Three Homers from Microsoft in Teacherville Stadium?

September 4, 2009 § Leave a comment

Did I read that right? Not 1, 2 but 3 Microsoft’s Education Labs projects on the way? Thats not to mention the Moodle plugin but that requires a lot more internal discuss before I am willing to open that can of worms.

MEL, as I foundly call her, has just announced a new Math Worksheet Generator where teachers can generate math problems and email them in paperless Word format to their students WORD 2007 preferrably but not essential. Hint hint, a futher two additional projects to be released in the autumn. That is a homerun.
Next MEL announces plans to roll out a website creator in mid-October. With this tool, teachers will be able to convert Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents into html files. From here the files can be shared with students as web pages and all the files are hosted at no cost through Microsoft. The group is currently testing different admin rights in order to allow for student uploads. So, more content for students – is it needed? Will teachers use this resource rather than a host VLE solution? Okay, its promising but hardly out of the stadium.

Finally one of my favourites, and the students too for that matter – flash cards. This product allows you to create and browse flash card decks and create favorites with your Windows Live ID. Teachers create decks by adding images, text and sound to their cards. From here students flip through the decks in Silverlight 3. One interesting part of this project is that as students answer questions, the software remembers incorrect answers and prompts those problem cards more frequently. This project is due before 2010 so you have some waiting there I am afraid but at least it will be available for the next revision cycle.

What is clear is that Microsoft is working hard to get the education market to buy into the LIVE@edu ideals.

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