I found this Web 2.0 tool to be the best find yet. PowerPoint has dominated the presentation area for many, many years. How refreshing to see something innovative and different. Prezi allows users to create presentations on a single canvas and then move and zoom in and out to see the text, photos or video.
To be able to use Prezi you have to establish an account. This is a very simple process. There is also an educational option which allows teachers and educators free access with more storage and features than the standard free software. For $159 per year Prezi can be upgraded to include additional storage space (from 500 MB to 2000 MB) and Prezi can be accessed from the user’s computer desktop. I found the educational option to have all the features I would need.
Before starting your first Prezi I would recommend going to the Explore tab on Prezi and looking at several of the presentations available. There are literally hundreds there to look at and get ideas. I found this to be most helpful. I then sketched out my main points and how I wanted it to look and then began putting my content into Prezi. I was surprised how easy it was. There were not a lot of choices for color and font. Consider how the colors will look on a projector if you plan on presenting the Prezi in front of an audience. I think the darker colors would be OK if the audience is only viewing it on their own computer screen, but I liked the white background considering I planned to project my Prezi to my class. I choose to take one of my lectures I use for my Human Resource Management class, Unions and Labor Relations, and converted it to a Prezi. I had so much fun putting it together and found it to be quite easy. I also loved that I could be creative and find places to hide text and then zoom in on it to the surprise of my audience. Another great thing about Prezi was the ability to insert YouTube videos and have them automatically play when clicked in the presentation. It all looks so seamless. Another thing I discovered in giving the Prezi presentation to my class is that you can use a slide clicker so you don’t have to be standing next to the computer during the presentation. I advanced through my presentation as I walked around my class. It was actually fun and I think the students found it entertaining as I think we are all a bit tired of canned PowerPoint presentations. Click below to look at my presentation:
I think Prezi has so many uses in teaching and learning. Prezi can make presentations more interesting as opposed to PowerPoint. Students can also put Prezi’s together for various projects. The chance to be creative is a great advantage for students.