There are many ways you can format images within PowerPoint.  One of my favorites is the Remove Background tool. Welcome to Day 5 of 365 ideas for #Office 365.   We’re wrapping up the first week, which has highlighted some nifty tricks in PowerPoint Simply select the image, and click on the Format tab.  (You won’t see the Format tab until you select the object you want to format. Click on Remove Background, in the far left. This opens the image in a window with these controls.  PowerPoint uses artificial intelligence to initially estimate what is background and what isn’t.  Sometimes it just gets it rightRead More →

Merge Shapes There is a unique and useful tool in PowerPoint that allows you to select multiple shapes and merge (combine) them in 5 different ways, with varying effects. You can choose Union Combine Fragment Intersect Subtract Welcome to Day 4 of 365 Ideas for Office 365.  (You didn’t think I’d make it this far, did you?) We’re continuing week One’s focus on PowerPoint gems. Types of Merges Union is like laying one on top of another and gluing them together. Combine is similar, but it deletes anywhere that one shape overlaps the other. Fragment breaks them into three pieces- the part of shape 1Read More →

There are several tools that specialize in creating a timeline.  Some require accounts and logins, which are tricky with CIPA and COPPA, and some just aren’t free.  Then there’s PowerPoint, which you and your students probably already have complete access to.  Welcome to Day 3 of 365 Ideas for Office 365. This week we’re looking at some tools built into PowerPoint. PowerPoint online has 1 style of Timeline and the desktop version of PowerPoint has 2 styles of Timeline, Basic and Circle Accent.  In both cases, they are under the Insert tab, under Smart Art. PowerPoint Desktop PowerPoint Online Basic versus Circle Accent The BasicRead More →

Did you know Microsoft has a library of 3D models?  Did you know you can search that library from within PowerPoint and insert them into your PowerPoints?  You can also add your own 3D creations from 3D Paint and 3D Builder, or even Minecraft! Welcome to Day 2 of 365 Ideas for Office 365. Simply click on the Insert tab, and click on the dropdown next to 3D Models and choose “From Online Sources” to access Microsoft’s library.  Choose from a file to insert your own 3D images from any of the Windows 3D apps. Remix 3D is the name of the library, and thisRead More →

Day One I’ve been meditating on the idea of doing 365 ideas for Office 365, and I’m ready to dive in.  I realize that my “Chrome Extension of the Week” idea lasted for like, four or five weeks, and that was once a week, and this  idea is every day for a year, but I think I’m ready for the challenge. So, join me on this adventure! Terminology To start, let’s clarify some terminology.  Strictly speaking, One Drive is the actual cloud storage, and Office 365 is all of the Microsoft online tools, including One Drive, that you can access from One Drive.  The MicrosoftRead More →

Storyboards are often associated with Hollywood, as part of the process of making a movie.  They are a visual medium between the written script and the actual film that lays out the basic events of the plot, or a more focused and more detailed storyboard might outline the events in an action scene.  In fact, a storyboard is just that- a visual outline.  Hollywood didn’t invent the storyboard, though.  That credit really goes back to the creators of cave drawings many thousands of years ago, maybe in a sense perfected by Egyptians in hieroglyphics. While Hollywood uses storyboards as an intermediate step in a production,Read More →

I love that education has begun embracing the idea that students can show what they have learned in a variety of ways.  I love that students have access to digital tools that facilitate creativity.  It’s great that some of the easiest options to give them are already on our devices, in Microsoft Office.  For many of my students, PowerPoint was always their go-to option when they had a choice.  What I don’t love is how little time they spend on content, and how much time they spend on appearances- themes, fonts, (can we just ban Comic Sans?) and other tools to make it look good.Read More →

In less than 36 hours I will be on a plane to Palm Springs for the Spring CUE Conference, where I will be presenting the session that this post gets its name from.  The title comes from years of sitting through years of PD about topics like student-centered classrooms and active engagement, delivered via lecture and PowerPoint.  Why is it such a difficult concept that the same factors that determine the effectiveness of instruction with students also apply when teachers are in the role of students?  Why is it so rare for purveyors of profound pedagogy to practice it personally?  We will review some literatureRead More →