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Question: Is there an easy way to share PowerPoint shows on the web?

The IT Guy says:
I hesitate to use the word "easy" in relation to anything dealing with technology, but there are several not-too-hard ways to do this!

If you have your own web page where you can upload files, I recommend using Camtasia Studio. It will record your onscreen presentation and (if you use a microphone) your narration. You can even hook up a webcam and capture a picture-in-picture video of you or your student doing the presentation. After you're done, you can edit the recording to take out "umms" or other mistakes, and then export the file as a Flash video to upload to your own website, TeacherTube, or other site. The major downside is that the program is fairly expensive, in the neighborhood of $300.

If that's not an option, a simpler choice is the website Slideshare. You create a free account, and then you can upload your PowerPoint slideshow. It can be viewed from any Internet-connected computer, and can be watched in a small window or full screen. Disadvantages are that you have to put up with advertising on the page with your slideshow (not visible in full-screen mode, though), there are no transitions, and in the standard format there is no audio track. They have added a "Slidecast" option now, but you need to record the audio separately and upload it, so it's not quite straightforward.

The last option is a bit more complicated, but pretty cool. It's called Zentation. With Zentation, you record a video of yourself or your student doing the presentation, and upload it to Google video. Then you upload the PowerPoint file to the Zentation website, and through a fairly simple process you synchronize the video with the slide show. When viewed on the web, the video appears in a small window in the upper corner while the slide show takes up most of the screen. The viewer also sees a list of slide titles, and can click on them to jump ahead or backwards in the presentation. It's very slick and you can see some examples at their website.

So there are three options. If anyone has other suggestions, please email them to me through the IT Guy link and I'll share them in future columns!

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