Microsoft Mix (for PowerPoint)

Untitled

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
  • HD video
  • Audio (you don’t have to have video!)
  • Annotation
    • line thickness
    • line colour
    • entire annotation delete [restart?]
  • Screen capture – selectable area
    • desktop video
    • desktop screen capture
  • Interactivity through apps
    • open question
    • multiple choice
    • poll
    • true/false
  • Insert pre-existing video/audio
  • Export
    • Video (no interactivity)
    • SCORM package for
    • Upload to MS MIX Server

Now although this seems great there are a few wrinkles…

  1. 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!)
  2. You cannot have a video on the same slide as an interactive quiz or a screen captured video
  3. SCORM is not fully functioning, certainly it is not working with Moodle, although MS are now working with Moodle on a Plugin! [ see here ]
  4. 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
  5. 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!

So want to see my first effort? be kind! [ find it here ]

So you want it for yourself? [ go here ] or if you work for the same organisation as I do (if your reading this on DAVE then you do) then you can find it from the….. (it is easier than it looks)

  • START BUTTON > ALL PROGRAMS > MICROSOFT SYSTEM CENTRE 2012 R2 > CONFIGURATION MANAGER > SOFTWARE CENTER.
  • Select “find additional applications from the applications catalog”, located top right under the search bar
  • Select “learning technologies” from the webpage on the right-hand-side
  • Select “office mix” from the list
  • select Install at the bottom on the right

Are you brave enough to let me see you first attempt?

An upcoming post is likely on “things I have learnt when videoing myself” including “holiday stubble!” 🙂

Andy

 

Advertisements

Fill-able PDF

 

Recently I wanted to convert a simple questionnaire into an fill-able PDF. The benfeit of this is that the questionaire or form will remain intact and not suffer from element shift and will also restrict what goes into the document (as well as the ability to protect it some-what). Well adobe pro is costly and most solutions online will either cost you a small amount or will watermark the final document in someway. Well did you know that you can use open office to create an editable PDF? so its free, it works and no watermarks 🙂 Find Open Office Here.

I found the following YouTube videos to be really useful:

  1. Create a Fillable PDF Document – #1 Tutorial – Description, getting started and text boxes
  2. Create a Fillable PDF Document – #2 Tutorial – Check Boxes and Option Buttons
  3. Create a Fillable PDF Document – #3 Tutorial – Line up check boxes and other items

Andy

Macrium Reflect Imaging Software

Many moons ago I used to clean my desktop every other year over the summer, get rid of those junk files. Ensure that everything was running smoothly, and also because I am a nerd! I had the process down to about two hours pretty much and used Norton Ghost. Now I haven’t needed to do anything to my current machine which is some 6 years old, a quad core windows 7 3Ghz, since I bought it. But I have recently run into trouble – it wont play ball with anything beyond “DOT NET V3.5” now up till now this has not been a problem until the last few months where my new printer (a shiny Canon Pixma IP7250) software required it, not a problem – I just could not use the additional “My Image Garden” software (I am always wary of rubbish sounding software anyway)  it came with. But I really wanted to try out some new presentation/productivity software that could really make my life easier, if it was anything as I expected, and yes it required greater than v3.5.

As I was going to end up with a nice clean version of windows 7, and if the rumors are to be believed, and a forthcoming free version of windows 10 then now was the opportunity to ghost/backup my main drive. My copy of Norton Ghost was way outdated and certainly it does not offer a recent alternative so I hunted for the possibility of a free alternative. I found one! Macrium Reflect – find it here … http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx

I don’t have much more to say other than it was free, easy to install and certainly was not a complicated process – identify partitions, locate a save locations and bingo! hopefully there will not be a follow up post anytime soon, but I am pleased to report I am not using Dot Net v4.5

 

Andy

Storage Solutions

No this is not a post about the famous Swedish home furnishing store (however nice the meatballs are) but about a question posed regarding digital resource storage solutions available today. Formats have not necessarily expanded but have become readable by more than their proprietary systems, such as open office reading MS office docs. Some have been superseded for newer and wider adopted standards (the beloved Xvid & DivX seems to have made way for MP4). YouTube has now adopted HTML 5 as its main playback format over the long established Flash format.

It wasn’t so long ago that you choices were limited to local hard-drive, network drive (server), USB memory sticks or websites themselves. Those options have exploded in recent years and I started to reel of a list of options and soon found the list growing out of all-proportions. As a matter of documenting please see below (and it is not exhaustive):

  • Local Hard-drive
  • External drives (traditional drives 2.5″ or 3.5″”)
  • Memory Sticks – reaching capacities as great as 256GB
  • Solid state memory as in phone memory (i.e. iPhone)
  • Classic server/network drives
  • VLE or CMS (Virtual Learning Environments, Content management Systems)
  • ePortfolios (Mahara)
  • Cloud Services – dropbox, box, pogoplug, icloud
  • Temporary cloud services such as filedropper
  • Websites, both traditional and newer user content driven (web 2.0) that move beyond the forums. Such as this blog!
  • Web services e.g. Poll Everywhere, Socrative, Popplet, Padlet
  • Apps (built in info)
  • Social Networking (these can hold images, website addresses) Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, delicious

A number of these crossover more than one category. have I missed a category? any of your resources stored that do not fit in the above list?

 

Andy