The Constant Change of Technology or The Death of SlideRocket

Technology is constantly changing.  I do my best to have options and have a plan for when services are no longer available. I try to walk the middle ground on the technology “vs” arguments – focusing on the benefits of each side.

So, I am struggling with my grief over the loss of SlideRocket.

SlideRocket is/was a presentation option which was recently bought by ClearSlide. I assume that the presentation tools will be integrated into ClearSlides sales presentation options, but I am not in sales.  I am in education. And while I tried to sign-up for free trial to see if I could still access the presentation tool – perhaps I just needed to pay, I was informed that a salesperson would be contacting me.  I have yet to hear from Samantha.  I guess they don’t want to waste their time with educational institutions.

I have been searching for a replacement – which I have to find before December 2013. There are many presentation software/cloudware options available, but I have yet to find one that works as well as SlideRocket. In trying to pinpoint what it was that made SlideRocket AMAZING, I can’t narrow it down to one specific thing. I think it is the combination that was brought together so beautifully to create this tool.  So here is a list of the things that I wish I could find in one solution.

Not a Copy of Your Average Presentation Software

Creating a SlideRocket presentation was different. The tools were within easy access and yet had powerful options. There was an ease that came with inserting images, shapes and text. With little effort you had access to impressive design tools.

Collaboration

No, emailing large files back and forth or tracking the most recent version in cloud storage. It was easy to add additional people to collaborate on the presentation.  While same time collaboration was not as slick as GoogleDocs, with a little coordination each person could do their portion of the presentation.

Sharing

In addition to the ability to collaborate, it was easy to share the presentation via a link. You could also use the permissions to add a password, collect emails and names and manage the ability to download, share, embed or print.

Faculty could add the same presentation link in several classes, but only had to update it in one place.  No need to worry about uploading large files into the learning management system (lms).  No need to worry about extra software.  No need to worry about access across devices – more on that below.

Adding Audio

The ability to upload audio files or to record directly into SlideRocket was one of the major selling points to our faculty. All other options that I have found thus far, have obstacles in terms of large file sizes, high learning curve or additional hurdles for the students.  It was also possible to record one slide at a time, with the ability to time the animations. Many of the other options available require you to record the entire presentation.  So updating the one slide in the middle becomes more time consuming than it needs to be.

Flash and HTML5

Another key component for faculty in using SlideRocket was the early availability of either flash or HTML5.  This made the presentations accessible across many devices.

Analytics

The analytics in SlideRocket turned out to be wonderful for faculty. It was easy to see who was accessing the presentation and when.  In addition you could see the average time spent on each slide.

Commenting

If enabled, any viewer could add comments to any of the slides.  Great tool for providing detailed feedback on student presentations.

Questions

It was easy to add a learning check or allow viewers to provide feedback to the presenter.  While the answers did not sync with the lms they were still useful and easy to access.

Design

The design factors in SlideRocket were easily accessible.  The available templates made you feel like you could create something amazing. And I loved how all the templates were created as models, to help everyone make great presentations. I have seen some of this in other solutions, but not to the extent of SlideRocket.  And I know that many of the design things I could do in SlideRocket I could also do in your basic presentation software, but for some reason it felt easier in SlideRocket.

New Tool Suggestions?

At this point it comes down to prioritizing and deciding what we can do without. I would have to say that the ability to easily add audio and access through the lms are at the top of the list. As I’m looking for solutions, I’m open to your suggestions…

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: