While at the NCTIES 2009 conference, I went to the Web2.0 Digital Tools for Digital Kids session with Dr. Howie DiBlasi. One of the free tools he shared from his top 53 web 2.0 sites was 280slides. Basically, it is free powerpoint that is web 2.0 based. The learning curve is minimal and it is very easy to use. The first time you use the program it will ask you for an email address. Then just click on the Launch button, choose what kind of presentation you would like to do - create new, open a saved file, or import an existing file - and begin working. All the familiar tools are right there for you.
As you work on your presentation, 280slides autosaves every few minutes so you don't have to worry about losing your work and it will always be the latest version. Since everything is saved to their server, you can get to your presentation anywhere, anytime as long as you have an Internet connection.
Already have some presentations you would like to use at a distant location and not carry them on a thumbdrive? 280slides will import existing Powerpoint presentations so you can make changes and/or additions, or use them as they are. The reverse works as well - create your 280slides presentation and then download it as a PowerPoint file (even 2007), an open document, or a PDF. When you feel the need to share it with others, just click on the Share button and email it to someone (2007 format only), publish it to the web through SlideShare, or embed a link to it on your website.
The toolbar has everything at your fingertips so you can start fresh, import, or publish. It was easy to upload photos and movies from my own sources or from a website, even YouTube, and Flickr. Changing themes and layouts was a breeze. One click on the yellow note icon and you have a place for presenter notes. All in all, this is a fun and easy to use web-based program.
Need to create or work on a presentation? Let's think about meeting at a Starbuck's or Panera Bread, get comfy in a chair, logon and put the web to work. See you there!