Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 17- SlideRocket

Today's challenge is an amazing online presentation tool called SlideRocket:

There are a lot of reasons why we like SlideRocket. First, it is collaborative, so multiple people can work on the presentation. Second, it includes lots of interactive features that create a more engaging presentation experience. Third it is hosted online, so your presentation can be shared in all kinds of ways. Finally, SlideRocket is a powerful tool that is completely free to you and your students via Google Apps for Education.

So, you and your students can access this free education version of the software, using your EVSC Google IDs.

To access SlideRocket, choose the drop-down menu titled "More" on your Google Docs home page.

Then, click on the link titled "SlideRocket." This will open the SlideRocket interface.

Once you open SlideRocket, you will be invited to explore an interactive demo and video. I encourage you to "take the tour."

Here are some links related to using SlideRocket in the classroom:

Enriching Learning in Any Subject with SlideRocket
Making a Video with SlideRocket and Jing
SlideRocket YouTube Channel
SlideRocket Slide Design Guide

Also, SlideRocket has created a Player App for the iPad so you can show your amazing SlideRocket presentations directly from the iPad that you may win by participating in this challenge.

Your assignment: Explore the SlideRocket program. Take the tour. Try creating a SlideRocket for your next bellringer or mini-lesson. Then, share your experiences. What did you like about the tool? What is missing? How does SlideRocket compare to other presentation tools you've found? If you've used SlideRocket before, share a link to a SlideRocket you've created. Most importantly, how do you imagine this might impact your professional practice?


  1. I'm first!!!

    I took a look at this and I have to say that this might be one of the coolest new tools that you have introduced us to.

    First, it appears to be easy to use. That is important because I don't want to spend a lot of time teaching a new application to get a learning product.

    Secondly, it is slick and dynamic looking. There is nothing worse that handing out a new on-line tool that looks boring or juvenile. High school students are used to a lot more.

    But most importantly, it is collaborative. That has always been the sticking point in group work. There was no way to have multiple people working on an assignment - until now.

    This not only engages multiple students at once, but also eliminates some excuses and challenges that groups have. There are no more "Joe has our presentation and he is not here" or "I can't find it on my netbook" or the dreaded "I did all the work and no one helped me out".

    Thanks for a cool looking tool that I can start to use right now.

  2. I like that the tools being posted now are more integrated. Again, today takes GoogleDocs (Presentations, specifically), Prezi, and VoiceThread and mashes them all together into one super-hybrid of tools.

    I'm glad this is free on the GoogleApps account because the program (full version) isn't cheap.

    A couple thoughts:
    1) We should start pushing across the district for kids to use their EVSC accounts for collaboration rather than their personal accounts. It gets overwhelming trying to remember which one to sign into to use tool A, B, etc.
    2) To really get the full scope of the tool working well, there should also be access to YouTube and Twitter for the kids to pull. I can find plenty of stuff, but some of the other cool plugins wouldn't work with the current blocks.

    How I see it:
    1) This is definitely cooler than Google Presentations or Prezi on their own. I love that its collaborative and cloud-based. It's just another good option to share with learners when doing creative work.
    2) You could also use it to create a class set of interactive and collaborative flash cards. Instead of me working so hard to get review posted, have each learner post a review slide that is then shared by the entire class.
    3) Many of the plugins can access GoogleDocs information. For example, the chart plugin can access data in a Google Spreadsheet, so you don't need to copy and past charts into presentations anymore. Less frustration = more creativity and better experiences.

    Very cool.

  3. I just stumbled upon SlideRocket last week under our EVSC Google Apps. I was pleasantly surprised by the program. It immediately caught my attention and I started playing around with it. I used a similar online presentation tool last your with my class called I have already changed my lesson plans for my 6th graders after Thanksgiving. They will be creating a SlideRocket presentation in my technology class!

    The programs appears very easy to use. I know my upper elementary students would have no problem at all jumping right in and using it. It has plenty of built-in templates and I love that you have the ability to pull in all kinds of different media and existing Google documents.

    As much as I love Prezi, I know that my students are getting to the point where they are "Prezied out." It is time for a change and SlideRocket will be a great alternative. I'm anxious to get them started on it and get feedback. I'm sure they will end up teaching me a thing or two about SlideRocket!

  4. First of all, I really appreciate having tools like this available through Google Apps. Most of my classes only meet for one grading period. I am more likely to use a tool if it is available through Google Apps because I don't have to spend valuable class time having students set up an account.

    I am currently having two of my classes work together to create one collaborative Google Presentation. They are in small groups researching all of the various legal places to download music and are putting their findings in a presentation to share with other students. While Google Presentations works very well for this purpose, I am thinking of how much more they could do with SlideRocket. I love how easy it is to add photos from Flickr. It also looks so much more polished and professional - the built-in themes look really nice. I would definitely use this as opposed to PowerPoint or Google Presentations if I were doing a presentation for my colleagues.

    For the project we are currently working on, I can see the students using Jing to create a screencast explaining how to use the site they are researching, and then easily adding the video to their SlideRocket presentation. It's too late for this grading period (we are almost finished), but I could always have next grading period create the screencast and add it to the work that has already been done.

  5. We are off to a Great start today! I would like to comment on Matt's post: "I'm anxious to get them started on it and get feedback. I'm sure they will end up teaching me a thing or two about SlideRocket!"

    Matt's view here is of a true 21st century educator. I recently watched a youtube video where Adam Bellows (Founder of the EduTecher Blog) speaks about how 21st century teachers need to understand that they are not the faucet from which the students drink, but rather that the students and the teacher are drinking (learning) from the same hose. Teachers don't need to hold all of that knowledge, but rather be able to facilitate or funnel that knowledge to the student.

    It looks as though Matt understands this thought and I challenge all of us to continue to use technology to learn alongside the students.

    Here is a link to the video for those that are interested:

  6. This is very cool! I am totally going to try this out tonight. I'm thinking I might use this to replace my flip-charts. I like the way that it is interactive. The kids could add to my flip charts as well, taking ownership in the lesson.
    As far as my team, this program would make it much easier to work together on lessons/presentations after school hours.

  7. Definitely something to look into, great look and ease of use. My students could use it to collaborate on projects. They would like this much more than Google presentations or Prezi. I will use it with my younger general music classes to teach concepts that I would normally lecture on.

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  9. I think I've found a new thing for when I'm out of the building! These would make great mini lessons. You could add the polls and questions at the end and have instant feedback. I can also imagine them being used for bellringers that would require little talking on my part. I will defintely need some time to experiment on what works and what doesn't, but I see a lot of possibilities for student engagement.
    I have made some SlideShare presentations for use with students, but my immediate impression is that SlideRocket has many more features to offer. This is definitely a step above PowerPoint and ActiveInspire.

  10. Holy cow. This might be the mother of collaborative presentation editors. While I would love to use this tool, I can't set it correctly to be able to type in Japanese. I've played with the settings since I first opened this post this morning.

    I could see how this would be helpful in any world langugage in which you require students to make a presentation. I know that it would be great for a senior scrapbook project that I know a lot of world language teachers require.
    As for myself, I typically have the students create a comic or video, in groups for a restaurant skit. This could be used in place of that.

    I do like the fact that it is unlosable and collaborative. The students no longer have to keep saving on the one flash drive or have to email changes.

    I also like the tracking feature. Because I like to know that my students are doing what I have ask of them. It's a great tool for a flipped classroom too.

    PS. Sorry for removing then readding today's post. I was signed in with the wrong account!

  11. I think that this is a great tool! Every morning I put the agenda on the board for my students. I try to find a different types of slides for that week or day. With this program, I am can pick and choose from many differnt types of slides. I love that you can put polls and track what is being done. Like Cassaundra said, this would be a good tool for a mini lesson when I am out of the building. Tracking what they spend their time on would be helpful in knowing what they might be struggeling with. I could also have my students make slides to show understanding of a topic and then put them all together for one big presentation and then discuss each slide and the information on it.

    As first I found it hard to add my text how I wanted, but once I played around with it for a bit, it wasn't so bad. I also like that the whole test box is really easy to move and put it where needed. Adding pictures or video is really quick and easy to do too. I love that! Like the others have said today, I like Prezi, but I think that this tool will be the most beneficial and easiest to use for our students.

  12. This site is so cool! Many teachers approach me with questions about collaborating on presentations among students. This is great for that! The interactivity that it offers is amazing! I can totally see using this in class with presentations! I love the ease of personalization of charts, forms, etc!

  13. Wow! This is awesome.
    I agree with Brian, that in order for this to work, we need all the students to start using their EVSC accounts instad of their personal accounts. It is so cool that EVSC got this tool added to our GoogleDocs for free (well, for us at least).
    I can definitely see using this is my classroom instead of the normal flipcharts. I think it would be a great idea to add polls and questions into my lessons. That way instead of just getting the nodding heads to the "do you understand" question, I can poll my students and see if they really do understand!
    I could also see having my students make presentations for projects. It is so easy for them to learn how to use it, just from the 5 - minute interactive guide.
    Love it and will definitely use it in the classroom!


    I made one for my class to get them interested in Jazz music. Here is a rough draft version, I'm going to add more to it later. I love that the creative common's resources for photos and video are linked in. Very handy and easy to use. I can already think of many uses for this with mini lessons and computer & promethean board plans. I've had trouble the last few days with the internet not loading videos, so maybe this will load faster for the kids in my lab to use.

  15. This looks like a dynamic tool. It is easy to access right from the ICATS page. I like that you can easily use it to revise/update/improve one's existing power point presentations and save, reuse and rearrange slides you have previously made. I think I could make a much better presentation with this tool, than I have in the past with power point!! The Sliderocket design guide link gave me some excellent pointers about use of color, use of motion effects, etc. The "inspirational" sliderocket samples were awesome!

  16. I could use this for my classroom notes in math class. I usually have one day of detailed notes, then practice throughout the week. This would be a great way to introduce my next topic. I started to play around with this and it is very user friendly. Also, I didn't know you could group things on microsoft publisher and save it as a picture. I did this and imported it to my slide rocket. Very useful tool!

  17. Another tool that I did not know existed. I am so glad I am getting all of these great ideas. I like that I can already use powerpoints that I have. I love that it is collaborative and cloud based. I often will start a flipcahrt and as the lesson goes on find more. I may be at home and not have the flipchart there so have to create and email. This will really save time. I also like the fact that you change one and any others that have that slide will change as well. I have a flipchart that I originally created using the Smartnotebook software as I started on the SMARTBOARD that the students mark their lunch on and I have the split screen up for a journal prompt and what to do slides. I can see this helping me just get the whole year on one of these and change if needed right from home. I also use a ton of powerpoints for vocab introduction and like that I could change or add as needed from home and not feel like I have to be stuck at school to change. I know I have said this a million times but our students do not have the technology in hand and only have dinosaur computer lab once a week with me. I wish we had a computer class in an updated lab that we could have the kids do presentations on using this. Another teacher from a different grade level and I were working on a collaborative project and this would have been great to use because the kids could help update each others slides without us physically getting together.

  18. Slide Rocket reminds me of the flipchart browser window on ActivInspire only much more awesome. What could you NOT do with this in the classroom, whether you are the publisher or the students are creating a presentation? I like the feedback option it provides. How neat would it be to send a presenation about a new topic home for students to view as "homework" and then ask for them to give you feedback about what they understand. Collecting this quick data before a class might help determine groupings, or material that needs to be reviewed.

  19. Wow. I had never heard of Slide Rocket before, but it is the best thing I've come across today. It has so many more features and options than other presentation tools. I could see myself using this as a great way to do bell ringers in the morning or even give the students something to work on during the 20 minute morning time between when the doors open and class begins.

    I also agree with Mrs. Esparza in that it would be a great tool to help flip a classroom. Students could view the material at home and take a short poll and then discuss their understandings and findings in class the next day. It would also be great for introductions to new authors before beginning a novel.

  20. Sliderocket is cool! I am planning on using this in class next week. Students are going to do a mini-research project on math in careers. I think sliderocket will be a great tool for them to use to organize their research, include photos and an interview with a person who uses math in their profession. It is really easy to add audio or video recording in the sliderocket. I also agree that sliderocket would be a great tool to use for bellringers or mini-lessons with a poll to assess their understanding. Great tool!!

  21. There have been some really great comments and ideas already! I looked at Jolie's Jazz presentation, and how awesome will it be to add performance video, etc. so seamlessly? For me, this does seem (as I think John, Matt or Brian may have said) to be the best of all worlds, as far as PPT/Prezi/GoogleDocs. I can see more and more me moving away from ever doing powerpoint again! The value added seems to be the ability to more easily collaborate on slides, which students could definitely benefit from. The other things I find most valuable are:1-using it as your 'flipped' home lesson. It is far more interactive than PPT and less distracting than Prezi. 2-What goes hand in hand with that, is the polling aspects, which you could use to do formative assessments with kids. If you poll for understanding at the end of the lesson, when you are in class you will know what were the things students had the most trouble with. They can tell you anonymously, which some may want to do, but it still gives you an idea of where gaps may be. Those two aspects make it much more useful for teachers than other presentation options. And I love the polished look! That definitely allows you to take it to the next level.

    I can see doing teacher PD modules using this medium as well. Teachers can view slides on their own timeline, and the multimedia aspects allow for various types of supporting content to be added in, and you can still use the polling aspects to gauge interaction with content.

  22. Thinking of how to integrate this into my class, we are currently working on the research paper, which has to be presented to the class. Because most of their topics are current events oriented, they could easily find creative commons tagged images that they could put into a presentation. The description parts could be summarized from the paper.

    When a student gives a presentation, they are tasked with two things. First, they have to show their information. Secondly, they have to engage their audience.

