commission’s Digital Competence Framework for Educators (DigCompEdu).

Laurentiu Bunescu, Digital Education Programs Director at Fundația EOS knew this was a crucial project for Romania. “At EOS Foundation we have had a long track record of working in close partnership with Certipro Education. Once the Microsoft Certified Educator certification was made available in the Romanian language, we did not hesitate to create a freely accessible online course in Romanian to help teachers familiarize themselves with the concepts and new digital pedagogy methodologies of 21st Century Learning Design. MCE is one of our most successful courses and certifications for teachers.”

After localizations were completed, Certipro Education and Fundatia EOS were invited by the Ministry of Education to organize an in-depth presentation for the teaching community, under the SMART Edu project- the Ministry of Education’s new digital education strategy. The Ministry of Education officially recognizes the MCE certification as the equivalent of 15 professional credits, which apply toward all teachers required continuing professional development.

“We are very proud to have brought a great course and a very relevant certification into the Romanian education system,” said Marilena Ionascu, Education Director at Microsoft Romania. “As the teaching professions face rapidly changing demands, educators require an increasingly broad set of competencies. The 21st Century Learning Design course and the associated Microsoft Certified Educator certification have greatly helped educators to support students to become digitally competent in today’s world while developing their own digital pedagogy skills.”

The Impact

Since the program began, over 2500 teachers have taken the Microsoft Certified Educator certification, with many more teachers signing up for the program daily. The program is now being offered as part of many schools Teacher Development Plans along with IC3 Digital Literacy and Microsoft Office Specialist certifications. In fact, teachers across Romania are already talking about the impact this has on their teaching.

“Although I have been a teacher for over 25 years, I found the 21CLD course very useful because it put a lot of structure into how I approached my lessons. It also provided me with a modern method when planning my new lessons progressively and efficiently,” commented Delilah Florea, Professor of Informatics at Samuel von Brukenthal National College in Sibiu. “The MCE certification is a good way for all teachers, whether they are new teachers or veterans, to improve the way they prepare and teach in the classroom.”

Interested in Learning More?

The 21st Century Learning Design guide and other important information about this program can be found here.