Monday, August 17, 2009
When I first saw the name SlideShare I thought it was going to be another photo sharing space. I am happy to say that I was wrong! It is a tool that will come in ever so handy in the classrooms of today (that is some of today, unfortunately for others it will be the classrooms of tomorrow...). It fits hand-in-hand with the use of PowerPoint , which is becoming the replacment for whiteboards and markers. The beauty of Slide Share is that you can upload your Powerpoint presentations to it, have them publically available, and even upload them from SlideShare onto a blog or wiki etc. No longer will we have to carry around a memory stick, or have to change our entire lesson if, God forbid, something dreadful happens to the laptop, because with slideshare, you can access it online!
The Slide Share above has not been converted to a Slide Cast (which makes it a presentation with the audio overlay) because my computer does not have a microphone - make sure yours does if you are going to use it!! As such, all the information on each page comes up at once rather than clicking through and allowing each object to come up in order. If anyone knows how to deal with this... I world appreciate the help!
The other great thing about this tool is that you can upload adio files and attach them to your presentations. Can you imagine how this might change classrooms as we know it?? We could introduce 'flexi-classes', which I guess is more of a uni-style class, but available for primary and secondary. The Learning Manager uses a Powerpoint Presentation to enhance the learning experience, while as the same time recording what is being said onto his computer. After the lesson the audio file can be converted to an .MP3 using afree tool like Format Factory (Thank you to Jim Price for showing me this tool). The audio file is then uploaded to SlideShare, synchronised to the Presentation used in class, then uploaded to the class's moodle/blog/blackboard/wiki space. That way, if a learner misses a class, they can 'do' the class online. Or if a student wants to go back to the class that can go back and take it again, with the ability to 'pause' it if they need to, or 'skip' to the relevant section. Sure, it is not as interactive as being in the class at the time, but if it's posted on, for example, a blog, learners can use the 'comment' option to ask the learning manager questions or queeries.
What a useful piece of technology! It could also be another way of giving students a Learning Task, rather than (or as well as) handing out a piece of paper and giving instruction, Learning managers could create a powerpoint to explain the task and synchronise vocal instructions to it. Then you don't have to be re-photocopying task sheets all the time for those who have the tendancy to lose them. They can also access it from any computer and watch it as many times as needed.
In a similar way it could be used to give learners their homework. This would save time in class handing out and glueing homework sheets in. It also means they have less excuses for not completing it (or a different set of them at least! "My internet was down...").
I have found another web tool that I think is really useful in this digital age. It still allows for productive pedagogies on behalf of the learning manager, and higher order thinking on behalf of the learner, it just gives a new/updated and relevant platform from which to do this.