When we launched Office Mix, a key scenario was providing an easy way for educators to create and share interactive lectures online. In the past few months, we’ve been delighted to see educators from around the world create online lectures and courses leveraging PowerPoint and Office Mix. We’re constantly updating Office Mix based on feedback, and if you haven’t tried it yet, download the newest version at OfficeMix.com today!
Today we’re pleased to share news about an exciting new partnership with edX. EdX is a non-profit online initiative created by founding partners Harvard and MIT that offers interactive online classes and MOOCs from the world’s best universities, colleges and organizations benefitting millions of students around the world. EdX hosts a web portal at www.edx.org for online education, and also sponsors Open edX—an open source initiative for developers to create a next-generation online learning platform and bring quality education to students around the world.
EdX and Microsoft are announcing a partnership to make it easy to create online courses authored with Office Mix and experienced through edX.org. Many faculty use PowerPoint slides as the basis of their lectures for edX. But creating videos, updating and revising them and adding interactive elements to lectures can be time consuming. With Office Mix, educators will be able to easily produce videos and online lectures for edX that deliver an engaging experience to students, with support for audio and video recordings, screen captures, hyperlinks and digital ink.
Office Mix and edX are partnering on the following initiatives:
- The development of an XBlock component for Office Mix. This solution allows educators to embed mix lectures hosted on OfficeMix.com directly into an edX course. Students will be able to view the mixes natively on edX.org.
- Open sourcing of the Office Mix XBlock component for distribution on GitHub. Open edX deployments will be able to reuse or modify the Office Mix XBlock for their needs.
- A commitment to interoperability as edX further extends and evolves the XBlock architecture.
Because Office Mix requires PowerPoint 2013, Microsoft will distribute PowerPoint 2013 180-day free trials to educators building edX courses.
Regarding our partnership, edX CEO Anant Agarwal said, “EdX and Microsoft share a vision to empower educators around the world to create high-quality courses, enabling students to learn wherever they are, for free. I have used Office Mix myself, and enjoy the simplicity of being able to edit video snippets from within PowerPoint. We are excited to partner with Microsoft as we continue to evolve open edX and provide teachers and faculty a richer set of course authoring tools.”
Anoop Gupta, Microsoft Distinguished Scientist and lead for the Office Mix project said, “We are delighted to be partnering with edX. Authoring online lectures is hard today so most faculty don’t even attempt it, whether for MOOCs or for blended-learning scenarios on the campus. In partnering with edX, our goal is to democratize the creation of online lectures and courses.”
Thanks for reading. We look forward to sharing details of more announcements and partnerships in the future. And as always,