Microsoft offers the following free tools to help engage students in a variety of subject areas—from art to music to science and beyond. Teachers can use these interactive tools to encourage self-directed learning or to create fun, dynamic group projects.
- AutoCollage: Have students gather images from the Web or snap their own photos on a subject. Then, they can create a unique piece of art using this free collage-making tool.
- WorldWide Telescope: This free tool brings together imagery from the world’s best ground and space-based telescopes. Students can explore the night sky by panning and zooming to distant planets and galaxies.
- Microsoft Photosynth: Students can explore famous places in the world with cinematic quality using this virtual, visual three-dimensional tour.
- Songsmith: Bring out the musical creativity in your students. Choose a style—from pop to jazz or R&B. Have a student sing into a PC microphone, and Songsmith will generate musical accompaniment to match his or her voice.
- Windows Live Movie Maker: Make your classroom lessons even more memorable with a movie. Windows Live Movie Maker is the fast, easy way to turn photos and video clips into great-looking movies and slide shows you can share in class or on the Web.
- Photo Story 3 for Windows XP: Bring a subject to life with music and pictures. This free, downloadable program has tools to enhance, crop, and rotate your digital photos. Students and teachers can easily create a slide show with just a few clicks.
- Bing Search and Bing Maps: The visual aspect of Bing makes searching the Internet a more captivating and rewarding experience for students. Bing Maps offer breathtaking, bird’s eye views of the world that can enhance any project.
- Bing Translator: This helpful tool easily converts what you have written into nearly any language you need.
- Mouse Mischief: Integrate multiple choice, polling and true/false questions into your lessons with this free add-in for PowerPoint 2007 and PowerPoint 2010 that lets students use mice to answer.
- Windows Live SkyDrive: Gain access to 25 gigabytes (GB) of free, online storage. Use it for a student or teacher workgroup to upload and share documents in one central place, rather than trying to track them in e-mails. Store your photos and files, and access them with a password.
To learn more about the creative ways of using these Microsoft’s free tools to engage your students, you can download the Creative ways to engage students (pdf file, 3.5 MB) here.
Free Tools for Teachers
Engaging Students in the Classroom
Songsmith in the Classroom