Google Docs and Spreadsheets are proving very popular in the e-learning community, though one obvious application is “missing”, and that is presentation software (a PowerPoint replacement).
Mashable is reporting that Google is about to launch their web based presentation software, Presently.
Google’s PowerPoint killer looks to be on the horizon. Called Presently, the presentation-creation tool will offer a web-based solution for users.
This will provide a real solution to delivering online presentations and also enable learners to access PowerPoint presentations via the web (say delivered from a VLE). Not every learner will have Microsoft Office installed and though PowerPoint Viewer is an option for some, it is not an option for all.
Regardless of whether you think PowerPoint is not an useful e-learning tool (death by PowerPoint anyone) or is, it is used on a regular basis by a lot of practitioners across the world.
I think despite the dominance of Microsoft Office there is room for a web based presentation application and I am hoping that Presently will fit the bill.
If you have created a PowerPoint presentation and added some audio files, say an audio track or a recording from the British Library Archival Sound Recordings collection you may find when you upload the presentation to a website or your VLE that the audio files are now “missing”.
This is because PowerPoint has an option that for files bigger than a certain size it will link to them rather than embed them. This is fine if you play the presentation from your laptop or computer, but rather annoying for a learner who has downloaded the presentation from the VLE and is attempting to play the presentation at home.
In PowerPoint 2003
Tools > Options > General Tab
Link sounds with file size greater than <insert a number which is larger than the size of the audio files being used>
I tested this on our Moodle VLE and it worked a treat. I would guess that later and earlier versions of PowerPoint have a similar option.
TechDis have published the third of their accessibility essentials guides. This third guide can tell you all you need to know about creating accessible presentations in PowerPoint.
As multimedia presentations are increasingly favoured as a means of delivering lectures, the importance of making them accessible to all learners becomes crucial. Software such as PowerPoint can present barriers to some learners, but it can also support others, and this Guide to Creating Accessible Presentations can show you how.
It has four sections:
Using Microsoft PowerPoint Accessibly within Teaching and Learning
Implementing Inclusive Practice
Delivering Presentations Inclusively
Good Practice in Providing Alternative Outputs to Support Accessibility
The guide also looks at the importance of making PowerPoint components accessible for others to re-use.
The presentations from the JISC Digitisation Conference 2007 are now available from the conference blog. This will be useful as (obviously) I couldn’t attend all the parallel sessions and there were quite a few I wanted to attend.
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