When PowerPoint was first released in 1990, the educational community immediately realized the benefits of using it as a learning tool. And more than 20 years later it’s still going strong as the medium of choice for educators worldwide. This is in large part because, as the world of education delivery has changed from the classroom to virtual, PowerPoint has continued to keep pace with changes in technology and the area of interactive online tutorials is no exception. While there are a plethora of third party offerings to put your presentations on the web, for those who like their options integrated with PowerPoint, it’s hard to beat using SkyDrive.
The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you have a SkyDrive account. It’s easy and free and explained here. With your SkyDrive account you get a whopping 25 GB of free cloud space and the ability to post and share files with whomever, whenever you want. Use the Explore Windows Live Center to learn all about the features.
Once you have your SkyDrive account, it’s time to create your tutorial. You have two options, use the PowerPoint Web App directly on your SkyDrive or use your desktop version of PowerPoint and upload the presentation to SkyDrive later. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. If you use the Web App, you’re insured the presentation will run exactly as you’ve designed it but you won’t be able to add animations and other features that run in SkyDrive but aren’t available for editing in the browser. If you use the desktop version of PowerPoint some features won’t run in SkyDrive so you’ll want to make sure you don’t use them when designing your presentation. Specifically, transitions are all changed to a fade transition, animations are “smoothed out” in the SkyDrive viewer so they may appear a little different, Audio/Video/VB is not supported and Loop until ESC doesn’t work. On the plus side, Hyperlinks, most Action Settings and Animation Triggers do work so you can still incorporate a lot of interactivity in your presentation. Decide how you want to handle navigation before you create your tutorial before you start because it will make a difference to how you chose to share your presentation later. Your options are to add your own navigation within the presentation or use the navigation that’s automatically included with the SkyDrive reader.
Setting Permissions on SkyDrive
Before you start creating your tutorial you need to decide who is your audience and know how to set the permissions on SkyDrive. The new enhancements to SkyDrive allow you to set the permissions directly on a file, but if you plan to post several tutorials for the same audience you may want to create a folder and set the permissions there. All files you save to your folder will then inherit the permissions of the folder and you won’t need to set them separately. See the Explore Windows Live Center for instructions on how to create a folder and set or change permissions for a file or folder.
Using the PowerPoint Web App
The images below show how to create and edit a presentation using the PowerPoint Web App on the Flemish version of SkyDrive. Even if you don’t speak Flemish, the images are easy to follow and serve to demonstrate the worldwide availability of SkyDrive.
Upload from PowerPoint 2010
You’ve created your presentation in PowerPoint and now you want to upload it to your SkyDrive. The image below shows how to save your presentation to a public folder on SkyDrive directly from PowerPoint 2010. If you’re using PowerPoint 2003/2007 you’ll need to upload the file separately into SkyDrive.
You can learn more about saving files to SkyDrive and editing in the PowerPoint Web App at Introduction to the PowerPoint Web App.
Once you’ve saved your presentation, make sure the permissions are set correctly for your intended audience.
Sharing Your Tutorials
You’ve created and saved your tutorial, set the correct permissions for your intended audience and now you’re ready to get the word out. SkyDrive gives you a number of options for sharing your presentation and directions for each are provided on the Explore Windows Live Center. However, each of these options will automatically link to the Reader view of your presentation. This is fine if it’s your preferred method of display, but if you’ve built in your own navigation for your tutorial you’ll probably prefer the full screen view. To get the link to the full screen view, simply click the menu item to Start Slide Show and copy the link from there. You’d then share this link with your audience. In the example shown below the navigation was created with the ActivePrez add-in from GMark making it a better candidate for the full screen view since all navigation is included in the presentation itself.
One of the coolest new features for presentations is the ability to embed them in a web page. Directions for embedding presentations are provided here. The image below shows the Gestalt of Slides tutorial embedded on the Visualology.Net blog.
PowerPoint is a stellar tool for creating interactive tutorials and, although there are many options available, SkyDrive provides a new perfect vehicle for publishing and sharing your tutorials online.
Luc Sanders has been a teacher/instructor for over 25 years in the Flemish Public Employment Service (VDAB). His ultimate goal is to provide the best possible assistance to every jobseeker in their search for an appropriate job. He teaches word processing and presentation software to jobseekers and corporate users.
Glenna Shaw is a Most Valued Professional (MVP) for PowerPoint and the owner of the PPT Magic Web site and the Visualology blog. She is a Project Management Professional (PMP) and holds certificates in Accessible Information Technology, Graphic Design, Cloud Computing and Professional Technical Writing.
The MVP Monday Series is created by Melissa Travers. In this series we work to provide readers with a guest post from an MVP every Monday. Melissa is a Community Program Manager for Dynamics, Excel, Office 365, Platforms and SharePoint in the United States. She has been working with MVPs since her early days as Microsoft Exchange Support Engineer when MVPs would answer all the questions in the old newsgroups before she could get to them