When teachers give students the opportunity to show what they’ve learned through a PowerPoint presentation, the most enjoyable part comes at the end of the project when students share their work with the whole group. Unfortunately, this is often the most cumbersome part for a variety of reasons: compatibility issues due to different versions of PowerPoint, trouble downloading student work from a Finalsite Dropbox, students forgetting the flash drive they saved the project to, missing media files, the list goes on.
If you’ve ever experienced any of the above issues, then you should definitely check out SlideShare–a website that was recently voted amongst the World’s Top 10 tools for education & eLearning. So what is it? It’s the world’s largest online community for sharing presentations. Basically anyone with a free SlideShare account can upload a presentation to the site and access it from any computer that has an Internet connection. SlideShare even has a mobile version of their site, so you can access uploaded presentations from a smartphone! And besides presentations, SlideShare also supports documents, PDFs, videos and webinars. So if you’re students upload their presentations to SlideShare and provide you with links and/or keywords for them, you’ll have no problem accessing them from your computer at home or at school. It’s also a good learning tool that allows you to browse presentations other people have shared with the world, and evaluate the quality or veracity of their contents.
Here’s a list of the different file types SlideShare supports, as well as some other features:
Presentations: PDF, ppt, pps, pptx, ppsx, pot, potx (Powerpoint); odp (OpenOffice); key, zip (Apple Keynote).
Documents: PDF, doc, docx, rtf (MSOffice); odt, ods (OpenOffice); Apple iWork Pages, txt, csv
Video: Pretty much all the usual formats, except WMV.
Upload presentations publicly or privately (PRO version needed for private uploads)
Download presentations on any topic and reuse or remix
Embed on blogs, websites, company intranets
Embed YouTube videos inside SlideShare presentations
Of course, to sign up for a free version you must register with an e-mail address–something you cannot require students to do–and be aware of the fact that uploaded presentations will be available for the whole world to see. So make sure that your students understand this and caution them against including any personal information in their presentations.
Go ahead and check out the presentation embedded below. It’s one of my own that I created with Apple’s Keynote software.