As iPads become more prevalent, I’m starting to see more and more apps that allow people to use their iPad in new ways. Take SlideShark for example. SlideShark is a free app that allows people to use their iPads to show presentations they’ve created with Powerpoint. The process couldn’t be easier. After creating an account with SlideShark, simply upload your Powerpoint file to the website and the site will convert the presentation to play on your iPad. When you run the SlideShark app on your iPad, all of your presentations will appear. Just download the individual files you need and you can show the presentation even when you don’t have a wireless Internet connection. The site claims that it will maintain all of the transitions and effects in a presentation, but I haven’t tested out all of the possibilities to confirm this claim. If you have a presentation with loads of non-linear navigation, I would suggest trying out the presentation before you actually use it academically.
SlideShark is a great application to use when you’re giving presentations at conferences or meeting with students one-on-one. It utilizes the iPad’s mobility features and its intuitive gestures to make showing a Powerpoint presentation effortless. That being said, I have a couple of minor reservations with SlideShark. First, the site only offers 25 Mb of online storage for free. A few image intensive presentations could easily surpass the free account, which is probably by design. There are also some management issues that users need to be aware of. For a presentation to appear on an iPad, it must be stored online. If it’s deleted online, it will not be available on your iPad, even if you downloaded it previously. Again, this process is probably by design to prompt users to purchase more storage through SlideShark. With some thoughtful maneuvering of files, however, someone could easily avoid paying anything to store their files. I plan to just cycle the files I currently need and back-up the files offline. That way, I’ll have the ability to show the files I’m currently using but avoid paying any storage fees at all.
For help getting starting with SlideShark, be sure to check out this tutorial: