Step into my office

4th May 2007 at 01:00
Nearly all teachers today use Microsoft Office, but I'd guess that few really make the most of what it has to offer. There are lots of great features hidden away in the toolbars, but you wouldn't find them unless someone showed you.

When you reach a certain level of technology skills, you tend to find that it's enough to get by and you just stick to the things you know. It's safe, but dull. A course like this can freshen things up and give you new ideas.

As a starting point, we all took along a paper and pen activity which we might do with a class, and looked at ways of using PowerPoint, Excel or Word to make it more appealing. Then we began designing new activities from scratch. With two trainers to just eight people, we got lots of attention and it was easy to ask questions.

One of the best features I learned about is in the "forms" toolbar in Word.

You find it under the View option and it allows you to create drop-down lists that children can fill in. So they can label a human body, for example, or parts of a plant. It makes a Word document more like a web page - and that appeals to children.

There were other good tricks. The trainers showed us, for instance, how you can make PowerPoint interactive so children can write over it as it's running. I often use that now - it's made PowerPoint less dull.

You can design activities using Microsoft Office that are as good as specialist software. It saves your school money and there's the added satisfaction of having created them yourself

James Knowles is a supply teacher in the Cotswolds. He spoke to Steven Hastings

See remote learning software, page 58

THE DETAILS

Using Microsoft Office Creatively, run by Primary ICT, a Birmingham-based training company.

Course dates coming up on July 16 (Birmingham) and July 26 (Telford). It costs pound;145, but mention The TES Magazine course of the week when booking and receive a special rate of pound;99. Visit www.primaryict.org.uk

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now