April 7, 2013

Slide Rocket has really angered me

Boy, am I angry at Slide Rocket!

I've written widely on the web-based presentation tool and advocated for its use in education circles. I even produced a how-to video on Slide Rocket here. I created further content and video about effectively using Slide Rocket, at this Learn it in 5 page. When I wanted to teach educators how to effectively use the online writing tool, KidBlog, where did I turn? You guessed it, Slide Rocket.

What was great about Slide Rocket was teaching students how to use it and watching their eyes light up, when their old boring PowerPoints came to life with Slide Rocket's innovative animations, templates and plugins. Best of all, Slide Rocket was free.

Now, Slide Rocket has been taken over (they call it a merger) by ClearSlide -- a corporate giant, seemingly interested only in business. By its own admission, the new company will cater to the private sector. This was posted to the Slide Rocket blog in March:
"Clearslide is revolutionizing the relationship between sales teams and customers. . . . By acquiring SlideRocket, ClearSlide will expand its rich presentation capabilities for sales teams to engage customers more effectively and close more business."

You can't fool me

I was so angered by this move that I contacted SlideRocket/Clearslide to ask what this merger/takeover meant to educators like me and to my students, who have come to depend on Slide Rocket for many of their projects. First, some Clearslide salesperson, who had no idea how the merger/takeover would effect Slide Rocket, foisted me off on another sharp talker, obviously schooled on how to handle inquisitive teachers.

Not to worry, I was told, everything is being considered. Oh, and should it come to pass that I'll lose my Slide Rocket membership, Clearslide will make sure I have plenty of help downloading my presentations to PowerPoint. Hmm., I thought, if I wanted to use PowerPoint, I wouldn't have spent the past four years, using Slide Rocket!

This spin doctor double-talk couldn't fool me.

It's very clear at this point that Slide Rocket will soon look nothing like, well, Slide Rocket. More likely, it will become just another piece of Clearslide which, by the way, is a very clunky product that feels more like an amped up e-mail program than the slick presentation tool that Slide Rocket used to be.

Boy, this makes me angry! Keynote, here I come.

Don't miss Mark's book ROLE Reversal: Achieving Uncommonly Excellent Results in the Student-Centered Classroom, now available in the ASCD store, Barnes & Noble and at Amazon.com