Elements of Microsoft Classroom Monitoring Software
Microsoft Research AutoCollage
Microsoft Research AutoCollage is a tool that allows you to create interesting collages using a folder containing images. This folder can be a local folder or your online folder on SkyDrive. It also supports Windows Live Photo Gallery so the teachers and students can interact using images. An example of using AutoCollage is to teach about Paris using different images of Paris. The latest version of the software is AutoCollage 2008. AutoCollage is free with new computers that employ Windows 7. For others, it costs around $20, which means even the students can easily afford it.
Microsoft Worldwide Telescope
The Microsoft Worldwide telescope turns any computer into a virtual telescope. Microsoft is now offering sky views and guided tours with the help of several land and space based satellites. The Microsoft Worldwide telescope is available for both PCs and Mac. An online version is also available so that the students need not download it to their computers.
Microsoft Mouse Mischief
Microsoft Mouse Mischief is an add-on to PowerPoint 2007 and later versions. The add-on allows teachers to create quizzes, opinion polls, and more. With Microsoft Mouse Mischief, the students can interactively take part in the lessons created on PowerPoint (via slides). Per Microsoft website, Mouse Mischief is the best way to keep the students engaged. The above link offers more information and demos plus lesson plans for teachers.
SkyDrive and Windows Live Mail
SkyDrive and Windows Live Mail are well known Microsoft products that are used by many. These can be used to create a virtual classroom. As explained in the first section, teachers can create lessons/worksheets and upload them to the SkyDrive. They can then use the Windows Live Mail to send emails to their students with the link to the lessons/worksheets. Students can access the lessons from anywhere in the world and send back the answers through email. They can also upload their projects to the SkyDrive.
The above are just some of the free, interesting tools available in the Microsoft free classroom monitoring software. For a complete range of tools, please visit the Microsoft Education website.
If you are interested in Microsoft's education endeavors, you may also want to learn about Microsoft E-Learning.