Some News and More Free Software

I know it’s been a few weeks since I last posted anything but as you can imagine at this time of year it gets pretty busy. From a personal perspective there has been quite a bit going on. I hit a BIG birthday number on Monday and that surely takes some getting used to because I still think I’m 25!! From a work perspective there has also been some changes. My colleague, Stephanie Conville, has taken on a new role in Microsoft as the All-Ireland Government Council Lead and by doing so left a gap in the Education space in Northern Ireland. As a result of that, I have been given the new role of Education Business and Programme Manager for NI. I will now be responsible for not only managing the Microsoft Partners in Learning Programmes (CELIL, Innovative Teachers and  Innovative Schools), but I will also be responsible for the Business relationships with our Educational customers in NI. I’m sure it will prove to be a very busy but very exciting new challenge for me and I’m really looking forward to getting “stuck into it”.

Now for some new FREE software for Primary School Teachers. Microsoft has launched Mouse Mischief for Office 2007 and Office 2010.

Mouse Mischief

From the website:

Mouse Mischief can transform teaching and learning in the classroom. Mouse Mischief integrates into Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 and Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, allowing teachers to create interactive presentations that engage and excite every student in the classroom. Approximately 5–25 students, each with his or her own mouse, can answer multiple choice questions and draw on a shared screen. You can download Mouse Mischief free of charge.

Three compelling reasons to use Mouse Mischief in your classroom

  1. Actively engages students and supports collaborative learning

    With Mouse Mischief you can spark student curiosity by incorporating interactive technology into the curriculum. Students have fun learning while seeing visual representations of their answers on a shared screen while using colourful mouse pointers (like a robot, snowflake, guitar, and many more shapes). You can enable collaborative learning when using Mouse Mischief in Team mode; in Team mode, all members of a team need to work together to agree on an answer before it can be selected.

  2. Improves classroom management and overall student participation

    With Mouse Mischief you no longer need to wait for raised hands; you can immediately see your students’ answers on the screen. Mouse Mischief helps make it easy for all students–even those who are often quiet in class–to participate regularly without the fear of saying the wrong answer. This can allow you to have better visibility into the progress and comprehension of your entire class so you can adjust your lessons on the spot.

  3. Is familiar to use and easy on the classroom budget

    Because Mouse Mischief integrates into familiar PowerPoint technology, you do not have to spend time learning new skills to use it. Additionally, you can set up your classrooms to play Mouse Mischief lessons without purchasing expensive hardware; many schools already have mice, and both mice and USB hubs are available at many stores where computer accessories are sold.

How does it work? Here’s a quick video to give you an overview

  

There is already a large pool of pre-designed templates available for Teachers to use. You can also create your own and upload them to the share with other Teachers from around the world.

I hope you find this useful and please contact me if you use Mouse Mischief in your classroom.

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