Free software, applications, and services from Microsoft for Education 2.0

  • Mouse Mischief: Ask questions with PowerPoint, students click answers.

  • Learning Essentials for Microsoft Office: Classroom features for Office.

  • Math Add-in for Word 2007: Graphs and calculate numbers with equations.

  • Pivot: Interact with massive amounts of data in powerful and fun ways.

  • Windows Live SkyDrive: 25 GB of free storage.

  • AutoCollage (trial): Automatically create collages of your pictures.

  • Photo Story 3: Craft slideshows with special effects and narration.

  • Photosynth: Create 3-D experiences from multiple images.

  • Songsmith : Musical accompaniment to match your singing voice.

  • WorldWide Telescope: Virtual telescope using the Hubble and more.

  • Digital literacy curriculum: Classroom-ready digital-rights curriculum.

  • Windows Academic Program: Core Windows technologies for higher-education teaching and research.

  • AutoCollage: Have students gather images from the Web or snap their own photos on a subject. Then, they can create a unique piece of art using this free collage-making tool.

  • WorldWide Telescope: This free tool brings together imagery from the world’s best ground and space-based telescopes. Students can explore the night sky by panning and zooming to distant planets and galaxies.

  • Microsoft Photosynth: Students can explore famous places in the world with cinematic quality using this virtual, visual three-dimensional tour.

  • Songsmith: Bring out the musical creativity in your students. Choose a style—from pop to jazz or R&B. Have a student sing into a PC microphone, and Songsmith will generate musical accompaniment to match his or her voice.

  • Windows Live Movie Maker: Make your classroom lessons even more memorable with a movie. Windows Live Movie Maker is the fast, easy way to turn photos and video clips into great-looking movies and slide shows you can share in class or on the Web.

  • Photo Story 3 for Windows XP: Bring a subject to life with music and pictures. This free, downloadable program has tools to enhance, crop, and rotate your digital photos. Students and teachers can easily create a slide show with just a few clicks.

  • Bing Search and Bing Maps: The visual aspect of Bing makes searching the Internet a more captivating and rewarding experience for students. Bing Maps offer breathtaking, bird’s eye views of the world that can enhance any project.

  • Bing Translator: This helpful tool easily converts what you have written into nearly any language you need. Cut and paste the text into the area indicated, and click

Cool Sites for Students and Teachers:

Microsoft in Education:


Partners in Learning: Microsoft is investing resources—people, partnerships, services, philanthropy, and products—to stimulate positive change in education.


Innovative Teachers Program: Join the worldwide Microsoft Innovative Teachers program and become an active stakeholder in your profession. Network within a global community interested in education focused on 21st century learning, and be recognized for your exemplary efforts.


IT Academy Program: The Microsoft IT Academy program is a global IT learning solution that connects educators, students, and communities. It helps students during their early IT experience and offers a life-long learning model of continuous improvement and career development.


School of the Future Project: The School District of Philadelphia and Microsoft have worked together on an ambitious and purposeful task: To build a School of the Future.


Microsoft Education News: Discover a gateway to resources for teachers, IT professionals, and administrators in educational institutions. This monthly e-newsletter includes industry-related headlines as well as product news, case studies, tutorials, events, special offers, and more.


Tutorials: Learn how to use and integrate Microsoft software in the classroom with in-depth, step-by-step tutorial.


Lesson Plans for Teachers & Students: Find new ways to enhance student learning through technology. Use lesson plans from Microsoft by subject that cover grades K-12.


How-To Articles: Get organized: Learn how to use Microsoft software in the classroom with tips and tricks presented in these how-to articles.


MSDN Kid’s Corner: Get organized C# for Sharp Kids and VB for Very Bright Kids online courses as well as many great PPTs and links for learning to program.


Microsoft Expression Tutorials: Free engaging tutorials for students to learn how to design web sites.


Student Experience:

Microsoft Student Partners:

Microsoft Student: Microsoft Student provides homework tools and information to reinforce in-class learning and encourage your kids' success in school. Microsoft Student makes it easy to find the right tool to produce high-quality homework—in less time.


Learning Essentials for Office: An Office add-on for students and teachers, filled with templates, tutorials and toolbars.


Microsoft Software At Home: Great article Index: learn how to use Microsoft software for fun, productivity and communication.


Microsoft Reader: Experience electronic reading – choose from thousands of books to download.


Microsoft Producer: A free add-in, Microsoft Producer for Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003 makes it easy to capture and synchronize audio, video, slides and images—creating engaging rich media presentations viewable in a browser.


Windows Movie Maker: Create home movies and learn how to create, edit, and add special effects to your home movies and then how to share them with friends and family.


Microsoft Photo Story 3: Create slideshows using your digital photos. Add stunning special effects, soundtracks, and your own voice narration to your photo stories. Then, personalize them with titles and caption.


Microsoft DreamSpark: Professional-level developer and design tools at no charge.


AutoCollage 2008: Create beautiful collages of your favorite pictures with just a few clicks of the mouse.


Microsoft Image Composite Editor: Create a high-resolution panorama incorporating all the source images at full resolution.


PhotoSynth: Stitch your overlapping, panoramic digital photos together automatically to create exciting 3D worlds you can browse.


external image C:%5CUsers%5CHome%5CAppData%5CLocal%5CTemp%5Cmsohtmlclip1%5C01%5Cclip_image002.gif

Virtual Earth: See your school, playground and home town in 3D. Be sure to click on the word “3D” on the map to install the 3D viewer into your browser.


WorldWide Telescope: Fly around the universe visiting stars, planets, nebula, our sun, the Martian surface and the moon. Listen to star tours by WALL-E and the Ring Nebula given by a 6 year old boy (Look for Tour – Ring Nebula in the menus).


Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio: Program and run your own robots in a 3D virtual environment.


Microsoft Popfly: Try out this fun and easy to use website for creating games and web mashups for free.


SmallBasic: Bring the "fun" back to programming. SmallBasic provides a small and easy to learn programming language in a friendly and inviting development environment.


Windows Media Center: The Media Center will change the way you view pictures, watch TV, listen to music, or watch your favorite DVD.


Silverlight:. Free framework empowering you to build new types of applications for the Web.


Windows XP Tablet PC Edition: With a Tablet PC, your notes, research, electronic textbooks, student planner, music, and more live in a convenient little PC that goes everywhere you go. It's better than a paper notebook, or even your average laptop—because a Tablet PC can do it all. Write notes by hand. Switch to typing or even record a lecture. The Tablet PC simplifies student life and gives you an edge to succeed.


Office OneNote 2007: See how OneNote 2007 lets you gather information in electronic notebooks, where you can easily organize, search, and share it. Watch an online demo and see how easily you can organize, find, and share your notes with OneNote 2007.


Windows Media Player 10: Use Windows Media Player 10 and you'll be in control of your digital music and video experience in no time.


Online Services

Windows Live Ideas: Check out the very latest Windows Live products – so new they’re not even finished yet.


MSDN Academic Alliance Development Center is designed to provide the easiest and most inexpensive way for universities to make the latest Microsoft software available in labs, classrooms, and on student PCs.


MSN Music: **//**

Encarta Online: **//**

Bing Maps

Bing Maps is so much more than just maps and directions. Bing Maps delivers a truly immersive experience that connects people to the world and a growing number of useful and valuable applications. Whether you want to find and view photosynths, see Twitter feeds, explore environmental projects or just explore the world; Bing Maps is a great resource for educators and students to enrich their learning experience.


Photosynth is a tool that takes your photos, mashes them together and recreates a 3-D scene out of them that anyone can view and move around.

Community Clips

Community Clips is a free download from Office Labs that allows you record activity from your computer screen, narrate that activity and save it as a video file. This makes it ideal for recording simple instructional videos and to record student computer activity for assessment purposes.

You can download the Community Clips screen recorder at -

Worldwide Telescope

Worldwide Telescope is a free download that enables you to access a huge collection of stunning images of the universe from the Hubble Space Telescope and many other space and earth observatories . These can be used to engage students, and to support teaching and learning in Maths and Science. It is a great tool to encourage students in research and project based learning around the planets, the solar system and the stars and to give them an appreciation of the scale, complexity and beauty of the universe.

Worldwide Telescope can be downloaded from


Pivot is a visual way of presenting and analysing data, from Microsoft Live Labs. It’s very difficult to describe in words, so perhaps the best way to see what it can do is to watch this video from the TED Conference 2010

You can download Pivot from the GetPivot website, and use it straight away with the Pivot Collection – or if you’re technical, you can create your own Pivot collection, either in Excel or from a data source. (I used the Pivot Collection Tool for Excel for the SIMS example)


DeepZoom allows students to create image compositions that can be viewed at different resolutions. Photos can be embedded within one another making it an ideal resource to develop thinking skills and digital storytelling.


Outsource your email and collaboration solution using this free offering – give all of your staff and students a 10GB Exchange mailbox, 25GB storage and collaboration space, access to the office web app – oh – and it works on almost any platform and in almost any browser, too.

SkyDrive and Live Sync

SkyDrive is 25GB of online storage that you can access from any PC to store your files and either keep them private, share them with friends or make them public. It’s at

Windows Live Sync is about to get an update to keep your PCs and web storage in sync. Giving you 2GB of web storage space and the ability to sync content between multiple PCs, Live Sync is a great way to tool to keep you files and photos up to date. Unfortunately it is still in beta but will be part of the updated Windows Live Essentials – keep an eye out at

Office Web Apps

The Office Web Apps have just launched this week. They’re at and they provide free, lightweight editing of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote documents through the browser.

Windows Live Messenger

More than just instant chat! Live messenger can be a great way of engaging your students in a more exciting and innovative way of learning. It’ll help save money with free simple video conferencing, and to take the pressure away from email - file sharing becomes instant. You can download it as part of Windows Live Essentials

Bing Translator

Ever been stuck with a bit of text or a website that’s in a language you don’t speak? Needed to get something across to a teacher across the seas? Or wanted to have an IM conversation that wasn’t limited by language barriers? Bing Translator bridges the gap between languages, so whether you’re chatting to someone or reading an article, you’re covered.

