Classrooms aren’t becoming computerized: they are already computerized. Tools like PowerPoint are repetitively being utilized for lessons and lectures. But there’s a disconnect between the productivity tools we’re using to build educational materials and the underlying educational process.
Microsoft targets to fill that gap through Office Mix tools. Combination of PowerPoint plug-in and a cloud service, Office Mix turned PowerPoint slides into cloud-hosted interactive lessons, complete with links to external resources and with built-in tests.
Office Mix is quite user friendly, if users have setup Office 2013 (or an Office 365 account with download rights for the latest Office), and be running it on Windows 7, 8, or 8.1. To start, mix.office.com allows to create an account while using a Microsoft account (or an Office 365 account), or log in with either a Facebook or a Google account. Tutorials are available in a gallery on the Mix site with luxury of view online, download and play on a wide range of devices.
To create first Mix, user need to sign up and download comparatively small sized PowerPoint plug-in. Installation process can take a while though as it needs to set up Microsoft’s Office extension tools and
framework. User will find a new Mix tab in the PowerPoint ribbon, once installation finished.
Basic knowledge of PowerPoint is quite sufficient to create a Mix. New Mix toolbar helps users to add interactive elements. Currently Mix’s features are installed as Office app downloads, from the Office store. The features are not cached locally and users have to download them each time. Interactive elements like tests and quizzes are easy to edit and configure as well.
To create tutorials, office Mix provides tools for making screen recordings as it is not Camtasia, but it is adequate for most purposes, with the ability to mask out a section of screen to record a voiceover with the facility of inserting screenshots from any folder.