However, according to Microsoft, one teacher already has figured out how to isolate individual student answers on screen.
“It’s called a parking lot,” explained Fitter. “What this means is that as part of the PowerPoint slide, a square that resembles a parking lot is added in. The teacher then asks all the students to place their cursors inside of the parking lot. When a specific student is called [on] to answer a question, [that student] can take [his or her] cursor out of the parking lot.”
Special teacher controls also allow instructors to disable students’ mouse cursors, navigate between slides, set timers, and more.
The idea of the parking lot, advice on how to use the application, and many other resources will be available to teachers using Mouse Mischief. Microsoft enlisted the help of an expert from Teach for America to create 25 PowerPoint question templates, which can be viewed and used by the teaching community during classes.
“We really wanted this to be a community of sharing,” said Fitter.
So far, there have been 1,200 downloads of the beta Mouse Mischief software by teachers, mostly from the U.S., but many from around the world as well. Two hundred schools participated in Mouse Mischief’s beta research phase before the launch to help make the tool as efficient and easy to use as possible, Microsoft said.
Microsoft Mouse Mischief