    SlideRocket is the tool that my students would use to deliver their information. I would be looking for images that really showed their topic as well as the way they summed up their work.

    SlideRocket also gives the kids a lot of power to make a presentation that would be something the audience would be attracted to. The student would be able to deliver the information to an audience that was paying attention to an eye catching work, which is something that I would also be looking for as their evaluator.

  23. This would be cool to use when students are working in groups. It will eliminate the usual responses of group work with netbooks. I am wanting to start sending out the lesson as 'homework', and this would be an easy way to do so while seeing what is changed and worked on outside of class. This is my next project in class to see how it goes.

  24. How cool would this be to use as a collaboration piece with another classroom - whether it be in the same school building, same corporation, or half way across the world! I would love to see some groups collaborating on here making a presentation without ever having to meet face to face. This would be a neat homework lesson also. I'm sure the students go home and spend hours on their netbooks, and why not give them an educational assignment?! Love it!

  25. This would be a great way that students could collaborate on group presentations - so that just not one student is in charge of the powerpoint. They can all work on it from multiple computers. I have students create a timeline on the history of the atom - creating a sliderocket presentation in groups would be a much more engaging way to learn this information.

  26. SlideRocket would be great for beginning speech students as a way to develop skill with visual aids. For a first speech where students introduce themselves a SlideRocket presentation could also serve as cue cards/note cards for the speaker as well. Younger students could practice math concepts by having each student create a slide illustrating equivalent fractions, decimals, percentages, etc.

  27. We are doing more and more collaborative grouping across the different homerooms. This would be a great tool for the kids to start when they are in cross-homeroom groups, but then they can still work on the project when they are not w/their groups (Tier 3 time, etc.). SlideRocket really helps incorporate the 21st Century skills our kids need.

  28. I am very excited as a coach about today's tool. We often work on presentations and then share by email. When we add material to the powerpoint then resend the changes sometimes get lost or several of us add the same material. This way we can share presentations on SlideRocket and be for efficient with our time.

  29. Wow, I think this is the best tool so far. I really like the ablility for students to collaborate with this program. As mentioned before, this will be a great assest to project based learning projects. We often hear that students aren't pulling their weight in a project. This will allow everyone to work on the project at the same time.

    I really like the forms and polls option on the program and the analysis page that correlates with the forms and polls.

    I am going to try to run my problem of the day next semester on sliderocket. I think it will provide an nice intactive tool to engage the students. I am also going to have my students use this for their genetic disease project next semester.

  30. This is definitely one of my favorite 30 Day tools. I have played with it for over an hour and keep thinking of new ideas. Plaza is a PBL school, too. I can't wait to show this to my grade level team tomorrow. We have been discussing our next project and Sliderocket is going to be an excellent tool for our kids.

    I enjoy finding picture through flickr. It makes it so easy to add images. The picture quality seems better than other presentation tools.

    There are just so many cool tools to use. I am going back to working on my lesson tomorrow. Fun!

  31. This program was quite a bit easier to use than power point. I like how you can search for pictures or video to add easily. I will now use this program for my presentation on Minds in Motion coming up.

  32. I like how it is user- friendly. This seems like most of the students can easily pick up how to use and navigate it. However, I
    love how students could work on the same presentation from different computers. Students can come together to collaborate and then split off to work individually on their assigned parts.

  33. I used this for a bellringer on Tuesday. I normally have journal questions as bellringers. It was very easy to add images. For genetics, I can easily post images of a pedigree chart and Punnett Squares and incorporate that content into the bellringers for genetics to give students more practice and assess their skills.

  34. I was having trouble thinking of a way to use this other than just a general idea of having the kids put a presentation together as a group and being able to adapt it as homework while not having to be together. Reading through some of the comments got me thinking in other directions, and I almost skipped straight down to the end to add my comment but kept going and read Makenzie's. I was actually thinking the same thing! I would love to use this in collaboration with another classroom that we would never have the opportunity to work with otherwise. With the Common Core rolling out, we could use this with classrooms all over the country and stay relevant. I also think it would be great to use with grades above or below as a tutoring session, with built in formative assessment to gauge understanding. As far as using it as a teaching tool, I like the ability to comment which may provide shy students chances to share and participate without feeling pressured or "watched."

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  36. I'm not sure about this one, but I am going to try to work with it. First, I like the idea that you can import other presentations, you don't have to reinvent the wheel. I have played around with this and I think that I could create a presentation for students that I am working with and their progress and share it with other student services personal. They could then also make their comments or have discussion regarding the student that are maintained in the presentation. It is very important to maintian confidentiality so I would need to explore this a little further.