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.
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
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