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Two great new tools

I’m always looking for useful tools to help me and other teachers to provide access to our documents and presentations in a really user-friendly way.  Two recent finds are authorSTREAM and Issuu.

authorSTREAM allows you to upload your PowerPoint presentations and then put them on another website (a blog, wiki, the Ultranet etc) using the embed code.  Yes, very similar to slideshare and other similar tools but what I really like about Authorstream is that it preserves your transitions and animations.  If you download their Powerpoint add-on you can also include YouTube videos in your uploaded presentations.  In addition, the add-on makes it super simple to locate and add YouTube and Vimeo video, and images from Flickr, with appropriate attribution of course!

Here’s a Powerpoint I’ve uploaded to Authorstream.  It’s one I created to demonstrate custom animations to my year 10 IT class:

Issuu does for PDF documents what authorSTREAM does for Powerpoints.  Upload your PDF to the site then grab the code to embed elsewhere.  This is a great way for teachers to provide their students with resources and information about a topic without having to email or share editable files.  The documents can be put front and centre on a webpage in a visually attractive, easily readable form.  On the site you can elect to have your documents private or public but even so I would exercise caution and not upload anything about individuals.  Issuu is also a fabulous way for students to publish their best work for sharing online – anything that can be scanned or saved to PDF can be uploaded.

Issuu is used by people to publish magazines – here’s a sample: