Have you ever plugged in your flash drive into a laptop, opened a powerpoint presentation and it doesn't work? Have your students ever done the same thing, and used technology downfall as an excuse to get out of presenting? Have you ever wanted to embed your powerpoint slides on a wiki to share with students and parents? If you answered yes to all of the above then I have your solution.
Slideshare is a site that allows users to upload, store and share powerpoint slide presentations. Slideshare gives you the ability to have your powerpoints at your disposal where ever you go and the best part is that it is totally free!
Last year while I was teaching 1984, I utilized slideshare with my students who were presenting chapters of the novel to the class. I introduced them to slideshare and they were able to upload their presentations and then post them on our class wiki. If you reference my earlier post on wikis in the classroom, you will see that I had students maintain a daily log of their work on the presentations. They had to provide progress, group tasks and any documents they would be handing out during their presentation. Here are two of the examples that students used via slideshare.
You will notice that once the presentations are embedded into your blog or wiki, they allow you to utilize most of the functions that is alloted in a presentation program. Also, teachers can utilize this with all of their presentations they use in the classroom. You can even email them to students if they missed a class in which you gave a presentation. Slideshare is also useful for professional development classes and workshops. It is one way in which you can share your presentations and student work without having to locate, find and sync a flash drive.
Students and colleagues alike can follow along with a slideshare presentation as well. If teachers embed their slideshare presentation to a blog or wiki, students and faculty can follow along on their laptops. This may assist students who have trouble following slides or if students wish to use the presentation as a study guide later in the unit.
I hope you enjoyed this idea and would like to hear feedback about how you utilized slideshare in your own classroom!

Tags: High, K12, School, Students, education, k-12, lesson, plans, powerpoint, presentations, More…secondary, slidshare, technology

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Googledocs is better as it is more collaborative and allows the easy use of Youtube videos. Slideshare is merely passable as you lose all music, animations and video. At that point you might as well output your ppt as jpegs and drop them into a java slideshow which is essentially what slideshare seems to do.
For the project I assigned above, my students were only allowed to use images and brief text to convey their idea. When you rethink the idea of a powerpoint what does a video, massive amounts of text and neat animations provide an audience anyway? If you are presenting it is YOU who is presenting the information, not the powerpoint. If you embed YouTube videos and animations then you might as well tell your students to create an imovie and let the students sit back and watch while the presenter joins in the viewing.

I want my students to be thorough with their research and knowledgeable presenters who can think on their feet and are well versed on what they are presenting. I alway show the first few minutes of Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth" to help students understand what a good presentation looks like. The presentation should be the backdrop to the presenter not overly animated and visually distracting.

Nothing against Googledocs, but when you want students to PRESENT and not ENTERTAIN then have them use slideshare!

I'll leave you with this from a former colleague of mine who was helping students rethink and redesign powerpoint...

If your students are presenting on hieroglyphics, which slide looks better to as an audience member? Which slide intrigues you more? Which slide requires more presenter involvement and knowledge?


or...

The second one looks better if you use an effect in powerpoint to create a virtual flashlight effect that lets you examine pieces of the glyph as if you were really an archaeologist.

Your example helps to proves my point. The first image is all you can get out of slideshare whereas my description of what can be done with the second is only possible in Powerpoint (or Impress or OneNote). Believe me, I agree with you wholeheartedly that Powerpoint is used improperly by most users. That is what bugs me about SlideShare, SlideRocket and yes, even my beloved Google Docs.

These should be thought of as interaction tools more than presentation tools. An overhead projector is a fine presentation tool but I haven't had one in my classroom for 5 years. These web-based systems seem to be pushing us backward to that.
Again, I feel effects are gimmicky and further distract from the presenter. The second slide speaks volumes and with the presenter speaking over it, the message is conveyed while the audience is intrigued. The assignments I posted above, were to have limited text and images that serve as a backdrop to the presentation.

I think we can agree that our students, teachers and administrators, need to understand how to effectively use a powerpoint and that the image of slide #1 is much more appealing to an audience than slide 1. Furthermore, I feel that embedding a powerpoint that is filled up with text (notes) works better as something I can direct my students to on our wikispace or that they can use as a study guide via slideshare. This saves class times and allows my students not to hate me for dictating notes through monotonous powerpoints that they could have just as easily read through on slideshare.
Thanks for this discussion.

I have assigned presentations to my classes. Before the assignment, we experiment with various applications such as authoring comics using different programs, try out some presentation software, video editing software and blogging. Then, when the presentation assignment is given, there is no reference to PowerPoint, Impress, nor any other software. We talk about what makes a presentation effective and the students decide how to use the resources available to deliver their content. Some use presentation software, such as PowerPoint, to organize their animations or video, others use screen capture software and capture their ideas on a desktop to present to the class. The focus is on presentation, not on the good use of presentation software.

The strength of Web 2.0 offerings such as Slide Share, is the ability to connect with other students, share your findings and store information. It is just one of many tools students can use to expand their skills, knowledge and abilities.

Thanks to everyone for sharing discoveries and for reflecting on here. We all need to respond to our students and particular environment. I have learned much from communities such as Classroom 2.0
"When you rethink the idea of a powerpoint what does a video, massive amounts of text and neat animations provide an audience anyway? If you are presenting it is YOU who is presenting the information, not the powerpoint."

I have to agree here. Powerpoint is so often used with distracting elements, lots of text flying in, and mediocre clipart. The slides should be simple and clean. With the slide, you simply are giving the audience a visual to ponder, while you provide the relevant information. After all, you're not going to read everything from your slide, while the audience follows along. If you plan to just read massive amounts of text or bullet points, and the audience can read it for themselves, why even be up there?

Now, if your purpose is to provide notes for students to read later from a blog or website, then that's okay. If your purpose is to present, that's another story.
Try Authorstream or Slideboom to preserve all effects.
I am a big fan of slideshare also...It adds a new element to using PowerPoint...Check out my space on slideshare

CLICK HERE
Great stuff Dan! Thanks for sharing!

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