In Part 1 of Flipping the Classroom with Office Mix, we explained how Office Mix allows teachers of all abilities deliver interactive learning artefacts that students can watch away from the classroom, so that the contact time is spent supporting students in the application of knowledge or creation process. Flipping the classroom or flipped learning, using Office Mix, is a process that we can all do because it is so easy and very familiar. Office Mix is a PowerPoint add-in, and you can convert your existing PowerPoint decks by adding multimedia and interactive apps. Let’s look at what happens after you upload your Mix to mix.office.com or Office 365.
Your Mix has a life beyond PowerPoint; it is now a live, internet-enabled, analytics-powered interactive learning experience. It can be delivered as a PowerPoint, but the best parts won’t work. And besides, the days of teachers talking over the top of a PowerPoint are long gone. One major aspect of a blended learning approach is individualised learning which allows for whole class creation. Students can learn the important concepts away from the classroom, so that the majority of teacher involvement is all about supporting the creation in the classroom. Teachers should not be do the basic content delivery. Office Mix allows teachers to move away from Sage on the Stage to Guide on the Side.
Once uploaded, the Mix has a number of settings and controls to allow for privacy and sharing, as shown above. It is worthwhile taking a minute to explore the permissions to see what will work best for you and your class. If your students are creating a Mix, you may need the permissions to only allow for users within the organisation (denoted by the email address) via the finished product. Some schools and teachers deliver content and activities via learning management systems or even class blogs, so the embed code option is perfect. This is much better than sending emails to individual students to access the resource.
But wait, there’s’ more!
If your students access your Mix when logged into their profiles, and then complete the activity, you are provided with analytics of the interaction. Views, time spent on each slide and correct answers in the quiz are all displayed for each logged in user. So, if your classroom session requires the students to watch your Mix and answer some questions to check for meaning, you can actually see who has done the required pre-task learning. This is a powerful learning management feature.
Office Mix could well be the best 2016 teacher technology tool – if you are looking for one new tool to use in 2016, probably no better tool to look to. To summarise, it is built on the well-known PowerPoint, is an interactive learning tool that has usage analytics to verify the engagement levels of your students. If your school has the technological capabilities to allow you to use Microsoft Office Mix, I encourage you to take the time to download it, check out the tutorials on the Mix website and make your own series of Office Mix learning objects for your student-centred approach to learning in 2016.
In the next part of Microsoft in Education: Where do I start?’ We will bring you up to date with what many consider to be the killer educational app – Microsoft OneNote.