If you've been reading the blog you've noticed that I'm not always at the School of the Future. There are opportunities where I get to participate in other Microsoft Education events, Partners in Learning events and even customer events (High School tech fairs). I view these trips outside of the school as opportunities to learn and to share with Educators and Administrators from other schools and organizations across the country. At my last outing, FETC, I told you guys about a few things we were displaying at the Microsoft breakout room, Mouse Mischief, PPTPlex, and a few other new tools for the classroom. This past week I was in Arizona at our Microsoft Institutes, a 3 day hands on professional development workshop that aims to engage all levels within a district, IT, Admin, Educators, Curriculum and even HR. if you haven't had the opportunity to attend I highly recommend it if you're district or school is looking to create innovative and engaging environments.
First, for those of you that are familiar with Learning Essentials congrats, you'll be able to immediately get what this tool does for you (and you can skip to the 4th paragraph). For those that are not, read on! Learning Essentials provides templates and tutorials for your familiar Office applications like Word, PPT, Excel. These templates save you time and frustration because you don't have to go to Office Online to browse through the hundreds if not thousands of templates online (although there are some great ones). Learning Essentials basically serves them up in an easy to use application that makes it easy to chose what your looking for and open the template immediately. In a few simple clicks you're creating attendance awards in less than 10 minutes, PowerPoint presentations in less than 5 and a 10 question randomized test template in less than 1 min.
Learning Essentials can still be downloaded today! If you have Office you MUST have this FREE add in for Office that will extend the value of your Office investment by providing quick and easy to use templates and tutorials all at your fingertips.
Now, once you've acquired Learning Essentials then this next application is going to blow you away. It's called Math Worksheet Generator (I know we don't have the sexiest names for our tools), that's okay though because what we lack in sexy, catchy names, we make up for in integration and functionality. This application is out of the new Education Labs site which is similar to our Office Labs site in that what you'll find there are usually prototype applications, information and neat tools that you can leverage today.
Not only that, but with the feedback that you provide, you can be part of the Microsoft innovation process by providing useful information back to the teams that create these useful tools.
Math Worksheet Generator is so easy to use, it doesn't even warrant an explanation, but for those that enjoy following directions 🙂 -
1. Open Math Worksheet Generator
2. Choose sample equation or type your own
3. Click create.
Sorry folks if you need more instructions than that, well, that's what they made spec pages for. It's incredibly easy to use and incredibly useful. When I presented it in Arizona during our MS Institute the entire audience collectively said "ooooohhhhhhh" because the immediate impact of such a tool was apparent, any classroom Math Educator knows how difficult it can be even using Equation Editor in Word to create a 10 question quiz. It's almost impossible to do it in less than 15 minutes if you're creating it from scratch. This tool randomizes and creates as few or as many math equations that you want based off of the sample equations provided or ones you enter.
Remember this is a prototype so if you're saying "it doesn't do this..." I suggest sending that feedback right to the people who created it, and who knows, when the credits roll for the development of Math Equation Generator, you may be included!