The fourth grade teachers, Polly Johnson and Julie Sherman, came up with a really fun activity to help the students learn their map skills. They had the students create a Personal GPS.
First the students used Google Maps to get directions from their home to school. Then they created a narration by adding cardinal directions (NSEW). They were encouraged to create a persona for their GPS (e.g. teenage girl, military person, southern or foreign accent, etc.) and add some funny comments. Then they used Microsoft PowerPoint and Office Mix to screen capture their map, add their narration, and show the route by inking (drawing on the screen). You can see an example of the finished project on the right. Click here for the lesson plan which includes a video tutorial.
Because this project includes "personal information" I didn't want to post the student's work. Instead I created an example to give you an idea of the finished product where I give directions from my favorite restaurant to school:
I was pleased to see that the new MIX elements are simply objects just like other PowerPoint objects. For example, the screen capture is a jpeg which can be sized, cropped and grouped like other images. I like the fact that you can narrate your entire lesson and then edit the narration on each individual slide. In other screen casting tools like Camtasia the recording is one monolithic video.
In addition to the cool new features, Office MIX gives you detailed analytics on who has watched your lesson. You are able to track which of your students have watched a lesson, how long they spent on each slide (pretty awesome, huh?), and how they scored on each quiz. Another great feature is the ability to "remix" lessons that other teachers have created.
You should definitely check it out:
Here are some links to other MIXs I created for UNC this summer: