Friday 20 February 2009

Getting Video Tasks Online

I've been aware of 280Slides for some time now, but haven't really tried to use it much as I'm a very keen user of Keynote on my MAC, but this week I was looking around for ways to get video type lessons online and discovered what an incredibly easy and useful tool 280Slides is for this.

Basically 280Slides is an online tool for creating presentations. It works in a very simple way and has a very intuitive interface which is very quick to understand. It has a few basic themes and layouts and you can do all the usual things like adding text, shapes and images to your presentations.

The two key areas though that I like about 280Slides are:

1. It's really easy to import and embed video into you presentation. Just click on the 'Movies' icon add a search term. Find your video and double click it and there it is in the the presentation.

2. It's really easy to share the presentations online. Just click on the 'Share' icon and you get the options to publish to Slideshare, email as a PowerPoint or (and this is the one I like best) get an embed code for your blog or direct URL.

This is a quick easy lesson I created and you can compare the two last options below.

This is the embed version, just click the bottom right icon to see it full screen.

This is the direct link version: Led Zeppelin or the Beatles

How about using this with students
Well as you can see this is a great easy way create materials that exploit video.
  • You can create listening tasks with questions and comprehension questions.
  • You can get students to create their own video related projects by getting them to import video into the slides and write about them.
  • Great for digital narrative which combines video images and text
  • You could get students to import significant news clips and respond to them.
  • You can combine video into grammar presentations with videos that demonstrate grammar points
  • You could just use it to make your presentations and get them online
What I like about 280 Slides
  • Really quick easy to understand interface.
  • Works in the browser so no software to download or install.
  • Great way to make YouTube videos accessible without sending students to the site.
  • Easy enough for students to use.
  • Free and no sign of advertising.
  • The only information they ask for is email address.
  • Really quick way to get materials online without having to illegally download video or have server / web hosting space.
  • Really professional looking results.
  • Embedding the videos into sides with tasks might discourage students from wandering off to look at other YouTube videos.
  • Great to have an embed code for blogs.

What to watch out for
  • It's still in Beta and free and I can't see how anyone makes a living from the site, so they may start charging or advertising, but until then ...
  • If YouTube is blocked in your school, this probably won't solve the problem, though you can get students to access your video activities from home.
  • It doesn't have all the powers of a commercial product like PowerPoint, but how many people use those powers anyway?
Hope you find 280Slides useful.

Related links:

Nik Peachey


Anonymous said...

Hi Nik

Thanks for the ideas as usual. What I'm looking for is sth like this but for collaborative editing. There are many collaborative text editors but what about having students working on ppt presentations at the same time?

Do you know any application?

Nik Peachey said...

Hi Elena

My first reaction was that Google ought to have something like that. Can you use Google docs for that? You could use something like a wiki for the editing and collaborative process and then colate as PPT. What about Zoho Show: It says that you can work collaboratively on presentations, but I haven't tried it.

Good luck with your search.



Martin Jorgensen said...

Impressive, I'll have to have a serious play with this one!

Sliderocket is one I'm fond of. Very elegant UI and easy to use.

There's also slideroll,

And Vuvox is pretty good too ... it has a particularly innovative approach.

My first love at the moment however, is Prezi. It's (still?) in closed Beta at the moment, but I think it's streets ahead in terms of UI and having a unique approach. I've had the opportunity to play around with this one, and it's great fun, with powerful results.

You might also like to try the digital story ideas found on The Digital Narrative here:


Martin Jorgensen

Ana Maria Menezes said...

Dear Nik,

I had already heard of 280slides as well but hadn´t tried it seriously. The possibility of doing video presentations is really something. Glad I found some time to drop by your blog.

Nik Peachey said...

Thanks Anamaria

Look forward to seeing some nice 280 slides video activities on your blog soon.



Unknown said...

I had never heard of this 280 slides. I just started a course for my masters in technology and had to search blogs and came across yours. This looks like something that could be very beneficial for the students and would get them involoced. Is it terribly time consuming? Is it as easy to use as power point, which my team at school uses a lot but this could be a much better tool.

Nik Peachey said...

@ Brooke I actually find it much easier to use the than PowerPoint but it doesn't have the deep down power. There are some really handy features though.


Unknown said...

Thats good to know. Powerpoint can be confuising with some things. I will have to give this a try and see how I like it!

Nik Peachey said...

@ Brooke

Do let me know how it goes.



Carl Dowse said...

Hi Nik,

Thanks for pointing out the online slides tool - bags of potential also for mobile learning use as presumably the slides and embedded videos can be viewed on smartphones, etc. Thanks too for the Beatles vs Led Zeppelin lesson - brings back a lot of very murky memories including the Bath Festival in 1971 when Led Zeppelin headlined. I've embedded the slide deck in a Posterous and asked a client of mine to view an comment this making it a purely online activity but we can discuss his answers when next we meet face-to-face.

Carl Dowse

viky dri said...

How do I include video in my presentation? please help!!!!!!!!

Nik Peachey said...

Hey Viky
Have a look here: It has tips and insructions.

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