Death by PowerPoint (PPT). It happens. Prezi is the answer to a slide presentation that doesn’t look like a slide presentation. Caution….if you get motion sickness, then Prezi might not be a great option, though the zooming in/out and around is not as bad as other tools (e.g., Emaze). I suspect the animation of zooming out and over to the next “slide” is the most appealing feature, but it does also allow the audience to see the whole presentation at once and then choose a direction to head in (or just use the arrows to take the path you set). Prezi is fairly popular with students and educators who are familiar with PPT, but seek a different way to navigate. Having PPT experience is helpful, but not required. So, if anyone has ever suggested that you need to “think outside the box,” give them a Prezi presentation and see if that does the trick.
Update, February 2016: I had recommended Prezi to students, but they reported back that it was too expensive to use. I really thought it was free for everyone, not just educators. It takes some work to find the free version since you keep getting flipped to the free-trial version. Here is the link to the “public” version that is free: https://prezi.com/signup/public/
Goal: Create a dynamic presentation that is mostly text driven (no audio, few/no graphics) and can be embedded in an online classroom
- Many templates and styles to choose from, especially with the pay version, but still enough to choose from in the free version
- Allows embedding of media (e.g., video clips, webcam video, graphics)
- Can link to online version or embed in website with HTML code
- There is an app, so audiences can access presentations on mobile devices
- Can be downloaded as a whole presentation or saved as PDF
- I get a little frustrated when I deviate from the templates and want to add/delete sections. I have to remember the nuances of each step to building a new section, which might be overwhelming for someone with limited experience with Prezi.
- The printed version of the presentation isn’t as well designed as PPT. I inherently wanted a “whole” view to print of one my shorter presentations, but the text became distorted or too small.
Insider View: If you are an educator, you can get access to the “upgraded” version for a year. Like any other media project, it helps to have a plan before starting to use the tool to create the project. I generally draft the text in Word (or PPT). Trying to be creative while also negotiating the design tools in Prezi can be overwhelming, so writing the text first before getting to Prezi is ideal.
Final Thoughts: The free version works well enough for me. I like this tool when I don’t want to add audio (though, I’ve never tried adding audio yet). I also prefer it when it’s a short presentation. If there is too much information, the font gets small or audiences get confused with all the necessary clicking and navigating.