SlideShare is a technology used to upload PowerPoints onto the internet which also enables sound/voice overs to sound as the PowerPoint is played; this is called a SlideCast. I believe that this technology is great in circumstances where a PowerPoint presentation is a necessary tool to deliver the content needed; however, creating, uploading, adding a voice over to and embedding a presentation in a blog can be a lengthy process. This brings me to the thought that unless the tool will have significant benefits to the learner’s learning, it may be an activity which time could have been better spent elsewhere. The following is an example where using the SlideShare/SlideCast technology could be extremely useful.
During an art, science experiment or cooking class, a SlideCast could be used to demonstrate, with both visual and audio cues, how to do something. Take a visual art lesson for example; the class of learners may be drawing the same picture (individually) and need step-by-step instructions. The SlideCast technology could assist learning here by providing a picture of the next step (teacher could take photos of her/his own picture as a new part was added), and a voice over explaining exactly how to do the next step. This would allow the teacher to spend more time going around and assisting the learners, as the teacher would not have to draw their picture and manage the class at the same time.
Through closer analysis of this technology using the Learning Pyramid, using this as a general tool has only a 20% learning retention rate. However, when using it in the same context as above, the learning retention rate is increased to approximately 75% (Abeline Christian University ACU Adams Centre for Teaching Excellence, 2000). This, according to Siedman, is significant as retention in education is now more important then ever due to the increase of importance in higher education down the line (Siedman, 2005).
Abeline Christian University Adam Centre for Teaching Excellence. (2000). Learning Pyramid (learning retention). Retrieved August 19, 2009 from http://moodle.cqu.edu.au/mod/resource/view.php?id=580
Seidman, A. (2005). College Student Retention: Formula for Student Success. Westport, CT: American Council on Education.