Posts Tagged ‘google’

PostHeaderIcon Death to Powerpoint

There are many presentation options in the cloud.  Powerpoint is not always the best choice when creating a presentation.  Depending on where the presentation will be shared and presented, I have found better options.  Cloud computing is helpful when you do not know where you will be presenting or if the machine you will use is a mac or pc.  However, keep in mind if the location you are presenting does not have internet access cloud options are not ideal.  Keep in mind the criteria Sliderocket writes about in their blog.


Pros:   This option reminds me of keynote in its end product.  The graphics and functionality are seamless and professional.  I really liked the user interface for editing and adding content.  You can easily embed any presentation into your website.  You can also export the presentation as a PDF (But you must be in presentation mode in order to do this).  Adding charts, media, and forms/polls is easy and integrated.  There are a lot of cool effects that you can use during the presentation.  Not to mention the ability to create your own theme.  It also allows you to add music to your slides that will auto play.

Cons:  You have to purchase a subscription to export your presentation as an editable presentation.  Flash-based utility (no iOS)


Pros:  Easy embedding into any site.  Also easy import of YouTube videos by merely pasting in the URL for the video.  I really like Prezi for an interest catcher.

Cons:  It is easy to overuse the zooming effects and some listeners to your presentations might become motion sick.  Be careful when using the zoom feature.  Limited background but this can be remedied with importing images.  It is flash-based so viewing on iDevices is out.  Hopefully they will come up with a HTML5 version soon.

280 Slides

Pros:  Very easy to use and embedding, downloading, and sharing of all kinds is easy to use.  One does not have to create an account which is nice in a school (but you cannot save to the site without a login).  The site is free and exporting in Powerpoint 2007 is very easy to do.  The user can import media and pictures.

Cons:  The user is very limited in terms of backgrounds.  Although you can import a picture as a background this is not as convenient as creating a theme.  This is a very stripped down version of powerpoint.  Flash-based utility (no iOS)


Pros:  Very easy to use, however, it is a unique presentation tool.  Instead of creating slides from original data, this product takes pictures, audio, video, and urls located online to create a stack of information.  An interesting idea and a new way to think about presentations.  The embed code is listed on the website and it can easily be posted to twitter and Facebook.

Cons:  If the data required is not online,  this solution would not be ideal.

Google Docs Presentation

Pros:  User friendly and connected to the users Google Account.  Another login is not necessary.  Product functions very similar to powerpoint.  Adding speaker’s notes is easy and any presentation can be shared and collaborated on in realtime.  Exporting can be accomplished from a PDF, text, and Powerpoint file.  Importing media and pictures is clear and understandable.

Cons:  Limited amount of fonts to choose from.  There are no layouts to choose from.  Objects cannot be rotated.






PostHeaderIcon Education & Google Apps — Computing in the Cloud

End of the year craziness has limited my blogging time, but I am here again to talk about something that I am in the midst of.  I am not on the back-end of setting it up but I am a user experiencing a transition in our school.  We will soon be utilizing Google Apps for Education in our district.  I am very excited about the potential.

Many schools are transitioning to Google Apps as their email and document/media management system.  Cost is a big reason, but also the cloud computing potential.  Rather than setting up remote access, hosting everything in the cloud is much easier from the backend.  A computer then becomes merely a portal.  I think this is ideal in a school because one does not always have access to the same computer day after day unless you are a staff member.  Students get online from any available computer.  Can we transition to tablets??  Big question if everything is hosting in the cloud.

I have a been a Gmail user for over three years so I am quite familiar with the organization.  I use Google Docs every day but as a Publisher user I find docs a bit limiting.  I hope a Publisher-type Google Docs program is on the way.  The ability to upload nearly any type of file is a great benefit of Google Docs.  Even if Google Docs cannot open the file, it can be hosted on Google Docs essentially turning Docs into a cloud external drive.

Some of the best Apps for the Google Account include the following:

EasyBib – create bibliographies in MLA format

LearnBoost – planbook, gradebook, roster, embed files, export data, iPad compatible, attendance, reporting and analytics features

Aviary — web-based design tools (audio, images, documents)

Haiku – LMS (Learning Management System) ePortfolios, annotator, wikiprojects, resource sharing, portal, embed websites

BrainPop – BrainPOP creates proven and award-winning educational resources including animated movies, interactive quizzes, activities, high-interest readings, and more.

Rcampus ePortfolios – RCampus ePortfolios App is the most comprehensive and flexible electronic portfolio management environment for easily creating lifelong ePortfolios to serve a variety of purposes.

Those are just a few educational Google Apps that I have found helpful when making the jump between the desktop based environment to cloud computing.  Good luck and let the fun begin!


PostHeaderIcon Google Docs Update

Google has recently updated their list of filetypes viewable in Google Docs.  This is quite exciting as computers are becoming much more like portals and we might not have the same resources on each computer.  You can now view the file types in Google Docs (without the need to download from attachments in gmail):

  • Microsoft Excel (.XLS and .XLSX)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 / 2010 (.PPTX)
  • Apple Pages (.PAGES)
  • Adobe Illustrator (.AI)
  • Adobe Photoshop (.PSD)
  • Autodesk AutoCad (.DXF)
  • Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG)
  • PostScript (.EPS, .PS)
  • TrueType (.TTF)
  • XML Paper Specification (.XPS)

“Not only does this round out support for the major Microsoft Office file types (we now support DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, XLS and XLSX), but it also adds quick viewing capabilities for many of the most popular and highly-requested document and image types.  In Gmail, these types of attachments will now show a “View” link, and clicking on this link will bring up the Google Docs Viewer (GoogleDocs Blog).”

PostHeaderIcon Google Apps for Education

Many schools are moving toward the use of Google Apps as their schools’ solution for email, applications, etc.  My school is in the process of rolling this out.  Being a user of Google mail and apps for years, this is quite exciting for me.  However, I thought I would let you all know about some additional apps that work in conjunction with Google Apps that you might not be aware of.

Google has a website for apps and 20-30 (more all the time) EDU apps.  You can see them here.

Many of the apps work inside of Google Apps.  I am looking forward to trying out the lesson plan and grade book as well as the portfolio builder.  My department is considering creating portfolios for students to follow them

throughout their school career and this option might be ideal.

Online Gradebooks, lesson planners, BrainPop, portfolio systems.  You can also find more in the other categories listed on the website.  So check it out and ask your Google Apps administrator to add them to your domain.

You can access the Google Apps Marketplace for many different apps both personal and educational.

April 2014
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