Windows Live Writer

Live Writer is a programme that allows you to write blog posts offline, and then upload them onto your blog (and it works with all kinds of different blog platforms, like WordPress, Blogger, Community Server, SharePoint, Live Spaces, and lots of others). You can find out a little more about it in my “I love Live Writer” blog post, and download it free with Windows Live Essentials.


Singing in the shower is so last year – get your students creative juices flowing across the entire curriculum using Songsmith - a quick & easy way of creating songs, raps, rhymes and tunes out of whatever comes into your head. Although normally you’d pay for SongSmith, it’s free to education in the UK via the Partners in Learning Network

Photostory 3

Photostory 3 allows your pupils and students to create videos from still images. They can add narration, music and special effects. It is ideal resource to use in all areas of the curriculum.

Photostory can be downloaded for free at - . You will also find this resource on Digital Storytelling in the classroom useful. -

Microsoft and Moodle

If you’re using Moodle, you don’t have to miss out on some great free tools – using our Office for Moodle plugin you can open from and save directly to a Moodle site, and with the Moodle Plugin for Live@edu, you can get your recent mail and calendar items right within your Moodle learning environment.


Create Photo montages from multiple images, quickly and easily . Download AutoCollage for free from the UK Partners in Learning Network


Kodu is a visual programming language for creating games designed to be accessible for children and an ideal way to ignite an interest in computer science whilst teaching other skills such as cooperation, logic and creativity.


DreamSpark is a programme designed to give all students access to Microsoft tools and training materials at no cost.

Digital Literacy Curriculum


This is the home page for the English version of the Digital Literacy Curriculum – which is available in 34 languages – including Welsh! It’s a lovely set of curriculum resources with an interactive interface which allows people to study at their own pace and in ways that suit their own learning style! It’s available online and it’s also FREE !! The goal of the Digital Literacy Curriculum is to teach basic computer concepts and skills so that people can use computers in everyday life. Modules cover Computer Basics; Desktop Applications; the Web; Safety and Security; and Digital Lifestyles. Once you have completed all five modules, you are ready to take an Entry Level 3 qualification with OCR or City and Guilds and you have the foundations for a journey to higher level skills which could provide a real boost to your employability.

Office Ribbon Hero

The new prototype Office Ribbon Hero is designed to test the effectiveness, feasibility and appeal of delivering Office training in a game-like setting. The heart of Ribbon Hero is a set of challenges that users play right in the Office applications. These challenges expose users to features that they might not be aware of and which can help users get their work done faster.

In addition, Ribbon Hero awards points for using both basic features, such as, Bold and Italic, and for using the features introduced in the challenges. Ribbon Hero does some analysis of the person’s usage patterns to prioritise the order in which it presents challenges. And then to add the competitive element, Ribbon Hero integrates with Facebook so you can share your success (or in my case, failures) with your friends.

You can read a little more, and download Office Ribbon Hero, from my earlier blog post.

Mouse Mischief

Want to keep your students' attention? Try a little Mischief. Mouse Mischief is a tool that Microsoft makes available free of charge, and that allows teachers to work with Microsoft Office PowerPoint to make interactive presentations. Mouse Mischief integrates with Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 and Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, enabling teachers to insert questions, polls and drawing activity slides into their lessons. Students can actively participate in these lessons by using their own mice to click, circle, cross out or draw answers on the screen.

You can download Mouse Mischief, and see a demo video, on the UK website


Create online personlised revision materials for your students and pupils. These flashcards can contain images and audio, making them an ideal resource for language and special educational needs teaching. The Flashcards give feedback on how well students and pupils are doing, allowing them to identify the areas they need to improve. Go to EducationLabs to find out more and to create your own Flashcards.


pptPlex is a free add-in for PowerPoint that makes it simple to present non-linear content and interact with your slides more dynamically – it’s a very different way to present.


XNA is a games development platform for Windows OS, Phone and Xbox 360. It is an ideal way to engage your most enthusiastic students and teach them some core programming skills applicable to all Microsoft platforms.


Innovids are a series of instructional videos created by teachers for teachers as part of the UK Partners in Learning Network programme. Using community clips and Moviemaker, teachers have recorded how they use a range of Microsoft applications in the classroom. These include Office 2007, as well as applications such as AutoCollage and Bing. Each video shows not only how to use the software , but a context in which to use it effectively to support learning across the curriculum.

You can access and download these Innovids from the UK Partners in Learning Network - or the UK Partners in Learning YouTube Channel -

Partners in Learning Network

This a global community of teacher who value innovative uses of ICT that improve and support learning. By joining the UK Partners In Learning Network, you can:

  • Create or join communities & discussions

  • Find lesson plans and activities, as well as share your own resources

  • Download free software such AutoCollage and Songsmith

  • Collaborate with like-minded colleagues, to develop best practice in your own classroom and community

UK Teachers Blog supports this Network, with all the latest developments, ideas and news that we think can help and support teachers.