Each week in the Staff Development Lab, we offer a "Power Lunch" learning session that focuses on ways to integrate technology. Faculty and staff members are invited to "learn as they munch" -- they bring their lunch to the lab, and we provide a short demonstration (about 20 minutes) and a beverage and treat (cookies, granola bar, etc.).
Last week's topic was "Google Tools for the Classroom" which focused on using "Google Docs" -- word processing and spreadsheet files that can be shared, co-authored and edited in real time, on the web. Documents can be public or private, and can be shared as "view only" or with editing access. CommonCraft has recently published a great introductory video called "Google Docs in Plain English" -- see: http://www.commoncraft.com/video-googledocs
As I was preparing for the session, I created a handout to share with the attendees, along with several sample files for the demo. However, as I was sharing the process for uploading files, I was surprised to see that in addition to uploading Word and Excel files, Google now provides an online presentation tool!
Users can upload PowerPoint files, which can be edited using a web browser. Similar to the Docs and Spreadsheet tools, collaborators and viewers can be invited, and the final presentation can be published for all. There is a even a feature for presenting "live" across the Internet and the ability to interact with the internet-based audience.
There are about a dozen background templates for creating a presentation without first uploading a PowerPoint file. Limitations are: not more than 10mb in size, and unlike Docs and Spreadsheets, presentation files cannot be downloaded for further editing in PowerPoint.
What a great educational tool for students who are given "group" projects. No worries about who had the most recent copy of the presentation. No worries about file incompatibility. Yay Google!!