On reading my RSS feeds today, I came across Flowgram, a new online presentation application that combines elements of SlideShare (it can handle PowerPoint presentations and audio narration) with a feature that allows live web pages and RSS feeds to appear in the presentation. The site itself describes a flowgram as follows:
A flowgram combines the advantages of slide presentations and screencasts with an interactive user experience that fully exploits the fact that almost all the information we might ever need is already on the web.
However this definition doesn’t really capture the potential of this application as well as an actual flowgram does. So here is one on Web 2.0 and the Writing Classroom by “glmaranto” [yes flowgrams can be embedded in other web pages] that will give you a better flavour. Note that all the web pages that you see in the embedded version are images but if you click on the arrow labelled launch you be taken to the flowgram in which the web pages are live. You can pause the presentation at any time to explore the web pages presented.
(Part two of this presntation “More Web 2.0 for Writing” goes on to talk about blogs, wikis, twitter, data visualisation sites and RSS aggregators. Together these flowgrams provide a nice introduction to educational applications of Web 2.0: after all, all students [and their teachers] must write!)
I can see a number of applications of flowgram, including as a way to introduce the University’s e-learning platform to new students. I can see flowgram complementing that other information mashup tool, Zoho Notebook, mentioned earlier, standing in for those applications where a linear presentation flow would be useful. Thanks to Jane’s Pick of the Day for bringing flowgram to my attention, and to glmaranto for the example flowgrams.