If you’ve been using Powerpoint slides for lecture and would like to tryeasy lecture capture, Microsoft Office Mix may be just the thing for you. Mix is an add-in for Powerpoint 2013 and Office 365. The download is free and installation is simple. Then Mix shows up in the toolbar of Powerpoint with voice capture and editing tools. You do need a Microsoft Account to download the add-in; these accounts are free and do come with some other benefits, such as a secure “wallet” for payment information and access to Microsoft’s free cloud storage space.
Once installed, the “Mix” tab at the top of Powerpoint will give you this toolbar:
Mix supports insertion of quizzes with student device interaction and analytics, à la Poll Everywhere and Socrative. You can also annotate slides as you add your voice-over, and your presentation can easily be uploaded to the Microsoft Mix cloud but you can also export to video, so you can put it on Youtube or whatever video platform you are used to using.
Once you’ve created a presentation video, it can be played from any machine; Mix and Powerpoint don’t have to be installed, just the usual sort of media player.
Mix is an obvious asset to Powerpoint; one wonders that it has taken this long to appear. It is amazingly full-featured, actually. I am often creating video tutorials or lessons on things other than Powerpoint presentations: how to navigate an application we’re using in class, marking up a Word document, etc. and I thought I would still need to use a separate screen capture application such at Tech Smith’s Snagit (my fave) for that. Wrong! Mix supports full-screen recording (and the interface is remarkably similar to SnagIt’s!)
It is possible to add Mix to the menu of External Tools on Desire 2 Learn’s Brightspace (i.e. our Learning Management System, Talon), but I think it’s just as easy to set the privacy on your Mixes appropriately and insert a direct link to them.
I’ve only started to explore Mix. Thus far, I’m pretty smitten. Do you use Mix? What do you think?