Thursday, January 8, 2009

Where's the Power Point?

First a note about presentations. I am using a "presentation blog" instead of Power Point! This is a great example of the transformations we are going to discuss:


  • Paper-Centric (where did I put that?)
  • Static and singular (difficult to update and distribute after-the-fact)
  • Non-Interactive (Where are the responses, additions, and suggestions?)


  • Web-Native (everyplace, anytime & active hyperlinks to resources)
  • Active Updating (simple, push-button updating online)
  • Interactive (open to input from selected group or worldwide readers)
  • Syndicated worldwide instantly via RSS (see the syndications in right column)


  1. Hi Ray. Sorry I could not make your talk at UIC.

    I like the idea of using blogs (and other tools) instead of PowerPoint; I, myself do it all the time. As you very well know, I am a big Web 2.0 evangelist myself, including my usual "blogs for everything" rant, (well, almost for everything).

    However, I cannot get over the fact that you, I and many of our colleages have the stamina and adaptability to leave PowerPoint, whereas most faculty are busy, they don't time to mass-produce lecture presentations via blogs.

    I feel good everytime I walk into a Starbucks and see students watching narrated PowerPoint presentations, earbuds on, and jotting some notes down on the PowerPoint printouts. You and I have both preached that, over the years.

    It works, it's easy for the faculty, and it offers a lot of value to the students: class slides, along with voice narration plus note taking for reinforcement. I've also been encouraging instructors to also produce audio-only download-and-play Podcasts of their lectures - very easily done with PointeCast Publisher, for example :: just check the "generate MP3 audio" box (in addition to the fully-animated Flash narrated presentation.

    PowerPoint is popular because it truly is very easy to use, a simple authoring environment for creating all sorts of presentations and teaching and learning content; add to that simple converters to compress audio, video, and to make animations and deliver them in ubiquitous Flash, and you have one heck of a teaching and learning authoring system.

    Synchronized narrated audio presentations, animations, slide builds, diagraming, drawing and anotating, to name a few, are not easy to do with blogs, wikis, Adobe Buzzword, GoogleDocs, LessonBuilder, Fizi, etc. etc.

    Not easy, and in some cases, just not possible. But again, the key is lack of time, lack of time of busy faculty members and instructors at large.
    --- Ed Garay, UIC

  2. Many institutions limit access to their online information. Making this information available will be an asset to all.