I’m not fully convinced of Mix, it does have its flaws, but I acknowledge it is in Beta and Microsoft are listening to user voices and opinions – Customer Feedback for Office Mix
A great resource regarding Microsoft Mix for PowerPoint… http://www.mixforteachers.com where this PDF guide can be found and a wealth of resources to highlight its abilities and to promote among colleagues. Such as how staff development might utilise it with “PC/VDU users” or “E&D training” or college wide development for the student body (and staff) such as can be demonstrated here!
Yesterday I spent the day with Microsoft looking at their Showcase Classroom. I really did not have a clear perception of what to expect other than looking at different mobile devices. So what did the day entail (and was it worth it!)?
Firstly it was free other than the cost of getting to London, Victoria and back for 10:00am – 3:30pm. A cup of coffee and a pain-au-chocolate later and we was shown a brief “Sway” presentation before the big reveal, doors slid open in our relatively small room, showing a much larger room with bright colours, comfy stool and giant bean bags. We grab a mobile device… this is going to be interactive! I pick a rugged grey “Stone” tablet with keyboard and a carry handle, colleagues pick HP tablets or Surface Pro’s – they all do the job they need to do.
We are asked to rate out the following out of four possible options: Don’t know what it it, aware, used a bit, used a lot using coloured post-it’s.
Windows 8.1 – its search capabilities and seamlessness
Yammer – social networking in a safe environment
Office 365 – buckloads, I even learnt about “Delve” (did you know a 365 account gives you 5 downloadable office’s?)
OneNote – the collaborative side utilising OneNote Classroom
OneDrive – limitless
Lync (Skype for Business) – connect to others and record sessions!
Now I was able to answer “used a lot” for all but that’s more a comment upon the organisation I work for and the projects I am involved in. I found the delivery that followed upon these technologies well thought-out and verging on seamless. a worthy day for the less tech proficient for sure. We had an outline of Mix and Sway (yes I felt an over whelming smugness) and then a hard-sell pitch for taking back-end services and pushing to our learners – progress, options, etc. (way off but lord-able goals). Finally we had highlighted windows 10 and HoloLens.
I certainly found the day worthwhile but I took a number of key things with me…
The organisation I work for are certainly embracing the tech discussed
Although the room looked funky the backless “stools” were not nearly as comfortable as the “sit-in” bean bags
Despite discussing how being untethered from the front of the classroom is ideal, it wasn’t applied (beyond a demonstration)
A number of technologies will not work fully until we are in a 1-2-1 device position (such as OneNote)
I cannot see myself bringing everything together under one platform, I am all for diversity in technology (Our D.A.V.E. intranet covers the likes of Delve and Yammer)
Finally, there was a lot of discussion around learners subverting the technologies. More of this on a future post.
At last “Microsoft Producer” is reborn! A long loved add-on that was dropped some year ago (last developed for PowerPoint 2010) that was dropped all-so-quietly about 3 years ago, not that it was marketed all that loud! What Producer allowed you to do was to either record alongside a PowerPoint presentation, or upload a pre-recorded video, and it would synchronise the timings of the video with the presentation. Meaning that it would play the necessary video portion relation to, say, slide 2. It would then pause, and continue only as you progressed to the next slide. It also allowed a small range of “templates”. I missed this and thought that it was great free plugin that wo0uld benefit so many resources, especially in light of FELTAG and online learning, certainly it would have reduced the complaints of re-inventing the wheel!
But oh so quietly (have you heard of it?) they have re-imagined it. Gone are the templates (not such a bad thing given how dated they did look) but the functionality that it offers in return are great:
Recording of video (and closed captioning!!!!! [ see here ])
Video controls for play and pause
In-built volume control
Audio (you don’t have to have video!)
entire annotation delete [restart?]
Screen capture – selectable area
desktop screen capture
Interactivity through apps
Insert pre-existing video/audio
Video (no interactivity)
SCORM package for
Upload to MS MIX Server
Now although this seems great there are a few wrinkles…
You cannot wipe out individual annotations (although you can manually wipe them out if you have a plain background to your slide in one of the annotation colours!)
You cannot have a video on the same slide as an interactive quiz or a screen captured video
SCORM is not fully functioning, certainly it is not working with Moodle, although MS are now working with Moodle on a Plugin! [ see here ]
It does not seem to like it when you try to annotate using just audio & inking or just inking – seems unstable. Fine when using video throughout
The inking lends itself more to touchscreen than mouse
Now when I say fully functioning as a SCORM if your not using the interactive quiz functions its fine as you can just upload as a presentation anyway. But if you are then you are going to want to upload to the MS MIX server… as you get analytics! oh and a discussion board, oh you can also open to the public and class a distributable and editable under creative commons!