Assignment 1B Web Service Evaluation (MN)
I have chosen the web service at Slideshare.net as an appropriate introductory site that will engage the interest of the apprentice carpenters in my classes. It is a site where you can host and share PowerPoint presentations, pdf’s, and MS Office documents that you have created. It also is a site where you have a great resource for finding many other free presentations and articles that have been posted by a host of others. The presentations that you upload can be done through an intranet for private or closed groups.
Ease of Use
I am new to this brave new world of technology and I was able to sign up and to start right away perusing and then downloading presentations that were of interest. I used the ‘search’ provided and I was able to narrow my queries and to locate exactly what I was seeking, in very little time. Also, I did upload a PowerPoint presentation and it went smoothly with no bumps along the way.
Confidentiality of Content
I have to rely on the claims of the site that presentations can be set to be confidential. I am not sure how to verify that claim, but when I uploaded my presentation I could choose between public and private. Slideshare is used by the Whitehouse, the United Nations, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to name a few of the more high profile users. That’s a stamp of approval.
The ability to transfer the skills that are learned in class to the Slideshare venue is relatively seamless. To upload presentations that are created by the user and to transfer them to the Slideshare site is a simple matter of a few clicks of the mouse. Scrubbability, or the functionality of preserving the confidentiality of users (Ball, 2006, p.2), is a major claim of the site. And when I see the list of the high-level governmental bodies that use the venue, I feel confident that their claim is substantiated.
Appropriateness for Academic Use
For the level of computer expertise that the apprentices in general have, I find that this site is very appropriate. Almost all of them have smartphones and Slideshare supports the iPad, the iPhone, Android, and others. With their phones, they all take photos of the job sites and the projects that their companies are working on and it would take only a short while to teach them how to create a PowerPoint slide presentation with these photos. They can also search the web for other photos from other sites. For those who are comfortable with the software, Slidecast (Slideshare + Podcast) allows them to add MP3 audio or to embed YouTube videos. And these can be shared on Twitter and Facebook.
This would be a project that they would be keen to do, and with Slideshare, they could see each other’s work, on-the-job and on the presentation itself. The site has great slideshows already there, and they can reuse and remix the formats. I think that this would peak their interest in the web and its offerings and, with good guidance, they would be able to conduct focussed searches, to evaluate websites, and to be nudged in the direction of lifelong learning.
David Ball, 2006, Positioning Librarians as Essential to the New Virtual Learning Environments, Bournemouth University Press, UK ,firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: EDDL 5101