Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Google Docs does Online Presentations - but no OpenOffice Impress support yet...

Tom Raftery notes that Google Docs now does online presentations. Sadly, right now, those brandishing Keynote or OpenOffice Impress presentations (.odp files) are out of luck as far as importing existing files.

I'm back teaching a college course part-time right now, and the way I've done it for the last few years is to use a Powerpoint presentation for the lecture (it's what they run on their media machines - no getting around it at the moment) and also provide printed handouts at the beginning of each class so they don't spend their time copying down notes.

But maybe this could provide an alternative means for students to get the notes. I could publish these for online viewing. Or better yet, start a free blog with links to each week's presentation viewable online using Google Docs. I've wanted to do this in the past but didn't like the idea of hosting pdf files or ppt files for download.

Also noteworthy is that they give you the option of downloading a zip file of the presentation. This file actually contains an html file and all the folders and media files so that you can view it in your browser locally (offline).

Because there doesn't seem to be a way to export the file to ppt, odp or anything editable at the moment, I'll likely end up using it just to make versions for online viewing.

To check out the simplicity of the online viewer, you can check out my Week 1 presentation right here. Be careful you don't fall asleep watching it - the first week is almost always a snoozer.

Anybody got any bright ideas on how to make use of Google's new Online Presentations?

1 comments:

Tom Raftery said...

Richard,

did you notice that you can embed presentations in a blog post or website?

When you take into account that Gtalk is also embedded, this could be an interesting way to to distance education.
Put the lectures up in a blog post and at an agreed time, hold a discussion on the lecture via Gtalk