Microsoft Office Mix

officeMizAnother Microsoft tool again for use sadly only on Windows machines is Office Mix which is a plug in for PowerPoint.

Now again this is another one I have only started making use of however one feature I have found particularly useful within Office Mix is the ability to screen record.    This allows you to define a screen area and record all actions within that area.    I have used this ability to screen record a students document and then using pen tool I have been able to annotate and mark up the document with suggestions and changes for the student to act on.   It can also be used to create little video user guides as Mix is not limited to capture content within PowerPoint and the PowerPoint window.   I can actually capture the content of other windows on display on your computer including video.

I have also used Mix to produce little video lessons which would be ideal from where you are trying to start using a flipped classroom environment.    Office Mix allows you to add narration and annotation on a slide by slide basis so you can build you content on a section by section basis.    Doing it slide by slide means you can fix any errors within a given slide easily without having to re-record the whole presentation.   Once it is ready you can then export to MP4 video for sharing with students either via Microsoft OneDrive or via a website or blog as appropriate, or even via Google Drive or Classroom should you be working in a Google Apps for Education environment.

I believe the above is only a small aspect of what is capable in Mix however this alone makes it quite a useful little app.    The fact it is an add on to a package, MS PowerPoint, with which most teachers are already familiar makes for an added advantage as it isn’t something totally new to learn but instead just an extension of the facilities available within a common favorite.    The lack of a mobile version is a little bit of a disadvantage unless you have MS Surfaces in your school, however despite this Office Mix is a very useful tool indeed.



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