Home > 21st Century Classroom > How Prezi Can Change Your World (or keep you boring)

How Prezi Can Change Your World (or keep you boring)

When I first was introduced to Prezi ‘way back when’ I thought it was so awesome, as most of you I’m sure can understand. It’s clean, simple to use, it looks great, and it’s pretty solid regarding performance. But after a few interactions it got boring – fast. In the end if all you do is move your PowerPoint presentations onto prezi you haven’t really changed your pedagogy or advanced your teaching. All you would have done is made it a little prettier. So how can it change your world of teaching?

A few months ago prezi announced a new feature – prezi meeting. Up to ten users (last I checked) can collaborate in real time on a presentation, watching each other type, edit, upload media, and work on layouts. It works incredibly well and other users are represented in the 2D space by little avatar dudes. Think about how this can be used in your classroom (or outside of it for that matter).

Now your students can be the creators of information, relying on the knowledge of the group/community to develop a common understanding. Visualize having groups of students creating thought webs, brainstorming together – but everyone is responsible for writing and coming up with ideas. Things happen faster on prezi because everyone can work on the same document at once, and all students are engaged. Students can see each other work as it happens, and still be working themselves.

My avatar along with Susana's avatar depicting both of our places while editing a prezi document

Even as a teacher/consultant this changes the way I work. While preparing for a recent presentation on social media my co-presenter, Susana, and I were able to collaborate online ‘side by side’ while working from our respective homes over 100 km’s apart. It was a faster process than e-mailing each other a document back and forth, or logging in and out of a drop box, worrying about over-writing the others work. It also allowed us to share ideas, chat, and truely collaborate to make the presentation a product of both of our thinkings.

With the proliferation of so many synchronous tools online the learning environm ent has a real opportunity to change. I hope we can embrace these tools to genuinely better the education of our students, not just to dress up the same old classroom.

A few things that would make prezi (or a similar tool) even better

  • apps for ipad/iphone/android
  • chat feature – so far i’ve just been typing randomly in the prezi to talk to people, and sometimes have forgotten to delete a few comments before using the presentation
  • tracking to know who has done what work
  • comments such as that on MS word for reviewing with peers
  1. Danny Maas
    November 24, 2010 at 22:54

    Great post Daniel! 1 other suggestion for Prezi – allow users to embed web 2.0 elements (other than YouTube) such as Animoto, Glogster, Voicethread, Photo Peach, Voki, etc.

    • November 24, 2010 at 23:46

      Thanks danny, and thanks for the additional ideas! I haven’t seen anyone embed a Glogster poster yet – I’ll have to try that out.

    • November 24, 2010 at 23:47

      Danny, I should add another thank you for originally suggesting to me how powerful a chat feature would be in prezi – we figured that out when we were build one together last month!

  2. Susana Gerndt
    January 25, 2011 at 21:20

    Daniel, today I asked a couple of students that we’ve worked with some questions about PREZI. This is what they mentioned reagarding the collaboration component…
    • Being able to work on something at the same time as your partner from different locations is VERY helpful.
    • It’s much easier to work on the same thing with another person from different places, but at the same time, so that someone doesn’t get stuck doing it all or panicking at the last minute.
    • I truly enjoyed how while you were working on the PREZI with someone else, you could see what they are doing so you could correct them if needed.

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