Slideshare is an excellent site which allows you to both host and share powerpoints. With the growth of online learning technologies, slideshare has great potential, not only for providing materials online for students but also for collaborative work and sharing of resources between staff. One of the great benefits of slideshare is the ability to embed powerpoints in blogs and websites without the necessity for the viewer to have powerpoint software on their PC, for example this revision powerpoint aimed at our Year 9 geographers.
As well as the ability to post powerpoints used in class to support students and facilitate follow up work / revision, communities can be set up on slideshare to enable the sharing of powerpoints with a particular theme. Tony Cassidy of Radical Geography has set up a Geography Presentations group on slideshare for geographers to be able to contribute powerpoints to a central point. This has already become a fantastic collaborative effort with at the last count 78 powerpoints already having been contributed and 36 members signed up to the group. This could also be used for collaboration within a department as communities are easy to set up on slideshare. If each member of the department had a slideshare account, powerpoints could be uploaded to individual accounts and then simply shared with the relevant community.
Powerpoints can be shared with a number of communities facilitating collaboration between, as well as within departments! Copyright issues do however need to be considered carefully – I always ensure that I source / reference any photographs etc. that I use. Remember also that there are many sources of photographs that can be freely used for presentations as long as the appropriate credit is given. Geography Photos is a very reasonably priced subscription site, e-learning credits can be used and a wide selection of photographs are available for educational use without copyright worries for those that subscribe. Flickr also contains many photographs which have been made available under Creative Commons Licences – the criteria of the different licences vary and need to be read before making use of photographs, however often it is simple criteria that need to be met, e.g. non-commerical use, as long as credit is given etc.