I'm teaching a course using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access) and keep having at least some of the class get done early. Would anyone have ideas on games or other fun activities that those early finishers could do that would continue to play with some of the basic computer skills I'm trying to teach them?

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Have them create mazes in Word, self-correcting tests in Excel, Flip Book animations or games in PowerPoint.

Have them work on their logic skills at Zoopz
Those are excellent ideas. However, forgive my ignorance, but how would you make a self correcting test in Excel?
There are lots of examples online. This site - http://www.kenton.k12.ky.us/max/wemax/wemaxexcel.htm - has links to a template and quizzes made by students. Basic instructions on how to are at: http://forums.computingondemand.com/index.php?showtopic=6057
Well, thanks, Vicky. I had no idea Excel could do that. That's really very cool.
I have several games you may be interested in on my school website. It is in the student den section. I use these for free time and to encourage students to use them at home since they do have educational value as well as fun value for the most part. the link is as follows:

http://es.houstonisd.org/belles/Student_Den/studentden.htm

Please let me know if this of any help to you.
I'd second the idea of having them make animations or games in powerpoint. One can learn more about the office suite from playing with powerpoint than anything else. I use it now for just about everything except official text documents. I use it for all my desktop publishing, titling for movies, game design, etc. It is incredibly powerful if you get deep into it which making an animation will let them do.
Hi Kev, do you have any tutorials on how to make games/animations in ppt? Really interested in that idea.
The instructions I gave my students last year for creating simple animations in PowerPoint are at: http://stmartinsschool.org/computers/ppt_flipbook.html

Wikipedia has an article on PowerPoint animation and creating games: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerPoint_animation
When I have students finish a project like this early, I have them go to google docs and see if they can replicate the project (or part of it depending on time). This gives them a chance to use the cloud, and learn another program. Most like the opportunity to try something else.
Can you give a quick description of what it means when you say "use the cloud"...
Cloud computing basically refers to applications on the web rather than on a desktop.

Ellen
Creator of the FREE Teacher Toolbar
That's a great idea! I've got some pretty tech-savvy primary kids and we use Word, Excel, and PowerPoint weekly and have done some work with "the cloud" as a class... but I'd not thought of having them try to replicate a project using google docs, zoho, or 280slides!

It's in my plans for this coming week now, though! Thanks! :)

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