This is a guest post from Hélène Fyffe, an undergraduate starting her final year at Edinburgh Napier University, having spent a year on placement with Microsoft UK Education as part of her course.
Picture this… a young student sitting in the class room with 30 peers. It's half an hour until lunch time and his mind wanders to that ham and cheese sandwich his mum packed for him. The history slides that his teacher is flicking through seem to have blended into one and although Henry VIII and his cronies seem to be interesting, especially his macabre handling of his wives, the names and words are a vague jumble.
Ever had a situation like this before, where you've seen students getting a little distracted from your slides?
It's no secret that people in general and in this case, young students are more engaged when the content they are soaking up is delivered in different fun ways as opposed to simply reading words on a PowerPoint. I'm not trying to hinder the benefits of PowerPoint, but sometimes it's necessary to spice things up a bit to get your students' really enthused.
Office Mix is the latest flip on PowerPoint that enables teachers to create an interactive and fun approach to using slides in the classroom. It's much more than just words on a slide; you can annotate slides with inking, integrate videos, web pages and really get young students excited and involved with your teaching! This blog is going to show how Office Mix could be used in a Primary Classroom setting.
Share your mixes
With its capabilities to create online lessons, Office Mix will enable your students to tune into your lesson when they're back at home so they can go through your slides themselves to help do homework. It's simply the case of the teacher uploading their Office Mix slides into the Gallery and then sharing the link with their class. In addition to giving your students access, you can explore other Mixes that teachers have uploaded which could be useful to guide you in creating your first Mix.
Help students revisit the lesson experience
Office Mix can effectively recall any visual annotations (not sounds) that your class make to the slides in the lesson with the 'Record' feature, so that when students want to revisit a topic from class, all the activities that were carried will reappear. This is a great advantage for helping students to physically experience a lesson from anywhere, at any time. Additionally, by being able to revisit the development of ideas and thought processes that occurred throughout the lesson, students will be more likely to understand the notes once at home, helping them to be able to crack on with their homework efficiently.
Encouraging teamwork with Quizzes
Yep, you can now make the 'pop quiz' fun. Office Mix offers a range of quiz apps that provide teachers with the tools to seamlessly create a quiz for their class, choosing for example multiple choice settings, which can then be embedded within the Office Mix slides. Not only is this going to save teachers time, but you can imagine how fun this could be for encouraging collaboration amongst students: teachers can encourage teams to work together by splitting their class into small groups and giving them a device each to go through their quiz. The advantage of doing a quiz in a group setting is that students will listen to each other's suggestions and ideas, and learn from each other in an informal fun environment.
See examples of Office Mix lessons for yourself
A great way to see how you can use Office Mix in your classroom is by looking at some of the examples created by other students and teachers, featured on the Office Mix website
If you fancy trying out Office Mix in your classroom, you can download it for free and start sharing and exploring Mixes.