Monday, 16 January 2017

Using Office Mix to differentiate tasks and show visual demonstrations

We are working with over 100 incredibly talented and creative teachers as part of the Star Classroom program. As a result, no 2 training sessions have been the same, despite covering the same content in each session. Creative and innovative teachers finding new ways to use the equipment and software is always exciting. Recently, we found another great possible use of Office Mix:

In a mixed class (it could be a mixed ability class, or a mixed year group class etc) there are often differentiated tasks set for the group. In this example, we were experimenting with a handwriting activity where 2 tasks were set depending on the year group/ability of the pupils. All we did was set up a PowerPoint slide, and use Office Mix to record us demonstrating the handwriting task for each group. There was no sound. When pupils were sent off to work independently, the teacher could loop the single slide PowerPoint as a presentation to continuously play. 
As a result, on the big screen,  the pupils had their visual demonstration of what the task was. This was for both groups of students, for all to see, without the teacher having to switch between slides, or continuously having to demonstrate the handwriting. It kept playing on a loop without the teacher having to restart the video each time.

In this example we were experimenting - but this use of Office Mix lends itself perfectly for any type of task that needs a visual demonstration - it doesn't have to be a differentiated one: any task that you demonstrate on the board first, why not record the demonstration and have it 'looping' at the front for all to see and refer back to as-and-when they need it throughout the lesson - to save you having to keep doing it - allowing you to target those that need additional support or extension. Take a column addition demonstration for example - explain it, leave it looping at the front, and off you go to your support groups:

We've said it before and we'll say it again - simple and effective.

Office Mix is a free add in to PowerPoint available to all DRET staff. We have an Office Mix training video available to those with a DRET login here, or to see how we did this particular example, click here.

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