I noticed that when I searched for PowerPoint presentations that I could use for my classes that many of them were in a format called Slideshare. I was not sure how Slideshare worked I just knew there were many great presentations stored using this tool. As part of my PhD class in Instructional Technology, we learned about Slideshare and explored its many uses. I completed an assignment where we had to use an advanced feature of Slideshare called Slidecast. This tool allows users to apply audio to PowerPoint slides and create a narrated automatic presentation. The assignment required that 10 slides be narrated. I used a past presentation that was done for parents explaining Web 2.0 tools and how their children could use them safely which consisted of 16 slides. I first used Audacity to create an MP3 file containing my voice narration. I had never used Audacity and I found it to be quite user friendly. I was able to go through my audio track and delete all the awkward pauses and instances of filler syllables like “um”, etc. It was quite easy. I then went to the Slideshare website and created an account. This was very straightforward. I then uploaded my PowerPoint slides and my MP3 file. Using the Slidecast feature I was able to sync my audio to the appropriate slide. It worked for me the first time and I did not have any problems. Here is my Slideshare Slidecast if you would like to see and listen to the finished product.
As I completed this assignment I thought of many uses for this tool. It would be great to use to record a lecture for students who are either online or miss a class. Students could also use this to review for an exam or go back over something they did not understand. It can also be used to record presentations done at conferences or presentations you would like to share with colleagues. The only drawback I could see is that it does not support video if the Slidecast feature is used. It also does not recognize any animations or transitions in the presentation. However, I thought that overall it a great tool for education and it easy to learn. I am going to definitely use this web 2.0 tool for my classes going forward.