If you haven’t heard, Microsoft is launching a new add-on for PowerPoint that is sure to shake things up. Office Mix allows you to add an increased level of interaction to your powerpoint slides, and while you could always do some fo these things, like embed video in presentations, this new implementation is impressive. We have only been playing with the product a couple of days, but can already see where it will become useful. Particularly for institutions
Particularly for institutions who use Office 365 in their environment. Of course, it can still be useful in other systems such as Google Apps for Education or any SCORM compliant learning management system.
Office Mix allows you to create education videos that can help you provide a stellar educational resource in your classroom. Since it’s really just an extension of powerpoint the learning curve for anyone who is fluent with the Office suite can start creating educational videos quickly.
Features of Office Mix:
Office Mix is a free add-on for Powerpoint 2013 and beyond and allows you to create presentations designed to provide online lessons or presentations very quickly. Office Mix allows you to make your presentations interactive with quizzes and labs. You can share your presentations within office 365 or create an MP4 of the presentation for sharing on YouTube or for offline access.
You can add:
- Audio and video narration
- Screen Recording- You can record videos from Youtube or other online sources. Or you can do demonstrations on your computer and record steps a student may need to take with a particular piece of software.
- Quizzes and Polls – you can create quizzes and polls
- Simulations, videos and live web pages
Many of these seem to be answers to Google forms, but this is a lot better and easier to use. There is a learning curve with Google forms, and since most educators already use powerpoint and have for years, then this may be easier for some teachers to master.
There are some great examples of how you can use Mix to create lessons at mix.office.com. Here are a couple of examples we like.
This video shows you what can be done with recording yourself for display in your Mix project and also shows how the writing features work. Since Math is a subject that most students need to see to understand, this could make the difference between understanding in distance classes or fail to make the grade.
The great part about this if you create your mix videos as evergreen you can use them over and over again in different classes
If video fails to run embedded, you can watch it on the office site here
Here is another well-done mix project.
If video fails to render in your browser, you can watch it on the office site here.
These are just a couple of examples of how you can use Mix for Powerpoint in your classrooms to create interactive content. Mix is not only useful for education, but it can be used in business as well, and we will be creating some more examples of how to train users on technology use with this product. Topics will include Educational Technology, Google Apps, Office 365 and others. If you are one of our subscribers, then we will notify you once this free training for educators becomes available. You can go over to mix.office.com to download the add-in for PowerPoint and find some tutorials on how to use it.
Update March 2017
The Mix project has not gained as much traction as w originally thought and it may gain. Some of this is while you can create the videos, they are not all the useful outside the Mix environment. We recently wrote an Introduction to Microsoft Classroom and Mix is not part of the feature set right now. These leads me to believe that Microsoft may not be pushing the Mix PowerPoint Addin as much as they once were. Microsoft Classroom is still in preview mode so the product may make it in there before its launch in the Fall, but right now there is no mention of Mix as part of Microsoft Classroom
The gallery of mix projects can be found here.