Friday, September 21, 2007

tt4t_004 Google Presently – an online PowerPoint Alternative

Tech Talk 4 Teachers - Episode 4
Google Presently – an online PowerPoint Alternative

Click here to listen

It’s Friday September 21, 2007 and welcome to Episode 4 of Tech Talk 4 Teachers, I’m Tom Grissom. Well last weeks podcast about Google Docs and Spreadsheets was very timely because this week Google has added the availability of Google Presently to Google Apps. Google Presently is an online presentation tool similar to Microsoft PowerPoint. This past spring I was using zenter, an independent company that was developing a PowerPoint like online tool and I really liked the interface but fortunately or unfortunately it was bought out by Google in June and Google took it off the market. Another PowerPoint like application by Tonic Systems was also purchased by Google in April of this year so Google has been adding intellectual property in this area for some time now. As an educator it is sometimes frustrating to see these companies come and go so I am always cautious about using any Web 2.0 tool because you never know how long they may be around before a bigger company buys them out. The other very frustrating thing with all of these programs is the problem of creating a new userid and password for every application you want to try out. I sat down the other day and started to count how many different userids and passwords I had with various sites and I stopped at 40 between work and home accounts before I became too depressed about this problem. Someday a company will invent a userid and password synchronization tool that will address this issue and when that happens I want to invest in that company. One of the dangers of using Web 2.O tools is that this market is still developing and many of the tools especially the ones that are free appear and disappear rapidly. Many of the tools are supported by advertising, a few are offered as subscription services but this business model is also changing and now that Google is getting closer to completing their online application suite Google and other Web 2.0 companies are considering charging a fee similar to the selling of traditional software. The Advertising supported model is something that I am concerned about as an educator. We are constantly being targeted by advertisers to purchase their products. Do we really want this advertising in our schools? Is free software worth this intangible cost? As my dad used to say there is no such thing as a free lunch and I do worry about the slippery slope of advertisements in schools but that is a topic for another day.
There is so much happening and I have so much to share in the coming weeks so stay tuned for the exciting wild west days of Web 2.0. Speaking of Web 2.0 I will be giving two presentations at the ROE Tech Conference on Oct 5th called School 2.0 Teacher tools for the next generation at Charleston High School. I have presented at this conference for several years and it is always a good conference for local educators to attend. If you are there and have listened to this podcast be sure to stop by and chat. I would love to hear from you and get your opinion on how to improve this show.

Tom’s Technology Pick of the Week
This weeks Technology Pick of the week is Google Presently and links are provided in the show notes for you to check out this new online PowerPoint alternative. There is also a link to a video available on YouTube that does a nice job explaining how Google Apps work.

Google Docs in Plain English YouTube Video

To use any of the Google Apps you will need to register for an account with Google but this is currently free and worthy of a look by educators. Presently is a very basic slideshow program but the attractiveness for me is the ability to share your documents with others and collaborate online. Like Google docs and spreadsheets you can share a Presently document with others to edit and contribute to. When the document is saved you have the ability to go back to previous revisions so you can see a complete history of all changes and see the evolution of the document. This is a great way for educators to collaborate and something I will be investigating further and I will let you know how it is going in future shows.
Well that wraps it up for this week until next time this is Tom Grissom , keep on learning.


Vish said...

Hello Dr.Grissom,

Thanks for your wonderful post and tech updates for educators. Google is fast becoming (or did it already?) Walmart of the internet. But it also answers your concern of having multiple user names and passwords ( i just realized i don't need to enter my user name and password again to write this comment!) But it is very interesting to see those new free applications coming out almost every week from Google. Students can use the collaborator option in Google docs to do group study remotely ( especially for those online classes). It would be interesting to see how people especially in schools use this power feature from Google.


Anonymous said...

Test comment