Thursday, April 9, 2009

Slideshare for Classroom Wiki

Over the years, I've wanted a method to gather student works for display on the Internet. The reasons are three-fold: to share the work with parents, to cut down on printing costs, and to give the students a more permanent record of their work with me.

PowerPoint/ JPEG Combination
Most of the programs I
use in class can generate JPEG images. I've recently been placing classroom PowerPoint and Activstudio flip charts in Slideshare to help explain my work on my blog.

I decided to bring many examples of my third grade student's work home and try to create PowerPoint slides. It worked well. I have 22 students. They have worked in Word, KidPix, and Kidspiration on various projects.

How I Will Use the Content
Over the years, I have sent home letters to the parents to show the work we complete i
n computer class. It can be a waste of paper and photocopying supplies when students forget to pass papers on from their backpack to their parents.

This year, the school included a spot for parents to share their email address if they wished to receive information from the school. I decided to collect the email address and create an online newsletter. As of April 9th, I am still tweaking the newsletters. I hope to send a link to th
em by the end of Easter break on April 20th.

Basic Logistics

Many pieces of work are stored on our school file server. The files are stored by class (e.g., 3A, 4A, 4B, and so on). KidPix and Kidspiration are stored on local drives. It took about a half hour yesterday to create an EasterBreak folder on the server, create subfolders for each grade, and slide the files from the local drive to the hard drive.

For the KidPix projects, I was already saving the files as JPEGs in the Documents folder. The Kidspiration files end up in the Documents folder by default. When I returned home last night, I opened the Kidspiration files and Exported them as JPEGs.

It didn't take too long to create the PowerPoint file, slide each JPEG to a Title Only slide from the folder on the desktop, resize or crop the image, and upload the finished PowerPoint to Slideshare.

Tweaking Slideshare
My only hesitation about the whole process came after loading a few sample Slideshares to the wiki and viewing them. At the end of the series of slides, it shows "related" slide shows. I searched their FAQ to see if they could be removed and then decided to take a closer look at the individual screen for a slide show. I noticed a tiny link labeled Custom underneath the embed code. I was so happy to see there was a second embed code titled "Without related presentations". Now I have all 22 presentations embedded on the wiki.

I will be able to save the wiki page to the school delicious account. The students can view each other's work when they finish the planned project when we return to school. They will be linked to via the online newsletter.

It's great when a plan comes together.


  1. Thank you Ann! "Post without related slides" is crucial, especially in an elementary school. You're ideas and posts are always helpful.

  2. Now I'm trying to figure out how to upload slides with notes. I know I can create a slidecast with an MP3 file. I might have to go that route. I'm glad you find the posts helpful.

  3. @ Ann
    Thanks for the tip on slideshare.

  4. You're welcome, Charlie. I am now working with to upload some fourth grade work. It allows you to show the notes section of the presentation as well as the slides. It's another amazing free utility on the web.