For the past few weeks my 3-5 students have been working on a PowerPoint project. My students and I have been repeating "Insert- Picture- Clipart" in our sleep, I've been saying it so much. I have looked into getting Scholastic Keys- an interface to make Word, PowerPoint, and Excel more kid friendly, but for $30 a license I figured we would make do.

One of the things I liked most about Scholastic Keys was the simplified enlarged toolbar icons. This may be old news to you all, but not to me! Yesterday I was playing around with customizing the toolbar and found the option to have "Large Icons". After I selected the toolbars I wanted to use, I then removed the buttons I knew my students wouldn't be using (such as "Mail Recipient" or "Permission", etc.) I left the most common- font style, font size, font color, add picture, add clipart, align, etc. I think this will make it easier for me and the students while working in these programs.

Take a look at the transformation: (Click to enlarge or see attachments)

Before
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After
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Two of my older students (5th) tried it yesterday and said it was so much easier. I changed the toolbars on 28 machines today and I am pooped!

Hope this helps some of you! And while we are at it, do you have any tips for teaching the Office programs?

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Hi Amber,
Thanks for the tip! I recommend Janet Caughlin's book series http://www.workshopbooks.com/ for some creative ideas.
Great idea! I'll try this on my Macs when I get back into my Lab.

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