"If we teach today's students as we taught yesterday's, we rob them of tomorrow." --John Dewey

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Now Presenting . . . Prezi!

Yes, everyone admires a well put together slide presentation.  And for the most part, we're getting pretty good at using PowerPoint and/or Keynote to do it.  But PowerPoint presentations are getting a little predictable, don't you think? A picture, bullet points, maybe an animation or two, and on to the next slide, where you'll see a picture, bullet points and an animation or two. It's easy to lose the interest of your audience, especially if that audience is comprised of students who live in a fast moving video-game world.

Introducing . . . Prezi:  an online presentation program that will allow you to create "visually captivating presentations that lead your audience down a path of discovery."  Instead of creating a linear series of slides, you will begin creating your presentation on a virtually limitless canvas of sorts.  You can easily insert text, images, shapes, documents, links or videos anywhere on the canvas.  Once inserted, clicking on your text or image, etc. will reveal what some refer to as the "zebra tool" that will allow you to move, resize and angle your object with a simple manipulation of the tool.

Here's what makes it fun.  You can put your text upside down, and reduce the size of your image so that it fits inside of one of the letters of your text.  When it's time to show your presentation, Prezi will automatically turn your text right-side up, and zoom in on your graphic until it's full-screen.  While it's in progress, you're presentation could look like a hot mess, but by outlining the order in which you want each element shown, Prezi turns your haphazard collection of bits and pieces into a well-organized whole.  Take a look at the example below and see for yourself.  It contains unedited comments from my 5th graders after completing their first project at prezi.com.  You can read additional reviews written by my 8th grade class by visiting their blogs at http://kidblog.org/sgscomputers.  

Your students will really enjoy creating and viewing Prezi presentations, and I'm sure you will too.  Be sure to check out the Meeting option.  By sharing a link to your Prezi, you can invite a colleague or two (or ten) to work on creating the presentation with you, each from the comfort of your own classroom, or home, or town.  (We used Meeting to have an entire class of students create the Prezi above, all at once.)  Just one word of caution.  Be judicious about creating too many inverted objects in your presentation.  The non-stop spinning effects will not be appreciated by anyone in your audience who is prone to motion sickness.

1 comment:

  1. Hey There. I found your weblog the use of msn. This is an extremely well written
    article. I'll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your helpful info. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

    My blog post :: ciekawa wycieczka szkolna