Open.Michigan currently has over 190 openly licensed slideshows available on SlideShare. The majority of the slideshows come from the University of Michigan Medical School OER collection. We’re always interested in increasing the visibility and use of U-M’s OER content and this summer we started experimenting with SlideShare by going, as they say, “where the people are.” And so far it appears to be paying off. We’ve been uploading Medical School content at various rates since the end of May, and the content is already fast approaching 8,000 total upload views, with an additional 286 downloads! Best of all, the slideshows are being viewed by people from all over the world.
As we learn more about SlideShare we are also beginning to see how it creates opportunities to deliver openly licensed content in more dynamic ways. For example, embedding slideshows is a slick way to provide access to this content within the context of a blog or webpage. You may one day see slideshows embedded into course sessions on open.umich.edu.
The ability to add live links to individual slides within a slideshow is an added bonus, and it may one day foster the growth of a dynamic network of OER content across many different websites. What does this mean exactly? I’m not sure – but wouldn’t it be cool if an openly licensed image within a slideshow was linked to a hi-res version on Flickr (or wherever else), where it could then be annotated and commented on by users? Linking to relevant OER content on our YouTube and Blip channels from a slideshow is another idea. Basically, the goal is to connect the dots between popular content sharing platforms. This way, users can take advantage of open educational resources by utilizing the cool features these platforms have already developed. Fitting all of this into a tidy package will be a challenge though.
Since we are just beginning to play around with all of this stuff, we would really appreciate your feedback. For example, what kind of experiences have you had with SlideShare, or other slideshow sharing sites? How do you feel about embedded slideshows, or for that matter, how do you feel about iframes in general? What is the best way to mash up content from multiple sites? Please share your Internet wisdom!