30 Edtech Tools in 30 Days

30 Tools in 30 Days: Day 12 Office Mix PowerPoint Add-in

Day 12: Office Mix PowerPoint Add-in

One of my favorite things about going to a conference is the time spent between sessions chatting with colleagues you only get to see once or twice a year. As much as I enjoy going to sessions, I seem to get more out of these impromptu conversations. This year’s Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) Conference was no exception. There were some great sessions but there were even better side conversations in the hallways, elevators, and in the foyer. My absolute favorite conversations start off with, “Hey, have you ever used…”

It was a conversation such as this where I learned about a new, PowerPoint add-in, Office Mix. How did I not know about this one? Office Mix is a free add-in that lets you create and share interactive videos. With Mix you can record your slideshows, insert polls and quizzes, and keep track of your mix analytics.

Welcome
Mix Welcome Slide. Watch the What is Office Mix video to get started.

To get started, download Mix from the Office Mix website. The next time you open PowerPoint, you will have a new Mix tab at the top of your screen. This is where the magic happens.

If you are an experienced PowerPoint user then you should be able to jump right into this app. I recommend watching the 2-minute overview video just to help you get started. Like most Microsoft tools, there are good support resources to help you create your presentation.

From the Mix tab you can insert various apps including multiple choice quizzes, polls, open response questions and even…wait for it… Open Content from sites such as Kahn Academy and cK-12. That was the part that blew my mind. They had me at OER. You can also add screen recordings, screenshots, as well as video and audio files.

Quiz
Editing an embedded quiz.

Use the Slide Recording feature to record your presentation. Add narration, ink, and even use your camera so people can see your smiling face while you present. It seems that Mix gives you the power to create interactive videos that could rival Captivate. (Maybe – more exploration is needed. They might be just different enough to serve different purposes.)

Completed videos can be downloaded as an MP4 file and are SCORM compatible. Since I work at a university that is a Microsoft campus, I am excited to try this tool out and turn some of my slide decks into full interactive presentations with embedded quizzes.

At first glance, Office Mix appears to be a powerful addition to the PowerPoint tools set. There are so many classroom uses. From creating interactive videos for the flipped classroom to giving students the power to turn their presentations into something more to producing self-directed learning modules for online learning. There are many possibilities and since it is an add-on to an old friend, there is not the huge learning curve that comes with a brand new tool.  Another one for my “Explore Deeper” list.

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