EdTech ELA Flipped Classroom Presentations Professional Development Teaching Tools

Teacher Tool Talk: The best presentation tool you aren’t using

In August of 2003 the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, among it’s many findings on the cause of the Columbia disaster, pointed the finger at NASA senior management requiring the engineers to present information using bullet-slides from PPT instead of the more dense, but detailed technical paper handouts. I think we all know that an ineffective presentation coupled with a few dimmed lights can put kids to sleep faster than The Sandman.


If you are reading this post, you probably already understand how to make an effective presentation. I wrote my Master’s thesis on PPT and its effectiveness. My interest in the negative effects of PPT started when I read the Wired Magazine article “PowerPoint is Evil”: Power Corrupts- PowerPoint Corrupts Absolutely by Edward Tufte (2003). That led me to buying this book and many others and eventually making the subject a point of focus for my Master’s Degree.


We are all looking for that next great presentation tool. Today you see teachers using:

  • PPT with images only
  • Prezi (still makes me sea-sick)
  • Keynote
  • YouTube videos

But the they are all lacking one VITAL component: what happens AFTER your presentation. The only program that I have found that addresses the now-what question is:


If you are not familiar with a SlideRocket presentation, just watch this one- it’s one of my favorites to demonstrate:


You can do so so much with SlideRocket: APIs, Twitter feeds, Feed live data from Google Docs/Apps right into your slides during a presentation, and much much more.

They also run a blog. They post templates and other ideas- like how to use the image tools in SlideRocket to Instagram your photos:


Oh and did I mention that it’s free that’s right FREE if you are a teacher or student. My school integrated into our Google EDU account and all I have to do is launch it from my Google Mail account using the “More” drop-down menu.


Two other great features of SlideRocket’s are:

  • You can put a survey or poll right into a slide and then people watching your presentation can take the poll and you can see the results in the admin panel.
  • Viewers can submit comments and attach them to a particular slide. Think how great this would be if a student at home can ask you a question about a particular slide (let’s say you are teaching a Flipped Class) and you could prepare for those questions ahead of time before class starts.

I used SlideRocket to share my Flag Football Playbook with the youth team I was coaching.

Online Playbook

Players and parents could ask me specific questions about certain plays and I could poll or survey them about anything without having to go create a separate survey. I just put it right into the SlideRocket. The level of viewer and presenter interaction is so cool. You can also drop a Twitter feed right into a slide and it will update as you show the slide to your class.

BUT WAIT there’s more!


When you go to share the presentation it’s just a URL so you don’t need a flash-drive or CD or to email a huge attachment. You can also play it in a standalone player without the internet.

When you go to share the finished presentation you get a public link that you can share anywhere.

Share2 Link

You can also make it private, allow promote button for social media, require a password. You have complete control over who sees it and whether you want to allow them to re-share.


But what I really like to do when I invite viewers is input their individual email addresses from my contacts list or student list etc… because then some really cool features open up.


If you noticed, you can put a personal message into the invitation.

After everyone watches the SlideRocket you will get an Analytics report that looks like this:

Analytics Summary

You can dig down into those analytics and see two things that are very useful as a presenter or teacher.

First you can see exactly how long each registered email address viewed your presentation. If someone only watched it for 15 seconds. You will know it.

Session View Detail

Secondly, you can see how long everyone spent on each slide. If one slide got everyone’s attention you can ask yourself why and either fix that slide or start making more like it.

Specific Slide View Duration

That particular slide showed all of the hand-made buttons I had created using Edmodo. Here are three of them.

I presented SlideRocket before school started this year to a small group of about twenty teachers. My vice-principal liked it so much he has been teaching himself how to use the program and called me up to the office to share his presentation. I think I was more proud than he was. You don’t have to even create the slides in SlideRocket at first. For your first one just create a presentation using PPT and then SlideRocket will convert the PPT into a SlideRocket for you.

Baby steps my friend… baby steps.


Go to the SlideRocket EDU site and sign-up now. Give it a try- take a risk and come back later and tell me what you thought about the experience below. If you create or have created a SlideRocket you are proud of you can share the link with us below. Thanks for reading.

1 comment

  1. I had been on the fence about my presentation tool for an upcoming conference. I was leaning toward Sliderocket, but mostly just because I didn’t want to be viewed as PPT guy, and I don’t really love Prezi. Thanks for the reminders of all the positive reasons to use.

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