Microsoft's Office Mix tool is an easy way to incorporate online content into a lesson plan, and now more tools are being added to the online program to make things even easier.
One of the new features is a gallery designed for sharing and discovering new lessons. This was one of the most-requested features by those using the tool; they wanted to be able share their lessons with others (and also discover new lesson plans), and the gallery should appease those requests.
Microsoft said that Office Mix has been used in ways outside of the traditional classroom lesson. The company posted the following list of alternative uses for Office Mix on the product's official blog:
- Formative assessment feedback loop. Almost all of the mixes that have been created for instructional purposes have assessments built in.
- Bite-sized learning. The vast majority of mixes created are shorter than five minutes, suggesting that educators are using Office Mix to teach individual concepts rather than replace entire classroom lessons.
- Global appeal. Though we haven’t localized Office Mix (the website and materials are only in English at this point), we are seeing mixes in a variety of foreign languages: Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Romanian, and even Finnish.
- Not just for teachers. We were surprised to hear from a number of teachers that they were asking students to create mixes as part of project-based learning assignments.
- Catch-up. 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.
In addition to the new feature, there are new partners, such as the University of Colorado's PhET, which has a new physical science simulations app that is available for download.
Office Mix is still in its early stages of gathering feedback, so if you want to try out the tool for your classroom, you can check out the source link below to learn how to get signed up.