7 amazing hacks for teachers to use in class today

A hack can be defined as a clever solution to a tricky problem. As people who face many tricky problems on a daily basis, teachers could definitely use a few class hacks to help them save time and to be more efficient. Here are some nifty hacks from Microsoft Innovative Educators (MIE), all under one minute, with innovative ways to use existing technology.

To hear more innovative class hacks, tune into the live stream of the E2 Educator Exchange Conference happening on March 9 at 9:00a.m. CET (GMT+1). Also, feel free to share your own class hacks anytime on the Educator community.

1. Build customized tests with mail merge


Canadian MIE Fellow Jim Pedrech describes a new school use for an old school feature. Many teachers appreciate the efficient aspects of the mail merge in Outlook. Mail merge can also save time when you are using Word and Excel to create a personalized test for each student, based on their need?



2. Get insight into your students’ thought process behind math problems using Snip


Math teachers know that just arriving at the correct answer is not enough; using Snip, students can record, annotate, and explain their work and send to teachers.

3. Quickly develop a lesson plan using Microsoft Edge and OneNote


The Web Note feature of Microsoft Edge has been a benefit for many. Macedonian MIE Fellow Marija Petreksa shows us a new way to use this feature when you need to quickly whip up a lesson plan from the web and send it to your OneNote Class Notebook in a pinch.

4. Use your OneNote Class Notebook as a homework calendar


Ever wish you had a dynamic homework calendar that’s editable, that hyperlinks to resources, and that is accessible your students at any time (without ever losing it)? Even better, students can complete the assignment from right within that OneNote Notebook. US MIE Expert Dianne Krause shows you how.

5. Create course templates with OneNote Class Notebook


The introductory pages that come with the OneNote Class Notebook become redundant after a few uses. Canadian MIE Fellow Cal Armstrong shows you how at his school, they use OneNote Class Notebook as a course template each class can leverage to stay consistent and organized.

6. Lower ESL students’ affective filter with warmers using OneNote


Language teachers know the importance of lowering students’ affective filter (emotional variables related to acquisition of foreign language) to prepare them for success. Argentinian MIE Expert Melina Ignazzi demonstrates how she does so with warmers before class using a shared OneNote Notebook.

7. Use Excel to easily track learning progress of students


How can we track the effectiveness of our lessons so we know when extra attention is needed for certain students? In this hack, MIE Fellow Shafaque Riaz from the UAE tracks individual students’ prior and post-assessment knowledge for lesson objectives using an Excel spreadsheet, which generates graphs to display the live progress of each student.