This post is at the request of one of my third grade teachers. Students often complete some really neat projects at home and more and more I am seeing them done in a technology rich format. Recently, many third graders did slideshows at home and did an incredible job. However, some were missing a tool to do the project that allowed them to bring them to a different computer and have them work properly.
Many students did their projects using Microsoft PowerPoint and since we own licenses for Microsoft Office for all of our machines, we were easily able to view these anywhere in the building. However, many students do not have Microsoft Office and we dont necessarily own every possible piece of software that parents may own in order to view them on this end.
A great solution to this problem is the plethora of free Office Suite programs that are available. Although there are many, the most common is probably Open Office which is available free at http://www.openoffice.org/. The Impress Program is a basic slideshow editor and allows you to save the file in a format that is easily read by Microsoft PowerPoint. The program is available for Mac as well (and even Linux). This post is in no way an endorsement of the product, rather it is meant to give parents a free option to use for these types of projects.
Another option for parents is to buy Microsoft Office through a special arrangement with the school system for a big discount. Parents wishing this option can go to http://www.vbschools.com/administration/discount_software.asp .
Whichever option you decide is best for you, have a great time!