PowerPoint, PowerPoint, PowerPoint – it’s a love/hate kind of thing. Almost everyone has created, used or watch a PowerPoint presentation and know that there is great potential to use PowerPoint creatively and powerfully, but the tendency is misuse. We watch one boring slide after another, with too many words using the same templates that have been seen since the 1990s. There’s help on the way! Microsoft has created a really cool add-on to PowerPoint that will knock your socks off. It is now the best of all presentation worlds – it’s interactive, shareable and easy to learn because it still has all the familiar interface of regular PowerPoint. This “tuesdays” is a glimpse at Office Mix, which was released last May. Why isn’t this making a greater impact?
A creative website
Office Mix is an add-in for PowerPoint that is a game changer. After you install Office Mix, it will add a tab to your ribbon in PowerPoint with all of its features. With Office Mix, you can record yourself with audio and video, write or draw on your slides using inking, you can add quizzes, live webpages, and more. You don’t even have to start with new PowerPoint, but instead, you can take pre-existing ones and add life to them. It’s so exciting. If you have Microsoft Office 2013 or Office 365, you will be able to use Office Mix. As an educator, you may be eligible for a free Office 365 account. It’s worth your time to check it out. If there is one thing I am all for, it’s getting away from PowerPoint because it’s so 90’s. However, add Mix to PowerPoint brings it into the 21st century. Teachers and students have a much greater opportunity to make polished interactive presentations that can be shared easily. It is presently exclusively Windows so if you are a Mac users, you will not be able to use it. For most Mac users, it’s not a big deal because Keynotes have always had more features than PowerPoint, yet Office Mix is definitely worth thinking about for the sake of the students.
An image to share
Office 365 on an iPad
“You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart.”
I would like to encourage you to watch the introduction video on the main home page at https://mix.office.com. It’s hard to grasp just how much can be done with a PowerPoint that seeing is believing. You can add a picture in picture video to your slides, record the whole presentation with live video and active websites right within the slide. You can even have your students watch video, add a quiz and even see time on task with the powerful analytics built in to the product. Microsoft has a HUGE winner for us as educators. Be sure to check out the educational section of the site. Along with the introductory video (way down the page), you can also sample presentations including one made by Bill Gates.
How do you do that?
Since I am not a user of Office Mix yet, I can really speak to “how” you can use it so instead I would like mention the potentiality of this new add on. For teachers, please consider turning the learning of Office Mix over to your students. Have your tech people add Office Mix to all the student computers and give them content topics to create and let them discover all the Mix features. They will come up with more ideas that we ever can. For students, give them options for presentations: Animoto, iMovie, Movie Maker, Picktograph, Discovery Education Board Builder and PowerPoint. If they choose PowerPoint, insist that they try the Office Mix add-on. Don’t be under pressure to try to teach the tool. Just give it as an option and watch them rise up to the occasion. It will be so nice to see more samples of this power new upgrade to PowerPoint.
As always, I am