Monday, April 18, 2011


Prezi ( provides you with a new method of presenting information to your students. It can move slide-driven presentations in new and interesting directions, because it works in a less linear fashion than does a standard PowerPoint presentation. It is a new evolution of presentation technology. I recall sitting in class as a student as instructors brought acetate overheads into class. Initially, they might have actually copied or drawn their own information on those sheets, but as technology evolved they could copy a table, for example, from a book onto the acetate and at least provide a more professional0looking overhead. And then, as technology further evolved, digital PowerPoint slide began to replace the slide carousels we carried around, and the ease with which we could make our presentations increased. But despite the comfort we now have with the use of slide/presentation technology- most of us use PowerPoint to one degree or another- there are problems with that technology, leading some experts to refer to something called “death by PowerPoint.”

Prezi calls itself a digital storytelling tool. Unlike PowerPoint, which allows you to present in a linear fashion, Prezi uses content to create a storyline. You can zoom in and out and all around, working instead on a “whiteboard.” Perhaps it would be best to demonstrate. Go to this link and view the presentation there to see a prezi in action:

I should note what prezi is not.

It is not a way to simply reuse your slides in a new format. It is not a program which requires you to have design skills. It is not like other presentation software, nor is it a way to make weak art look good. And it is not just for presentations. It can be used, for example, for concept mapping. I order to use it, you must sign up, but you can do so under their free plan, which gives you 100mb of storage and the ability to work online. There are paid options as well that allow you to make work private and to work offline, and they also offer reduced rates for educators. When you log onto the site, there are 3 tabs across the top: Your Prezis (where the ones you create are stored), Learn (for learning how to use the technology in more detail), and Explore (where you can see other’s prezis and participate in message boards).

To use this, you need to think differently about how you wish to present information. You will be telling a story, so you need to plan differently. You have to think visually and in terms of movement. But this is a novel and interesting technology and I wish to suggest you play with it a little bit and see how it might help you to reinforce learning.

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