Saturday, June 19, 2010

Presentations using Prezi

What comes to mind when I write the word 'presentation'?

Do you envision the endless hours spent listening to someone ramble on while watching a static set of text-filled slides flash by on a large screen? Do you recall an eye-opening experience that inspired and introduced you to a whole new world? Either way, you'd likely be able to close your eyes and see exactly why the presentation made you feel one way or the other. The big question here is "what made you sit up and take notice"?

For those of you who are looking to bring a 'cool' factor to your presentations, Prezi may just be your answer. This online application takes a fresh new approach that claims (according Prezi's own website) to generate "astonishing presentations". In a world where traditional computer-based applications are giving way to online versions, Prezi has emerged alongside Google Docs Presentations and ZohoShow as a standout online presentation creator.

Prezi requires new users to create an account and the cost is (mostly) free for educators. Features include online creation, the ability to download completed presentations, privitazation setting controls and the ability to remove the official Prezi watermark. If you're willing to pay the yearly subscription fee of $59, you'll be able to download the Prezi application software to a local computer and increase your online storage space from 500MB to 2GB. I'll let you decide what you're willing to pay for this service, but the technical requirements are fairly straightforward. All that is required to play a Prezi is the latest version of FlashPlayer.

What makes Prezi cool you ask? Well, it's all in the approach. Rather than simply moving through information slide-by-slide, Prezi uses a single flat interface dubbed the 'zoomable canvas'. Here you can lay everything out all in one space and then build point-to-point animations and zoom into content for a closer look. I must admit that this all looks cool, but the question remains whether or not this tool actually adds to the quality of a presentation.

I'm going to start my introduction to Prezi with this video and start working. Next time, I'll showcase the potential of using Prezi in the classroom.


  1. Ok, so I signed up for Prezi and had a chance to play with it a little. Very cool. I can see my students and I creating these together at first and possibly by the end of the year they could complete their own independently. We use something called Thinking Maps, that's just another name for Graphic Organizers, and this form of presentation goes right along with those maps. Thanks so much for sharing this, I can't wait to try it with my students next year.

  2. Wow Jeremy, this is really cool! I feel like I saw you or someone else present with this one time and it was really engaging. I could see students enjoying presenting with this tool and also students being excited about teachers presenting with this tool. Thanks for sharing!