Death by Powerpoint has almost become a running joke at conferences and in education. Despite that, presentations are a staple of many conferences, courses and learning programmes.
it’s very easy to upload and link to a Powerpoint presentation, but does mean that not only does a learner need to click a link and download a file, but also (usually) needs Powerpoint on their computer. If they don’t then we might send them off to download OpenOffice another step and hurdle.
One service I am using much more now for my presentations is Slideshare. It allows you to upload a presentation and converts it into a Flash slideshow. This can either be viewed on the Slideshare website or can be embedded into a webpage. This means you can embed it into the VLE.
This allows learners to immediately access the presentation, without needing to wait for it to download. With larger presentations this can be a long wait on a slow connection. As Slideshare allows you to navigate to a specific slide, this means that learners who want to look at one slide can more easily than from a whole Powerpoint.
Of course there are a few downsides, the main one is that Slideshare is an open service, so your presentations are public and you may not want that. Though that’s also an advantage in that there are lots of presentations on the site that you can use and embed into the VLE.
Being Flash based this could cause issues if your learners have lots of iPhones and iPads, however Slideshare now provide an iPhone friendly service.
It is very simple to link to Powerpoint files, however using a service like Slideshare allows you to easily embed not just your presentations, but also other presentations from the site, straight into the VLE.