19 April 2010

Thing 20: Just Whelmed

Before I get started with the real meat of this post, let me say this: the funniest part of browsing Slideshare was absolutely seeing the thumbnails of the Powerpoints and recognizing how many of the design templates I've used in the past.  I was having all kinds of flashbacks to every presentation I've ever made for students and workshops and classes.

But I digress.  The thing is, I wanted to like Slideshare.  I really did.  I liked it in theory.  However, when push comes to shove, as far as my teaching goes, I really don't see too much of an advantage of putting a presentation up on Slideshare instead of just emailing it to those students or colleagues I need to share it with. 

After exploring a few Slideshares, I found myself disappointed.  Maybe if you could record audio to accompany the uploaded files, I thought, there would be some more value added, but without that, it's kind of boring.  In fact, I think Voicethread is more useful, even if it's a little more cumbersome to create the presentation.  I'm not kidding - I was so desperately wanting for there to be audio that I checked my speakers at least 8 times to make sure they weren't muted while I was looking at the presentations.

Still frustrated, I went back to the Slideshare that explains this whole thing and it found that you can include audio after all.  That left me with a whole different problem - why isn't anyone using it?  And why isn't searching for the Slidecasts that integrate audio easier?  The browse feature is pretty straightforward for the regular Slideshares, but much less user-friendly for the Slidecasts.

Ultimately, I didn't find anything too impressive on Slideshare.  I'm willing to admit that my frustration levels and initial disappointment might have rendered me a tough audience, but I didn't stumble upon anything great like I did on the Ning site, or get really excited about the application like I did with Voicethread, or immediately start generating ideas for lessons and projects like I did with wikis.  I'm sure for some people, this works - I see the value maybe for corporate types who want to ensure some kind of standardization of training and not share original files lest they be altered - but for me, emailing presentations is just peachy.  Not overwhelmed, not too underwhelmed...just whelmed.

But here's the first something I found that I thought was kind of interesting:

1 comment:

  1. What if everyone was more open with the presentations that they make and posted them to slideshare? Then when you searched, perhaps you would find more valuable presentations.