Last month, we announced the customer preview of Office Mix, a tool designed to make it easier for teachers to incorporate online content into their lesson plans. Since then, we’ve been gathering feedback about what educators find most useful about the tool and how to make it even better, and we’re sharing what we’ve learned at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in Atlanta this week. Overall, we were pleasantly surprised to see teachers using Office Mix in ways we hadn’t anticipated (for example, asking students to create their own mixes), and we noted some usage trends that will influence how we evolve the tool in the future.
This blog post was originally posted on the Office Blog. You can read it here.
The top request we’ve received from teachers is to make it easier to share mixes. In response, we created a public Gallery designed for sharing and discovering great lessons. Through the new public Gallery, you can upload your favourite mixes, make them available to others, and browse content created by others to spark ideas or share with your class.
We’ve heard from educators that finding relevant, useful content can be a challenge, and we hope the Gallery makes that just a little easier. Additionally, you can now embed Office Mix content, so it can show up on virtually any website.
We’ve also learned how teachers are incorporating Office Mix into their classrooms. Here are some of the ways we’ve heard about:
The list of content partners continues to grow (in addition to the partners we announced in May: Khan Academy and the CK-12 Foundation). University of Colorado’s PhET physical science simulations app is now available through Office Mix. An Office Mix math app from GeoGebra is expected to be available later this month. Check out www.geogebratube.org for advanced viewing of thousands of STEM education materials that will be freely available through GeoGebra in Office Mix.
Partners are already letting us know that they are excited about the opportunity to broaden their reach, allowing them to help more educators. “The goal of the CK-12 Foundation is to create, curate and allow customization of high quality, free content that we can then make available to all teachers globally. Our partnership with Office Mix has allowed us to provide teachers with a faster, simpler way to integrate this information into their PowerPoint lessons,” said Neeru Khosla, executive director of the CK-12 Foundation.
Here are a few of our favorite comments so far from teachers who have used Office Mix:
Brien Gorham, English Teacher at Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart
Helen Gooch, Microsoft Fellow and Master Trainer
Vicki Davis, full-time teacher and IT director for a small school in Camilla, Georgia and blogger at CoolCatTeacher.com