As the SlideShare wesbite (2009) says "SlideShare is the world's largest community for sharing presentations." Individuals can upload presentations to share their ideas and in turn, individuals can search for presentations on topics that interest them.
On a professional level, SlideShare provides teachers with opportunity to share their lesson and unit plans, PowerPoint presentations they may have used in the classroom with their students and also gives teachers opportunity to search for lesson/unit plans that will be suitable for their classrooms.
Within the classroom, students could also find SlideShare a useful tool in their learning. Along with extending their skills and knowledge about ICTs by using this tool, students could also take advantage of sharing their files with their peers. SlideShare would also provide students with an online storage facility to store or access their own files from different computers.
Wikis are a space online that is able to be accessed and edited by all members of a group who have access to the wiki. This means that individuals can delete, modify and move any contributions from others in the group.
In the classroom, wikis encourage group interaction, collaboration and allow students to communicate from a time and place that suits them. Students benefit from the use of wikis due to be actively involved and engaged in constructing their own learning. The possibilities for the use of wikis in the classroom is only limited to the users imagination. Wikis can be used for the creation of simple websites, project development with peers, writing stories as a group, planning events and the list goes on.
As a professional, the use of wikis is similiar to using wikis in the classroom. Teachers are able to collaboratively plan, develop unit plans, plan school events etc. Another benefit of using wikis as a teacher is the ability to track their students' work when working collaboratively on group projects.
Due to all members of the wiki being able to change/delete information contained on the site, careful consideration needs to be made when allowing people to access wikis.
Microsoft PowerPoint is another powerful learning tool for the classroom. Students of all ages can create multimedia presentations using PowerPoint. As a website called Teachnology (2009) states, "PowerPoint is a wonderful tool for learning in both a student and teacher-directed situation. It can add a new dimension to learning allowing teachers to explain abstract concepts, while accommodating all learning styles."
PowerPoint's uses are endless and again is only limited to the imagination and skill level of the user. Students can use this tool to create their own presentations and concept maps and can be as simple or as 'flash' as their experience with using PowerPoint allows. Teachers too, can use PowerPoint in much the same way as their students can in the classroom.
However, although there are many positives to using PowerPoint in the classroom, there are a couple of negatives - students may become more concerned about the 'flash' of their presentations rather than the content, overuse of PowerPoint in the classroom may bore some students and reduce the effectiveness of using it in the classroom and some students may become so involved in creating their PowerPoint presentations, that it may take several hours to come up with a final product they are happy with. Students will need to be given a timeline in which they will need to finish their presentations so they are responsible for their own time management.
When using technology within a classroom setting, we have to remember that technology is there to enhance our teaching practices, not replace them. Students still need teacher-student interaction and we can not solely rely on technology to 'teach' our students.
The use of Wikis and PowerPoint within a classroom setting aligns well with what Kearsley and Shneiderman suggest in their Engagement Theory. Implementation of these ICTs encourage students to collaboratively engage in real to life authentic situations. These tools also allow for student control of ideas and provide multiple opportunities for students to be engaged in complex thinking processes.
As both Oliver's Learning Design framework and the Active Learning framework also promote colloborate learning, active tasks and authentic learning situations, Wikis and PowerPoint also align within these frameworks.
SlideShare (2009) What is SlideShare? Accessed 15 July 2009 on the World Wide Web: http://www.slideshare.net/about
Teachnology, Incorporated (2009) PowerPoint in the Classroom. Accessed 15 July 2009 on the World Wide Web: http://www.teach-nology.com/tutorials/powerpoint/