Tips and tricks for cutting edge educators


The exciting new Microsoft Education site now has a section where we will be listing some of the complementary education software you can download.

Here are some other fun (and complementary) products you should have a play with:

Mouse Mischief (BETA) makes it really simple for you to set up a quiz or poll in PowerPoint and have all the students in your class vote or respond using their own mouse (through the single computer).  Lots of fun, and very easy to learn.

Songsmith creates a musical accompaniment to match a singers voice.  So, you can just pick a style of music, make up a song, sing away, and Songsmith will create a full backing track for you.  It’s like Karaoke to your thoughts. I’d love to share with you my latest creation, but it would probably destroy your speakers. 

Autocollage makes incredible photo collages with the click of a button. Here is an example from one of our Innovative Schools.

You’ll also notice in the Australian Microsoft Education site, there is an offer where you can download a beta preview of Office 2010, which has some awesome educational features and add-ons.

I’ve been running the Office 2010 beta for a few weeks now and have discovered some great new features. For example:

Broadcast Your Slideshow: This new feature allows you to broadcast your slide deck to students, including all the transitions and effects through the web.  In other words, what you have on your Powerpoint show, your students can have on their screen too, in real time, anywhere in the world (including right there in your class).

Set up Polls and Quizzes: The academic add-ons for Power point 2010 make it really easy to set up polls, quizzes, multiple choice questions and much more that your students can interact with from their computer / device.

Integration with the Cloud: The integration between Office 2010 and the Microsoft ‘cloud’ (or online) solutions is very handy.  For example, you can automatically back up your Office documents on your Skydrive (a complementary online space that allows you to store up to 25gig (like a giant USB key).

Video Editing within PowerPoint: Incorporating video seamlessly into your presentations has never been easier.  PowerPoint 2010 allows you to do editing on the fly, with a huge collection of inbuilt effects and simple editing tools. You can even overlay text and bookmark areas of a video within seconds.

The image editing features are also very impressive, allowing you to quickly remove backgrounds etc with one click.

You can download and install the Microsoft Office 2010 Beta today and share it with the other innovative teachers in your school.  You’ll find there are a lot more very nice surprises that will make your teaching more efficient and fun.


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