Try Using Word Online
If your school uses O365 then Word is one of your available tools for teaching. While in general I would like to encourage you to use anything else besides a text document, constraints force creativity, here are 5 things worth checking out in Word Online
This is a new feature so if you don’t have it yet be patient, it is coming. For both Microsoft and Google new features “roll out.” This means it can take up to 2 weeks for everyone to see it.
On the Home tab in the Ribbon find “Editor” at the end. If you’ve ever paid someone to look through your homework you can now save yourself the money 🙂 Editor gives you all kinds of suggestions for how to improve your writing.
2) Transform to Sway
Now we are talking, remember where I said use anything other than a text document? SWAY is an excellent choice for breaking out of the boring text document mode. Sway creates a visually attractive way to communicate your ideas.
Use the File menu and choose “Transform.” You then have the option to “Transform to Web Page.” This does NOT do anything to your Word document, it simply takes your content and gets you started with a web page of your ideas! Why give students text based directions documents when you can SWAY!
Instead of looking at 150 student word documents…. boring… how about asking the students to Transform to Web Page and include some multi-media with that!
3) Tell Me What You Want To Do
It is kind of subtle… at the top of Word is a light bulb that says “Tell me what you want to do.” It doesn’t look like a search box but it is! Click on the light bulb to reveal a box you can type in and just ask Word what you’re wanting to do!
4) Reviewing Mode
I want to use desktop Word… never. Desktop means I’m not collaborating. No thanks, I want to always be in a mindset that teaching is easier when I work with someone. What a wonderful time to be alive that that someone does not have to be someone at my school.
While version history helps you to collaborate with confidence, a polite way to collaborate is to use Reviewing mode instead of Editing mode. Up at the top near the Share button, click on “Editing” and change it to “Reviewing.” Now you are suggesting edits and leaving comments rather than just direct editing your collaborators work.
Use Reviewing mode when giving comments on student documents.
5) Immersive Reader
Well of course Word Online has Immersive Reader. So does Flipgrid, Minecraft EDU, OneNote, and lots of other places! However, it is worth pointing out since it is so cool. “Immersive Reader is a free tool that uses proven techniques to improve reading for people regardless of their age or ability.“
Go to the View tab and click on Immersive Reader to not only have the words read to you, but in a distraction free pop up. This is great for students but also great for you if you want to listen to student work.