It kills me to see professionals wasting time bouncing between keyboard, touch screen and mouse, when most of the functions you need to manage Office programs are literatlly at your fingertips. Log your favorite shortcuts and watch things just happen faster and more effectively for you.
Lynda.com is the premier self-training site with easy to follow lessons on just about any topic, including the entire Microsoft Office suite. "Office for Educators" is one of thousands of training videos and lessons that can help teachers learn to manage technology and workflow more efficiently.
Outlook is simply the most powerful email, calendar, and task management system. Teachers can benefit enormously from its efficiencies and powerful personal management tools. This is the Office.com link to the Outlook product, and you may as well start here. Look over these videos from Microsoft, then explore more in depth tutorials at Lynda.com and elsewhere to learn how to exploit this powerful tool.
This simple text editor is one of the most useful tools in the Windows environment. I use it all the time for such things as:
1. Removing formatting: since Notepad has no formatting except for display purposes, use can use Notepad to see basic clean text.
2. Quick notes: in the classroom, I like to use Notepad for quick note-taking and emphasis.
3. Personal to do list: every day I open up Notepad and list out my goals for the day and delete them as I go.
Most school systems own licenses to the Microsoft Office suite, if only for administratve functions. Teachers should access this powerful efficiency suite, as well. Especially useful for teachers will be Office 365, which combines Office programs with online collaborationo and communication features. This article references Office 2010, but the lessons are pretty much the same for Office 2013.
The Accessibilty features of Windows are great, but they can be complex or do too much. If you just want to turn some written text into a computer-narrated voice, here's a simple demo on a quick and easy way to do it. If you're interest
Video Demo of how OneNote can be used as an all-in-one organizational tool for files, tasks, communication, notes, lesson planning and sharing, freeing you to teach. OneNote is a powerful organizational and sharing tool that can empower teacher access and use of information. Additionally, instead of creating separate files, use OneNote to place images, links, spreadsheets, emails, student notes, to do lists, lesson plans, articles, anything goes into OneNote.
Built into Windows 8 and 10, OneDrive is an easy and fully integrated storage, sharing, portability, and backup system. OneDrive can sync with tablets and cell phones, as well as with all your work and personal devices. Alternatives are GoogleDocs and DropBox.
Microsoft has built into Windows and Office many tools for those with hearing or sight disabilities. Teachers may find that these same tools can benefit students and empower classroom presentations via "text to voice," "magnifier," and "voice command" tools.