In this section we will reflect upon the following points -
• what presentationsharing software is for .
• Using presentationsharing sites to find presentations you could use or adapt.
• Uploading a presentation of your own to a presentationsharing site.
The availability of Software such as PowerPoint has enabled teachers to create professional presentations quickly and easily and to store them on their own computer. Teachers and lecturers are doing this every day, as are people from outside the education sector. There are over 300 million PowerPoint users in the world who do 30 million presentations every day. Many of them are happy to share their presentations with others. This represents an invaluable resource for teachers and for students. A wide range of software applications exist which allow this to happen.
Some of them are purely for sharing presentations you have already created, using, for example, WindowsPowerPoint or Mac Keynote. These include SlideShare and SlideBurner. Others such as mPOWER allow you to create a new presentation from scratch as well assharing your presentation with users worldwide or publishing it to the web. We really love PREZI. Here you can find a tutorial for Prezi.
Some are free to users, such as SlideShare, others are free initially but have a subscription system once you have used over a certain amount of space e.g. SlideBurner. Still others, like PPTExchange, not only enable users to store presentations but act as a market place where PowerPoint presentations can be bought, sold or traded. Some, like authorSTREAM, produce a ‘lite’ version, which is free, but charge for the full version. They all work in more or less the same way.
On the free sites, anyone can access the presentations that have been uploaded. Presentations can be searched by author, topic or title in the normal way. Some of these are watch-only, others can be downloaded, depending on the author’s preference. Presentations by the same author and related presentations are also shown. There is a facility for commenting on the presentations.
If you want to upload your own presentations you normally need to register for an account. We recommend SlideShare as it is easily the biggest, is easy to use and is free. It also seems to have more teachers using it than other sites so the material is likely to be more relevant. You create your slide show, tag it and upload it onto a host site. You are given the option of making it private or public, available or not available as a download for other users and can also indicate whether other users can reuse or repurpose it for another context.
Publishing and embedding
Every presentation uploaded gets a unique url that can be embedded in blogs, websites, LMS, email or even other PowerPoint presentations! More recently, new generation software such as AuthorSTREAM allows its users to share their presentations on Apple iPod or iPhone or on equivalent devices and to upload it on YouTube. AuthorSTREAM also supports sounds, gif animations and narrations within a PowerPoint presentation.
The greatest value of SlideShare, it must be said, is not actually in the classroom but in the time it saves teachers preparing lessons and in preparing their own presentations. However, pupils can access SlideShare as part of their research on a topic and older pupils can be encouraged to use SlideShare as a resource to provide supplementary information around the topic they are studying.
Asking students to make a PowerPoint presentation and upload it is also a good assessment vehicle.
1. Sign up for a SlideShare account and publish your next presentation.
2. Reuse or repurpose an‘open content'* presentation you found onSlideShare with a class you are teaching.
*No copyright (or a Creative Commons license that permits this). www.search.creativecommons.org
Just Google the names of the software listed above in the text for more information