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Why Not Slideware?
Slideware is any program designed to create and view digital slideshows. Much
like Kleenex and facial tissue, Microsoft PowerPoint has become synonymous with
these programs. However, many programs can be used to create digital slideshows,
including OpenOffice.org Impress (free) and Adobe Flash .
I prefer to create in a web editor (e.g., Dreamweaver ),
present in a web browser (e.g., Chrome ),
and use CSS to format. I don't like
- Content is usually locked into a proprietary file format. For example, you
need PowerPoint to edit a PowerPoint slideshow. And you need PowerPoint, or
at least PowerPoint
Viewer , to view PowerPoint slideshows. Slideshows created in newer versions
of the full program are incompatible with older versions.
- It can be expensive: PowerPoint is $149.99 on 19 Jun 2010 as part of Office, from Microsoft .
- Educational technologists spent/spend too much capital (financial, political,
cultural) urging instructors to use slideware, when other technologies do
more to empower instructors and students (e.g., web publishing).
- Slideware doesn't necessarily change the nature of instruction: the instructor
talks, the students listen.
- It preserves an archaic metaphor: posterboard on an easel.
- It's not a web browser, so hyperlinks launch a separate program in a separate
- While PowerPoint shows can be exported to the web, they are not fully compatible
with non-Windows operating systems and non-Explorer web browsers.
- Users are forced to think and present in slide-sized chunks of information.
Is Evil" (Tufte, 2003).
- Users create bad slideshows: too much text on a slide, too small or crammed
in, irrelevant images, unappealing or unreadable color schemes, etc. Most
web browsers gives their users the ability to zoom in or out, turn off images,
and other solutions when the medium is interfering with the message.