15 February 2012

The Incredible Embeddable Deck

Did you know that you can use Microsoft Apps to embed a Word, PowerPoint, Excel, or OneNote file on a web page...or blog post? All you need is a free SkyDrive account (learn more here). These slides are a few of the ones I used in a presentation last year for ASCD.

I know that there will be lots of people who think "Who cares?"...and they may well be right. Microsoft, as always, is way late coming to the party. Unfashionably late. For several years, now, people have been uploading decks to SlideShare, SlideRocket, GoogleDocs, and other sites which will generate embed codes. But I think the advantage with Office Apps is that the files keep their native format. There are a few limitations, but basically, a slide deck like the one above, remains the same. I would say that the weirdest part of the app is that when it is in embedded in a web page, none of the animations/transitions work...but if the viewer clicks the "view full-size presentation" button in the lower righthand corner, all of the animations/transitions show up. Try it---you'll get a very different look at things. Overall, however, the viewer can see it as was originally presented. I'll take that any day.

If you want to see a sample spreadsheet, head on over to Excel for Educators, where I'm showcasing a data analysis tool. Excel doesn't make the jump quite as nicely, but it's the best effort I've seen so far. Like the PowerPoint app, the embedded file will not show up in RSS posts. The viewer/user has to visit the actual page.

So, teachers, keep your files in their "native" formats---and get them posted to your class web pages, Moodle sites, and other spots with less hassle and no file conversions.

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