Yesterday, Microsoft announced Office Mix. From their website:
Office Mix is an easy way to take your PowerPoint presentations and bring them to life as interactive online lessons. From recording audio or video of yourself giving a lecture, to directly writing in the presentation as you would at your whiteboard, to quizzing, to sharing, to seeing how it all worked – Office Mix helps you do it all simply.
I am fortunate to have been introduced to the tool several months back and have had the chance to play and see Office Mix develop in the months since. One of the topics I speak often about at conferences is adding interactive elements, such as embedded quizzes, into videos. So of course I am thrilled to see these tools made so easily available to us in the new PPT add-in. But ultimately, the ease of creating and sharing screencasts with really no learning curve is something that we really need and that we have with Office Mix!
For those of you who have been interested in creating some video lessons, but have been held back trying to figure out what tool to use, etc., Office Mix really is the perfect solution (provided you have a PC, see system requirements). Easily, you can record audio (and video through a webcam) while annotating on the screen. Press the upload button, and your video will be published to the web.
The part that really excites me, though, is the built-in interactivity. Those of you who read my blog frequently know that I’m all about adding interactive elements into my videos and getting detailed analytics back on how students are viewing and processing the material. Office Mix does just that.
- Add in your own quizzes (multiple choice, free response, polls)
- Add in labs (from Khan, CK-12, PhET)
- Insert web pages
- Receive detailed analytics on how students are doing
For me, Office Mix is not going to replace Camtasia Studio. The two will serve different functions. But to create a quick, simple screencast that doesn’t need editing, Office Mix will be my program of choice. (Note: with Office Mix, I do have the ability to delete annotation + voice on a slide by slide basis, so a mistake can be “redone” without having to recreate the entire screencast. This is important to me!) Office MIx would also be perfect for student-create videos. The major downside: the Office Mix add-in requires a PC with PowerPoint 2013 or Office 365. The reality is that the large majority of my students have Macs.
Check out my first lesson created with Office Mix – Rational Exponents: An Introduction
For a more detailed look into Office Mix, check out this post, by Anthony Salcito, on the Microsoft in Education Blog: Announcing Office Mix – a simple way for teachers to turn PowerPoint presentations into interactive, online lessons
And these posts, by Nitin Paranjape: