This post originally appeared on the @leBioscience blog.(Post updated 31.01.14 to reflect the demise of SlideShare Slidecasts).
Steve phoned me last week and asked about options for making online PowerPoint presentations more engaging. I had been meaning to write about this for a while so this was a good prompt for me to get on with it.
1. PowerPoint Slide Shows
In current versions of PowerPoint it is possible to record an audio narration to a slide show:
There are some differences between Windows and Macintosh versions of PowerPoint, e.g. there is no "laser pointer" option on Macintosh, so you'll have to figure out the details from the PowerPoint Help files.
Slide shows have large file sizes so you quickly exceed your Blackboard quota. It is possible to save a slide show as a video (File: Save as Movie) - but doesn't save sound or animations, mouse movements, etc.
There is no autoplay setting (that I can find) so you'll need to put instructions on how to play on the first slide.
Accessibility may be a concern when using video files for screencasts. A solution is to make use of the Presenter Notes field in PowerPoint to add the extra detail that the voiceover provides and upload the original, non-narrated PowerPoint file separately.
2. Screen Capture Video
Use screen capture sofware such as Camtasia, Captivate or Snapz Pro X to record a presentation as a video. You can then upload the video to YouTube (save it as an unlisted file if you don't want it to be public), and embed in Blackboard or wherever you want.
You'll need the screen capture software.
Slideshare.net - was great, but SlideShare pulled Slidecasts in February 2014 :-(
Slideshare is a widely used choice for online slideshow, as well as sharing documents in a range of formats. It is simple to use - make your PowerPoint presentation and upload it to the site. If you want to add an audio narration, record this as an mp3 file (using Audacity, Garageband or your favourite audio capture software) and sync this to the presentation. Presentations can then be embedded in web pages or Blackboard documents, etc.
All content uploaded to Slideshare is public unless you pay for a subscription, so if you don't want to share our presentation publicly, this is not for you.