Review by Kirstin Sobotka, Common Sense Education | Updated February 2015

SlideBean

Web-based presentation tool engages students, fosters collaboration

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Creativity

Subjects
  • English Language Arts
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
9-12
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (1 Review)

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Pros: Creativity, professional tools help students create powerful presentations to showcase polished ideas and claims.

Cons: Free access doesn't allow online collaboration or offline access to presentations, and public presentations may not relate to all subjects.

Bottom Line: Use these polished, engaging presentations to empower students in formal speaking situations.

Peruse the presentation gallery for any presentations that could be used for direct instruction or inspiration for an original presentation for class use. Discuss the necessary elements for effective, appropriate visuals for presentations. With the whole class, discuss and prioritize the criteria for an exemplar presentation; using this rubric, provide students with links to certain presentations to evaluate, or let students evaluate presentations of their choice from the site. Let students collect data using to rubric to prompt class discussions on effective presentations. After students have validated research, assign the summative task of creating a powerful presentation showcasing that content. Finally, teachers can offer this tool as one of many options for demonstrating their understanding or presenting their work.

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SlideBean is a Web-based presentation creator that offers sleek presentation designs through an easy-to-navigate interface that allows for creativity in template, font, image, and media. While this site is not primarily meant for teachers and students, its features address and support presentation standards associated with high school literacy. SlideBean allows all members access to view other public presentations. Some presentations in the gallery are less useful or complete than others; to view more reliable presentations, visit the staff picks.

There are several versions of the product that range from cost-free, with limited creativity and privacy, to the Pro version, with more sophisticated features for privacy, creation, and collaboration. Though some paid versions seem pricey, there are discounts available: If teachers or students invite friends to join the site, SlideBean will offer a discount on any of the paid plans. 

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This tool can increase the "wow" factor of any presentation. It's a great method of summative assessment for skills associated to presenting, speaking, and listening, and it's a great way to get students to think about capturing their spoken words in an effective visual aid. Keep in mind that it doesn't offer any instruction for any of these skills -- just the application and delivery. That being said, SlideBean can serve as a powerful tool for student creativity and confidence with regard to presenting information. The presentation gallery, especially the staff picks, offers some useful resources for teachers, who can carefully monitor and advise students on the validity of the user-generated content. Anyone with an account can publish a public presentation regardless of its topic. Students can create free, basic accounts to use; however, their presentations will be public for other members to view. Confidentiality and student privacy could be a concern with any content included in presentations.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Students can effortlessly create a truly captivating presentation using stock photos, videos, and a range of fonts and templates. With paid plans, students can collaborate on the same presentation online.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

While students have to insert their own content, attractive presentations will allow them to gain confidence in their speaking and presenting skills. Students can include effective visuals to enhance their spoken presentations.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

The site offers extensive FAQs and technical directions, but teachers will need to provide initial instruction regarding presentations and delivery. Step-by-step directions and easy-to-navigate site pages make for easy use.


Common Sense Reviewer
Kirstin Sobotka Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 1 reviews) (1 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Amber P. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
Super sleek presentation creator that designs for you!

One of the best aspects of being a teacher is providing opportunities for students to be creators and publishers of information. SlideBean is a great tool to provide that outlet. Because SlideBean does the designing, this is a great resource to really focus on the content. There are also resources available within SlideBean on how to access free use images that students could use. They have a great blog that help users become experts at creating presentations. The team at SlideBean is also very quick to respond to questions and offer support. Collaboration is only allowed with an upgrade. There is not an EDU account option. The free version has limited design templates, fonts and colors, but it is definitely worth checking out!

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