Tired of endless PowerPoint slides full of bullet points? Prezi is another take on presentations, in which all content is added to a giant, zoomable canvas, giving students a better visual overview of the content and giving the teacher more flexibility.
What is it?
Prezi is an online presentation tool that lets you add content such as text, pictures and videos to a big canvas. The content can be organised in frames (“slides”) that create a path through the presentation. Since the canvas is zoomable you can start out with the big picture and zoom in on the details – or vice versa.
Watch an example of a Prezi here.
And here is an example from UCPH-teacher, Camilla Bruun, where she is taking advantage of the visual media: Vitose & meiose (DK).
What is the value?
Zooming out to see the big picture and zooming in on the details can help students get a better overview of the presentation – where are we now, and how do the parts relate to each other?
Prezi is visually oriented, so most often you end up with less text and more pictures, making your presentation more of a visual aid rather than a manuscript for your lecture.
The path that you create through the canvas helps structure the presentation, but you can zoom in and out anytime you want, making it easy to break the linear flow of your presentation.
Prezi is no time saver – at least not in the beginning. Though it can be time-consuming (and fun), it works particularly well in the conceptual phase of a presentation, since the flexibility of the tool makes it great for brainstorming, letting you organise and reorganise the content during your preparation.
It’s always a good idea to keep the presentations simple and not overdo the visual effects. Too much zooming and panning will not help convey the key points in your presentation, and may even induce motion sickness.
Prezi is also an excellent tool for student presentations and assignments. Students can produce their own Prezi or collaborate synchronously with their peers.
Which Software Should I choose?
Prezi is a proprietary online service. There are similar presentation tools that take a more visual approach to presentations such as PowToon, Slid.es and Emaze.