I spent a few hours today exploring SlideRocket–“the most elegant and feature-rich cloud-based presentations software” out there, according to a review in pcmag.com. My verdict? This is definitely a resource that bcomm teachers should know about.
SlideRocket—like GoogleDocs, SurveyMonkey, WordPress, or any number of other cloud-based applications—is an app that you create an account with and then use via the Web (as opposed to software that you download or upload to your own computer). The free version of SlideRocket enables you to design slide-based videos from scratch or import slide shows from PowerPoint or GoogleDocs and then enhance them. Each slide show you create is given its own URL for you to share with others, post on a website, or otherwise distribute (the free version does not allow you to save your show in any other form).
In addition to offering a nice range of typical design functions, the dashboard enables you easily to add all manner of media—from flickr visuals to youtube videos to live Twitter feeds. (The interactive “Take a Tour” video on SlideRocket.com’s homepage gets you up to speed quickly—and, viewed as an slide show itself, it’s a great example of what SlideRocket can do.)
But perhaps just as useful are the presentation-related resources on SlideRocket.com. The “Resources” tab will take you to presentation guides, tips from the experts, and SlideRocket’s top presentations.
I watched three videos in this last category:
- “Resonate: Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences” by Nancy Duarte (designer of An Inconvenient Truth’s slides and author of Slide:ology),
- “Three Types of Audience-Unfriendly Presentations and How to Fix Them” by Olivia Mitchell, and
- “The Backchannel: A Presenter’s Nightmare, or a Dream Come True?” by Cliff Atkinson (author of the book by the same name and of Beyond Bullet Points).
They were longish—about 20 minutes each—but well worth viewing.
I’m considering using SlideRocket to have my students . . .
- create dynamic, Web-based slide shows (and they can do it in teams, too, since students can share a show with each other and edit it online, much as they would presentations or documents in GoogleDocs), or
- view one or more of the helpful presentations about presentations (perhaps even summarizing one as a written assignment), or
- analyze/evaluate a sample presentation (a sales or marketing presentation would work best) using the advice on SlideRocket.
Have you used SlideRocket in your classes? If so, please share your ideas and tips.