Friday, 1 October 2010

Sharing presentations

Have a presentation next week where some of the participants can't attend in person so we will, at another time, go through the slides with them remotely but the presentation has been developed by someone else in Office 2007 .pptx format. Boo!

Whilst it is possible to share this with various web conferencing software by sharing screen displays they all rely on either Flash (DimDim), Java (Elluminate) or both. Whilst these are excellent services they can have some 'set up' issues. I'd like a much smaller barrier as this is the first meeting of the group.

I would prefer to present this using a simple interface that needs no logging in and can be used whilst talking over the telephone. i.e. Google Docs. However, Google docs works with ppt files and not pptx files. Also if I open the presentation with Open Office and save it in Office 97/2000/XP version .ppt format then Google thinks it's corrupt. Hmm I wonder who is corrupt. It couldn't be Microsoft could it trying to force people to use a new version of their Office software? (Got a copy of MS Office 2003 on a laptop so will have to go there and do a conversion I suppose. But really ... why?)

Recently seen some excellent examples of document sharing using Google Docs on the CPsquare Foundations course. I think the ability to use simple collaborative and white boarding tools with low barriers for participation is very important for engaging learners especially those who are less experienced with such online participation. Being inclusive is more important than choosing a particular technology. Something that just uses the browser without any need for plugins would be ideal.

Any suggestions for very simple whiteboard viewers?

skrbl looks good but doesn't seem to do pictures / screen shots
Google Docs Drawing seems better but would be a little clunky for a long presentation

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