Quick Lab Videos Using Office Mix

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[Originally published on September 23, 2015]

This semester, I'm working on pre-lab videos for our organic 1 sequence. I've done a couple of short "how-to" videos in lab using just my phone. I like using Camtasia for video editing, but it accepts a limited number of file types, and I can't embed the quicktime video from my phone directly into Camtasia. I assume others have encountered this challenge as well, and I wanted to share two solutions - one a bit cleaner, and one a bit quicker:

The Right Way:

A File Conversion Tool Our local AV guru recommends Wondershare Video Converter Pro. For high-quality videos, this is definitely the way to go.

The Quick Way: Use Embed the Video Using Office Mix

Office Mix is a very powerful add-on that is available for Powerpoint. Using this tool, you can record clips from any video file - Youtube, Vimeo, or wherever, and import it into your Powerpoint presentation. I also use the Camtasia add-in for Powerpoint, so this is a nice trick for incorporating video without doing a file conversion.

For example, this week the students are using a rotovap for the first time. In last week's lab, I had a student quickly film me setting up the rotovap. I emailed myself the video. I was able to then "clip" the part of the video I wanted directly into the powerpoint presentation. The whole thing took only a couple minutes. Here's a segment from the completed video: 

Video Link : 1827

With a little more time, I'd love to slow down, script it out, plan my motions, and have everything a little more polished. But at this point in the semester, I have to be content with a "good enough" production - and this seems like a nice, quick way to get there.

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About the Author
Kevin Revell received his bachelor's degree from the University of New Orleans in 1995, then his Master's Degree in Organic Chemistry from Iowa State in 2000. After several very formative years working in the pharmaceutical industry, he decided to go into education, and from 2002-2006 he taught chemistry at Southeastern University in Lakeland, FL. Following completion of his Ph.D. from the University of South Florida in 2006, Kevin joined the faculty at Murray State University in Murray, KY. Kevin's research interests include organic synthesis and functional organic materials. He loves to teach, and is increasingly interested in science education in flipped and online class settings. He and his wife Jennifer have 3 kids, and they stay busy between family, church, school, and playing basketball in the driveway.