Office Mix: Flipping the classroom with PowerPoint 2013

Office Mix is an add-in for PowerPoint 2013 that adds some new features, but that is what it does, not what it is.

On the website, Microsoft say:

“Office Mix was created with educators in mind”

So, what is it?

It gives teachers a set of tools to make flipped videos in PowerPoint 2013. The 2013 part of that statement is very important because this add-in isn’t available for older versions of PowerPoint. If you don’t have PowerPoint 2013, you could try some of these ideas from freetech4teachers.com.

I was curious what Office Mix could do, so I have been trying it out for the last week.

I produced an introduction to Office Mix. It is available here, or you can interact with it directly via the embedded tweet below. Just click on the arrows.

*In one of the videos it does say Add-on instead of Add-In. Add-In in the term used by Microsoft.

If you went to the website you may have noticed that in the top left-hand corner it says “Customer Preview.”

Office Mix is still relatively new. If this add-in proves to be popular, it may well be developed further. At the moment, we are just getting a taste of what it can do, however, a taste is good enough.

One of the things that I like about Office Mix is that if you can use PowerPoint, you can create flipped lessons. You don’t need to use additional software.

What can it do?

When the add-in is installed this new ribbon is available in PowerPoint.

The new ribbon added to PowerPoint 2013

The new ribbon is a mix of new features and features you may already be familiar with.

New Features

Slide Recording – Record your presentation with video in the top right-hand corner and narration.

Insert quizzes, polls and app – you can add these interactive elements to your PowerPoint, but you will need an internet connection to insert them and use them.

Screen Recording – Make a video of what happens on your computer screen. This is useful for making tutorials, introducing new technologies or websites.

Export to SCORM – This feature is useful for exporting your mix so that it is compatible for courses and e-learning environments. 

Export to 0365 – This is a new video surface provided by Microsoft, but I haven’t really explored it.

Pre-Existing Features

Taking Screenshots – Take images of all or part of your screen.

Inserting video – Add additional video to your presentation from your computer or OneDrive.

Inserting audio – Add audio to your presentation from your computer or OneDrive.

Because my version of PowerPoint uses the Japanese language, these tools appear as Japanese in the new Mix Ribbon.

If you want more of an introduction to Office Mix have a look at this webinar available from officevideos.

What can I do with it?

Well, you can do anything you can imagine with it. Here are some ideas:

Create material for students to preview before class.

Spend more class time practising the material.

Create downloadable material for distance learning.

This might be useful if you are an online teacher.

Create demos and tutorials

Create materials introducing new ideas and technologies to other teachers.

Create quizzes and polls for your students

Create them for fun or for feedback and share them on your school’s page. Find out what your students know and what they think.

Student projects.

Students have more tools to make their presentations more engaging to their audience.

This was my first try using Office Mix. I produced it to show someone how to create a scoreboard in PowerPoint.

But you can do many things with it.

Have a look at this Gallery.

There are lots of examples to give you an idea about what is possible.

What do I think?

I think that Office Mix is a great start and it gives me some extra features that I was looking for. It is designed with teachers in mind, it is simple to use, and it is free. It’s almost the perfect package.

The biggest drawback is I did experience some trouble embedding a mix into my blog. I have a feeling that is more to do with WordPress than it is to do with Office Mix.

I experienced no problems sharing my Mix across social media, and I have seen them successfully embedded in websites. However, when I copied the embedding code into WordPress it would only display a URL link. I tried different embedding options in case it was a size issue, but it consistently occurred.

As I said before, Office Mix is still relatively new and I have a feeling that it isn’t included in WordPress’s generic list of trusted sources for embedding.

I did look at other options like embed.ly. Embed.ly does include Office Mix and there are plugins available for WordPress, but some won’t work with a free embed.ly account.

I found the easiest, quickest and cheapest way to embed the Mix into WordPress was just to embed my twitter post. 

If you have tried Office Mix, let me know what you think.

If you are thinking about trying it, let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading. Take Care!


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