Sunday, November 22, 2009

12 Ways for Students to Publish Slideshows Online

Creating slideshows can be an excellent way for students to summarize their learning, share their what they've learned, and to share their ideas. If you have students that create slideshows that you or they think should be shared with a wider audience than that of their immediate peers in the classroom, the web offers many ways to do that. The following are ten free ways for students to publish their slideshows to the web.

1. The sharing method that is right under most Internet users' noses is Google Docs presentation sharing. Students can create presentations, collaborate on presentations, chat about presentations, and publish presentations using Google Docs. Google Docs presentations can be embedded into any blog or website. Students can also share presentations by emailing or Twittering the url of their presentations.

2. Zoho Show is very similar to Google Docs presentation. Students can create presentations, collaborate on presentations, and publish presentations using Zoho Show. If students don't have a blog or website to embed their presentations into, Zoho Show offers a public gallery to which users can publish their presentations. Some of my students actually prefer Zoho Show to Google Docs presentation because they feel that there are more editing options than in Google Docs presentation. Watch a demo of Zoho Show here.

3. Empressr is a fully functional, high quality, online slide show presentation creation and sharing service. Empressr has a couple of features differentiating it from its competitors. The first feature of note is the option of embedding video from multiple sources into your slide show. The second feature of note is Empressr's editor which allows users to draw, create, or edit images inside their slides. Empressr slideshows can be embedded anywhere.

4. SlideShare is probably the most popular service for publishing slideshows to the web. While you cannot create original works in SlideShare, you can add voice narration to your slideshow with a free service offered by SlideShare. SlideShare offers a variety of widgets for embedding collections of slideshows into one webpage. If you wanted to you could create a collection of your students' slideshows and put them into one widget on one webpage. To learn more about SlideShare, watch this presentation.

5. Slide Boom, like SlideShare, allow users to upload their slide show presentations and share the slide shows publicly or privately. SlideBoom quickly converts your slide shows for use on the SlideBoom website and provides the html code for use on other websites or blogs. SlideBoom preserves the transitions you included in your original presentation when your slideshow is uploaded to SlideBoom.

6. Slide Six is a slide show sharing site similar to Slide Share or Slide Boom with a couple of added features. Just as on Slide Share and Slide Boom users can upload and share slide show presentations privately or publicly. What makes Slide Six better than and easier to use than Slide Share or Slide Boom is that Slide Six users can add narration to their slide show directly on the Slide Six website. Slide Six allows users to embed YouTube and Vimeo videos into your presentations. You can also attach documents to accompany your presentations. Slide Six supports all PowerPoint formats, Open Office, PDF, and MOV presentations.

7. Slide Rocket is a web based presentation creator similar to Empressr. Slide Rocket has some very nice features like 3D transitions and a collaboration feature for sharing the creation process with other users. Slide Rocket's interface is user friendly making it easy to include videos, pictures, or third party plug-ins. The quality and definition of images on Slide Rocket is far superior to that found in many of its competitors' offerings.

8. Author Stream is a service that converts your PowerPoint slideshows to flash media files. Just like SlideShare, Author Stream can be used to host and share your slide shows publicly or privately directly on the Author Stream website. In addition to sharing on the Author Stream website the slideshows you upload can also be shared via Youtube, iTunes, or embedded into a blog or website. A free companion tool to Author Stream is Author Point Lite. Author Point Lite is a desktop application that converts Power Point files to flash files. Files converted with Author Point Lite retain all of the transitions, timings, and narration created in your original file. Author Point Lite is a free download.

9. Photo Show is a great service for making fantastic slideshow and video presentations. Photo Show allows users to upload their photos or use photos from the Internet to make into slide show which can then be turned into a video. Photo Show users can add text and audio to accompany their presentation. There are a few options for sharing projects made on Photo Show. Users can download their projects as Quicktime movies, share via email, or share through embedding.

10. Photo Peach is a new service that allows you to quickly and easily create an audio slideshow, with captions, from images in your Flickr, Picassa, or Facebook account. You can also use images saved on your local hard drive to create your slideshow. To add captions to your Photo Peach slideshow simply type your desired text into the caption box that appears as each image is automatically displayed by Photo Peach. Changing the sequence of images in Photo Peach is a simple drag and drop procedure.

11 & 12. If you convert your slideshows into PDF format, you can upload them and host them on DocStoc and Scribd. Both DocStoc and Scribd will provide you with an editable (for height and width) embed code for your PDF.

If you found this list useful, you may also want to read:
Twelve Essentials for Technology Integration
10 Places to Make and Find Flashcards Online
Beyond Google - Improve Your Search Results
6 Ways for Students to Publish Their Writing Online

Teach and Learn Genetics - Free Lesson Plans

Learn Genetics and Teach Genetics are produced by the University of Utah for, as their names imply, learning and teaching about genetics. Teach Genetics offers dozens of downloadable lesson plans. Many of the lesson plans available on Teach Genetics are designed to accompany the visual learning resources found on Learn Genetics. Learn Genetics features many excellent visual aids to explain the fundamentals of genetics.

One of the excellent visuals on Learn Genetics is the Cell Size and Scale interactive visual aid. Cell Size and Scale shows visitors the size of cells relative to common small items such as coffee beans and rice grains. Use the slider at the bottom of Cell Size and Scale to see how small cells are.

Thanks to Fred Delventhal for posting the link to Cell Size and Scale.

Applications for Education
Teach and Learn Genetics provides excellent visual aids to help your students understand concepts in the study of genetics. Take a look at the "Print and Go" section of Teach Genetics to find lesson plans corresponding to different topics in genetics.

Where Does Thanksgiving Grow?

Where Does Thanksgiving Grow? is a neat data set produced by Linda Zellmer at Western Illinois State University. The data sets contain information about where the main ingredients in Thanksgiving meal come from. The data sets are displayed on maps showing you which states produce the most and least of each ingredient. For example, click on the turkey production data set and you will see that in 2007 Minnesota and North Carolina were the leading producers of turkeys. You can access the data sets individually or as a comprehensive PDF poster.

Applications for Education
The maps and data in Whers Does Thanksgiving Grow could be the basis for a lesson in which students explore why different parts of the country produce a lot of one ingredient in a Thanksgiving dinner while other regions do not produce that same ingredient.

My Studiyo - Multimedia Quizzes for Your Site

MyStudiyo is an easy way to make a multimedia quiz for your website or blog. With MyStudiyo you can include video, audio, and image file in your quiz. Each question in your quiz can have a different media format. There are two options for answer format, multiple choice or open-ended response. Quizzes are easy to create and easy to embed into a website or blog.

Below is a simple two-question quiz I made using My Studiyo.

Applications for Education
MyStudiyo quizzes are completely customizable.
MyStudiyo quizzes are useful for any content area or grade level. You write the questions and the answer choices therefore the content and difficulty of a quiz is up to you to determine. The ability to integrate multimedia clues in your quiz helps to address the needs of a variety of learning styles.

Free Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference

As some of you know, my school rolled out a 1:1 program using ASUS Eee NetbooksrunningUbuntu. Our students have quickly figured out how to use Ubuntu. Some of the faculty, however, have not adopted Ubuntu as quickly as the students. This morning I discovered a free ebook that I will be sure to share with my colleagues. Keir Thomas'Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Referenceis available in print form from Amazon or as a free PDF download here and here.

For the teachers in my school, chapters two and three are all they will probably ever need to read. If you are looking to install Ubuntu on your personal computer, Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference will provide you with everything you need to know to get started.