How I Use It
Office Mix is a tool that could be approached in two ways: as a teacher-led instructional tool or a creative tool for students when making presentations. For those doing blended or flipped instruction, the screencasting tool is impressive and rivals pay-for-tools like Camtasia. Being able to narrate slides (with our without the webcam) could provide great support for ELL or low literacy students, and the options for adding polls and quiz questions boosts the interactive possibilities while gathering analytics for the teacher at the same time. There are some other interactive tools that can be inserted, like Geogebra and PhET simulations. Finally, being able to insert a webpage into a slide can keep students inside of the learning context and provide some focus on content.
As a teaching tool, Office Mix does a lot. It has interactive elements akin to PearDeck's free version, the screencasting functionality of Screencastomatic, Snagit, or Camtasia, the ability to narrate slides like MoveNote, and the analytics of online assessment tools like Socrative or Zaption. And for teachers who already have PowerPoint content created, Office Mix can be added into existing presentations to both liven up the presentation and take the learning into deeper territory. The downside is that is relies upon Office 2013 to create the Mix , which leaves Mac users out or anyone who has anything prior to Office 2013. While students don't need anything but a fully functioning browser to view or interact, it isn't fully functional on mobile devices yet. Mobile devices can view the Mix as an .mP4 but all of the interactive elements are stripped out. Once it is truly device agnostic on the student side, it will be a much more powerful tool.