Slide Deck Challenge

The Challenge

There is no “ideal” solution for hosting lecture slides…

Ideally, lecturers would be able to keep hosted lecture slides for each lesson “private and locked down” and embedded within a CANVAS Free for Teacher course “Page.”

  • “private and locked down” means that the URL for the hosted slides does not appear in google search results, students cannot see nor find the URL, and the slides are not downloadable.
  • “embedded” means that the slides are instantly viewable within a Page inside of a CANVAS Free for Teachers course.

Embedding within a CANVAS Free for Teacher course Page would mean fewer clicks and better concentration/focus for students which theoretically would lead to a more satisfying learning experience and better learning outcomes.

Ideally, students would not need to enter a password to see the hosted lecture slides embedded on the CANVAS Page.

eliminating the need for a password is a “nice-to-have” capability, not a must-have capability.

From my perspective, the ideal “fit-for-purpose” solution would enable the lecture slides to leverage the fact that students had to login to their CANVAS Free for Teachers account and enter the hosted course to see the lecture slides (i.e. if someone outside my CANVAS course happened upon the private URL they would not be able to view the slides). Perhaps this would require some kind of API handshake between CANVAS Free for Teachers and Speaker Deck?

It seems likely that part of the solution resides within CANVAS’ External Apps Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) feature. (LTI is a standard created by IMS Global). Users can add external apps for courses via URL, manual configuration, or XML. And, I need to investigate whether the hosted slide deck has the ability to generate a Consumer Key and Shared Secret.

Some options for hosting lecture slide decks online.

Speaker Deck

Speaker Deck is the best way to share presentations online. Simply upload your slides as a PDF, and we’ll turn them into a beautiful online experience. Currently, working with tech support to design a human-centered solution. Speaker Deck has an interesting history.

Google Slides

With Google Slides, you can create, edit, collaborate, and present wherever you are. Can be embedded within CANVAS Free for Teachers. But, anyone on the internet can find and view the slides….

PowerPoint Online

Using OneDrive, you can make your PowerPoint presentation public, so someone who’s searching the web or who clicks a link can open it in their browser. Can be embedded within CANVAS Free for Teachers. But, anyone on the internet can find and view the slides…. Also, OneDrive is not ideal.


Pitch combines the best parts of productivity, design, and presentation software to helpf fast-moving teams create beautifully designed decks in minutes.


The presentation templates provide a fill-in-the-blank outline that can kick start your presentation workflow. Combined with AI arrangement, users can finish a presentation in minutes, instead of hours.


Allows anyone to create stunning, interactive, and animated content.

Even more options for hosting lecture slide decks online.


Slides is a suite of modern presentation tools, available right from your browser. Unlike traditional presentation software, there’s no need to download anything.

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