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Microsoft Office Mix Turns PowerPoint Presentations into Online Interactive Lessons

Microsoft today released a preview version of Office Mix, a new PowerPoint addon that lets teachers create rich media presentations and interactive lessons and share them online.

Office Mix includes two components: a plugin for PowerPoint and a site where teachers can share their work and view analytics.

The plugin gives educators the ability to record lecture materials directly within PowerPoint and embed multimedia and interactive elements, including:

  • Audio and video of the presenter;
  • Onscreen annotations;
  • Tests and quizzes;
  • Online videos;
  • Polls; and
  • Third-party tools, such as activities from Khan Academy and CK-12 Foundation.

On the back end, Office Mix provides a simple means of sharing interactive presentations on a hosted environment. That environment also provides analytics to teachers, allowing them to view data on who watched a presentation and how they performed on quizzes. Other features include:

  • Instant feedback on quiz results for students;
  • Customizable feedback;
  • Support for pausing and rewinding a presentation; and
  • 2x speed viewing mode.

Mix presentations are supported on common desktop browsers, as well as Windows-based tablets. At present, support for iOS and Android is limited. Users can watch Mix presentations as videos. According to Microsoft, "The full interactive experience will also be available on Apple and Google Android tablets soon."

Office Mix is available as part of Office 365 ProPlus. The ProPlus edition includes the full core suite of Office desktop applications — Word, Excel, and PowerPoint — in addition to the cloud productivity and collaboration tools (e-mail, document sharing, Web conferencing, Web site creation, cloud storage, calendaring, instant messaging, and the Web app versions of Word, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Excel). Through Microsoft's Student Advantage program, institutions that license Office 365 can provide the ProPlus suite to students at no additional charge.

Office Mix is available in preview form for customers now. It requires Microsoft Office 2013 SP1. Complete details and a link to download the addon can be found at mix.office.com.

 

About the Author

Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.

A 21-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192 or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education). A selection of David Nagel's articles can be found on this site.


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