The Teaching and Learning with Microsoft CD se t contains dozens of tools and lessons you can use to teach people of all ages how to use computers effectively. The two-CD set I reviewed was developed especially for K-12 educators, but anyone teaching at any level will benefit from incorporating the material on these CDs into their lesson plans. And the best part—it costs less than $5! The PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, and Excel sheets that make up the teaching tools will teach even advanced Office users a few new tricks.

You can use the CD set with a 486 or higher-level processor, Windows 95/98, or Windows NT 3.51 Service Pack 5 (or NT 4.0), with Microsoft Office 97 or Office 2000. On the Macintosh side, you need System 7.5 or later and the Office 98 Macintosh edition.

Disk one
The first CD installs Microsoft Office Classroom Tools, which contains previously unreleased templates and wizards. Figure A shows the list of options you see when you open the Teacher Tools submenu. From the Pep Rally form to the Periodic Table, you’ll learn something new about the Office applications just by opening the sample files and figuring out how they work. Figure B shows the options you get under the Admin Tools submenu.

Figure A: These templates are easy to customize and ready to print.

Figure B: Replace your old typewritten administrative documents with some of these high-tech templates.

Looking for some activities to keep the kids busy and teach them how to use Office at the same time? Look no farther than the Classroom Activities submenu. The lessons shown in Figure C will engage your students with lessons they can use on and off the computer.

Figure C: Some of the titles may sound corny, but the lessons combine cool content with advanced Office application features.

Disk two
The second disk contains additional training tools, including self-paced guides for teachers who need to learn how to use Microsoft, Windows 98, and Microsoft Publisher. When you install this CD, it gives you the option of upgrading to Internet Explorer 5, but the links to online tutorials worked fine on my system with IE4.

You want formal training guides? The lessons on this CD are designed to help teachers come up to speed as power users of Office applications. No matter what level user you are, you’ll benefit from browsing the lessons on this CD.

The Teaching and Learning with Microsoft CD is available for only the cost of shipping and handling ($4.95 U.S. ). In addition, there is no limit on quantity. All material on both CDs can be reproduced, copied, placed on a network, and distributed to every trainer in the company. To order this CD set online, click here .
If you’d like to recommend a good product or Web site for trainers, please send us a note .