Slideshare has announced a mashup that enables you to mashup your powerpoint slides PPT) along with your podcasts (MP3) online in real time, called SlideCast.

So what do Universities do with this? If I was a teacher I would manage my own teaching: walk into a classroom teach a class using powerpoint, record the audio (on the same laptop using Audacity or an iPod) and then combine the two later on in Slidecast. I’d then upload the URL into my course syllabus which is in Facebook (and all for free, minus hardware costs). Of course, the next tool that needs to be pulled into this mashup is a tool that will format SlideCast for mobile delivery?! That will close the loop for students! <- This seems like a pretty appealing pedagogical workflow from the teachers point of view!

So from an institutional point of view this user case poses a few problems:

  1. How do we keep a record of this teaching administratively?
  2. How do we share the content from this ‘slidecast learning object’ with other teachers/learner (in the institution)?
  3. How do we preserve this mashed-up object (ppt+mp3) for the long term?

First an foremost I think the role of the institution is to support the lecturer providing the best possible learning environ for the student. If whomever is doing it out there better than us, then so be it we should be supporting lecturers in that enhanced learning environment.

Yet I do think there is a real value-added opportunity that we miss if we try and get into the formal vs. informal learning environment debate. For me the value-added user case is the one where we as the institution are able to recognize that slideshare is becoming the defacto repository for slides. Therefore, we should let them fulfil that service (heck we should even potentially pay them a nominal fee to assure that a SLA for open access to content is maintained). With that said, if Slideshare is acting as the repository for PPTs, we can then invest in developing the Slideshare API so we can provide other value-added services and mashups:

  • a preservation service
  • a dissaggregation service (pulling out particular slides to be used and repurposed by other lecturers).
  • a learning object transformation service (so objects can be placed in LMS/VLE, so they can be tracked by the gradebook <- making it a very powerful tool for lecturers)

But why haven’t Universities been able to come to peace with someone else maintaining their content? <- is it just the contract (SLA) that we are missing; or is it the trust between us (education) and them (business)? Or is there a deeper rooted desire to posses objects? <- Please comment 🙂

Well for me this SlideCast mashup has taken Slideshare beyond simple App (compare with S5) and brought it into the value-added world of digital learning (it may not be open source but it is open API!). I hope to replace Articluate with this tool as well as some parts of Captivate. More to come as I look further into the Slideshare API.


~ by dfflanders on August 11, 2007.

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