For those that did not know, Office Mix is a new service that turns PowerPoint presentations into interactive, online lessons that you can share with anyone. Recently launched as a customer preview, Microsoft has improved the service based on usage trends and feedback.
"We've been gathering feedback about what educators find most useful about the tool and how to make it even better, and we’re sharing what we’ve learned at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in Atlanta this week. Overall, we were pleasantly surprised to see teachers using Office Mix in ways we hadn’t anticipated (for example, asking students to create their own mixes), and we noted some usage trends that will influence how we evolve the tool in the future," Microsoft stated in an official blog post.
The company has created a public Gallery that allows you to share and discover mixes. You can upload your favorite mixes, make them available to others, and browse content created by others to spark ideas or share with your class. On top of that, you can even embed Office Mix content on any website.
Microsoft has learned that the majority of mixes created for instructional purposes have assessments built in. Mixes are also typically shorter than five minutes and are in a variety of foreign languages. "Though this doesn’t seem to be the predominant use of Office Mix, some teachers are using it to record their class lectures for students who missed a class or would benefit from a repeat of the lesson," Microsoft adds.
The list of content partners continues to grow as well with the addition of University of Colorado's PhET physical science simulations app now available through Office Mix. GeoGebra is expected to release a math app later this month.
Since Office Mix is cloud-enabled, Microsoft can easily and quickly roll out updates to the service without hassle. Microsoft will continue to enhance the service as more feedback comes in.