Presenting and sharing content with university faculty and students

Does anyone have presentation workflows inside of an academic setting? Specifically, I’m looking for an optimal setup that works between my devices (all apple - iPad pro, iPhone 7 plus, and 2015 iMac in my office) and the university’s all-in-one PCs in most of the classrooms. Right now, I’m having to convert all my keynote presentations to ppt or Google Slides and store in Icloud or Dropbox. It’s not too bad, but I hate having duplicate files for the sake of providing something to students that works for them as well. Of course I can use keynote in the browser, but that limits my presentation resources (gifs and automatic video playback, for example).

Maybe you should consider standardizing on Google Slides for the time being and seeing how you can adapt to it.

One of the unique, superb features of Slides is the ability to give out a link for people to ask questions live, during presentations: you can see all the questions, see if you were unclear on something and adjust, and pick out questions to answer at the time of your own choosing. That everything is in free storage without duplicates floating around is just a bonus.


That sounds like a good idea. I’ve considered this option a little. I subscribed to the Google Teacher Tribe podcast, and they made mention of that feature. And you’re right: can’t beat the storage in there.
Thanks a lot!

For anything that I generate locally but share externally, I default to PDF in (almost) all cases. The exceptions are when the request from outside specifically asks for a certain format (e.g. Word).

The advantage of PDF is that you have an immutable “hard e-copy” snap shot of the development at that point in time. Even I benefit by finding my old exported PDF slides to review after I have “accidentally” changed something in the source.

This is a tough one because export to PDF may not carry the video or the PDF client may not handle it properly anyway. When you would be using LaTeX, I could direct you to the animate package or an equivalent. The best I could say is to learn to generate the videos in their own folder, ZIP the folder, and distribute the sources as a “Video Resources” subset to the PDF of the slides. This approach can have the added benefit that you can update the videos independently of the entire slide sets and you can distribution a smaller PDF of the slides (without the embedded videos).

In summary, for whatever you generate locally, learn how to create a “Distribution Folder”. In that distribution folder, store the PDF of the slides and a sub-folder of “Video Resources” (perhaps even as a ZIP archive). At the end, push the distribution folder out to the cloud as lecture units … “Lecture 01”, “Lecture 02” … OR as topic units “Spiders”, “Ants”, “Wasps”, …


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Yes, I agree 100% - this is how I deliver all of my lecture slides as well as all assignments etc. In addition, when I’ve assigned ebooks, I’ve always provided a link to a PDF version – every student’s device will be able to open it, which is not the case for an ePub or iBooks text or something requiring Adobe Digital Editions or Bluefire reader etc. Unless you have really tech-savvy TAs or you don’t mind spending a lot of time troubleshooting students’ devices, I think it’s best to pick the most widely available formats, and assume that students will be 2-3 years behind in terms of software updates, latest device features, etc.

Thankfully our college has an auxiliary HDMI cable (sometimes a VGA) so I can take my laptop or iPad to present or teach. I don’t normally distribute my slides, I do supplemental handouts or note guides for presentations or teaching. The slides don’t do people much good without me there. The handouts are in PDF format.

It seems to me that most students are using Google Drive a lot. This has made me play around with Google Slides a little, but I get frustrated at the limitations and go right back to Keynote.

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Thanks all.
These are all great ideas! I think I’ll try the PDF opiton with video resources. That’ll be handy for OCR in devonthink too.