Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mouse Mischief from Microsoft

The folks at Microsoft have created a free (yes, I said free) add-on to PowerPoint 2007 and 2010 called Mouse Mischief.  This add-on lets students participate in their teacher's PowerPoint lesson, which means they can do activities as individuals or teams, take informal assessments, play games, draw, identify information and the list goes on.  When they do an assessment, the results show instantly in a chart right on the screen.  Sounds a little like SMART Response Systems, doesn't it?  Each student uses a wireless mouse which shows up right in the presentation.  This is such a neat idea and is really inexpensive.  The software add-on is free so all you need are the wireless mice.  There is a catch in that Windows XP and Vista will only let you use up to 5 mice in your classroom.  However, Windows 7 will let you use up to 20 or 25 mice!

I downloaded the software and tried out the teacher portion and found that it is really easy to use.  I'm looking forward to trying it in a classroom.  This definitely looks like a great way to get active participation in your lessons, which we all know leads to enhanced engagement and learning!   There are also several ready-made lessons and templates that are available for free.  I suggest that you try it out and see how it works in  your classroom.

For more information:  http://www.microsoft.com/multipoint/mouse-mischief/

For lesson plans:   http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/CT103751791033.aspx

Videos of Teachers Using Mouse Mischief:  http://www.microsoft.com/multipoint/mouse-mischief/learn-more.aspx