Thursday, March 12, 2020

Cisco Makes Webex Free and Publishes Guides for Teachers and Students

In amongst a wave of email related to COVID-19 I found a message from my local Cisco contact (my school licenses their NetAcad program) that Webex is now free to any school that needs it to conduct classes online.

To support a quick transition to using Webex for classes, Cisco has published some short guides to getting started with Webex. There are guides made for teachers, guides made for students, and guides made for parents. The target audience for the student guides appears to be middle school age and older. All of the guides can be downloaded as PDFs.

For those who would like a little more guidance on how to use Webex, Cisco has two recorded webinars available. This is the one for teachers and this is the one for students. Again, the student audience should be middle school or older. I'd say that if you're a middle school teacher you should encourage parents to watch the student webinar.

Slido for PowerPoint - Create and Run Polls Within Your Presentation

Slido for Google Slides was one of my favorite new tools in 2019. That's why I'm excited that it's now available for PowerPoint and Zoom too! As part of Slido for Education Slido now lets you create polls and run polls within Google Slides, PowerPoint, and Zoom presentations. Slido is hosting a free webinar next Thursday about how to use their product, but I couldn't wait so I went ahead and attempted to test Slido's PowerPoint integration for myself.

Slido's new PowerPoint integration works on the Windows 10 version of PowerPoint. At this time it doesn't appear to work with the Mac or web versions of PowerPoint. Additionally, you have to use a school-issued email account to sign into Slido within PowerPoint. If you can meet all of those requirements then you can go ahead and download Slido for PowerPoint.

To be fair to Slido, their PowerPoint integration is in beta so it's not unusual to find some quirks. That said, I found it to be exceptionally quirky just to set it up. First, I had to manually extract all of the files from the installation zip file. Then once I ran that gauntlet I was able to sign-in using my G Suite for Education account or so I thought. Unfortunately, when I logged in with my G Suite for Education account Slido put up a message that said "only available to those in education." So that's where my test of Slido's PowerPoint integration ended. Hopefully, the webinar that they're hosting next week explains how to actually use Slido's PowerPoint integration.

If you want to see how Slido's PowerPoint integration is supposed to work, you can watch this video that they published.

Slido for Google Slides works very well and I'm very happy with it. Hopefully, once they get the kinks worked out the Slido PowerPoint integration works just as well as the Google Slides integration.

Popular Posts