Posted in surface, Teaching and Learning, Techie stuff

Using Microsoft Office Mix

It is nearing NCEA exam time in my world. And so I have been busy making exam question walk through using Microsoft Office Mix and the snip tool on my surface pro 4. Office Mix is a super handy add in for powerpoint that lets you make video tutorials with ease. The surface stylus just makes writing these answers and equations easy as. It has been a while since I blogged about how I use Office Mix in class (you can see one of my first goes HERE, or some more about the features HERE and if you want to earn more about it I suggest you check out the Office Mix web page) so I thought I should give an update on my favourite go to tool. You can also add PhET animations with ease, or include webpages for students to browse. And after the recent #hacktheclassroom hack from fellow kiwi Subash my mixes might just get a little neater – I’ve put a link to his video at the end of this post 🙂

Making the exam walk throughs

My go to for Mix is exam walk throughs. To start with, I head over to the NZQA web page and find the exams and schedules I want. Then I take a picture of them using snip, and make the picture the back ground on the ppt slide so I don’t accidentally grab it and move it during my recording.

Then it is as easy as hitting the record button and away you go

Once you have finished the recording, you can either save as a video file to upload to youtube etc, or upload them to the office mix site. I tend to just upload to the mix site, and then share the links.

I also try to remember to tell my students to pause the video and attempt the questions first…. not sure how many do though!!

Here are some examples – feel free to share them with your class if you think they would find them useful.

Student Mixes.

I have also played around with getting my students to make a mix to explain their thinking behind the exam answers. These have also been shared with the class so they can use them for their revision too. Some students are definitely more theatrical than others 🙂

Mixes for feedback

Again, a quick video to provide feedback for students works really well. I have found this particularly useful for the (sadly, this year too many) times I am away. Students will email me a photo of their work, and I will complete a mix for feedback for them

Mix for relief

It has also bee really good for relief – the students seem to really like a video of me talking and will listen better than if I was talking to them live. Sigh

So while none of these are especially bright and shiny, they are really useful ways I use this tool in my teaching and learning, and can make the arduous task of exam preparation a little bit less stressful. Students appreciate being able to rewind ideas.

And with the awesome #hacktheclassroom hack from NZs own Subash, my mixes have gotten a little neater – although I still ignore the gridlines at times. You can see his hack and how to make the mix presentations neater below.

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Posted in surface, Teaching and Learning, Techie stuff

Playing around with Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft Onenote has become my favourite tool in my digital teaching and learning tool box. I was a little slow on the uptake, but attending ulearn14 and MIEE really opened my eyes to the potential of Onenote. The biggest plus for me is Onenote is just so versatile, easy to add into and visually appealing. Using it on the surface pro is just a dream really. I really like the inking feature, writing over text is simple and easy – even down to changing colours. This inking feature really helps with some science concepts – we use a lot of symbols and diagrams that are so much easier to add in by hand.

I have been using it today to prepare some revision material for my junior students (14-15 year olds) who have their exams in 2 weeks. I have made a section for each topic and then pages within each topic for more specific detail. I am using a mixture of text and ink. A great feature is when you take a screen shot, the link is automatically included. This means the source is acknowledged and students can go to the source for more information if they want to.

oneonte screen shot

 It is my goal to go over this with my class tomorrow. As I do it, I will add in any additional questions they have. Then I will save it to the ultranet page so they can access it from home.
onenote screen shot 2
I am hoping that next time I can leave the initial pages a little more blank so I can fill in the gaps as I go so the students can see the thinking – at this stage I am still a bit messy with my writing on the fly 🙂 I don’t have a mirror cast/wireless projection system in my room yet, but I do have the adapter to show this on the projector.
I was not sure about using Onenote or Office mix for this task, but settle on onenote as I can add everything to the same place. Next lesson I might do as an office mix and then embed it into onenote (I’m not even sure if this is possible – hope so).
So there is my attempt to liven up some fairly dry exam revision. I’m planning for a brief blurb from me and the students will be able to explore the links and attached documents at their own pace in and out of class (I have one set of laptops booked so it will be one between two during class time). Hopefully the students like it and find it helpful – if not it will be back to the drawing board.