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Tom Hesmondhalgh

Using Prezi in the Classroom

Wonderful Wiimotes – how to create an IWB for £34
Everyone’s talking about Prezi – the new online presentation tool that’s set to rival Powerpoint.

Perhaps few would mourn Powerpoint’s demise, but is Prezi really all that different, and what are the benefits of using it in the classroom?

The first is that it’s really pretty. Prezi calls itself the ‘zooming presentation editor’ and when you see one in action you’ll see it’s a very slick process zooming into and out of different text and embedded media. This may sound like a small point, but then this is a presentation – and looks are important to maintain engagement.

The zooming is also useful from a teaching perspective as well. You can have tiny explanations for example associated with key words in a passage, which a student can zoom into if they need further assistance.

Secondly is its structure. It’s akin to a mind map in the way you lay your presentations out. You can still set an order and progress through the points one by one, but you do also have the flexibility to be a bit freer, to navigate the Prezi in a manner which you choose. Ultimately thought is not always linear, and its great to have a presentation tool that reflects this.

Thirdly, it’s very whiteboard friendly. Because it was designed with the ipad in mind, touch navigation is very easy with a Prezi so it allows you to create exciting and interactive presentations that the students can really get involved in.

Want to get started? Here’s a short video showing you how to create your own Prezi.

 

Looking for inspiration? Here are some different classroom Prezis to get you thinking.

MFL – Household Tasks

A simple vocab learning exercise made more engaging with the use of imagery and a bit of zoom!

The Poetry of Wilfred Owen

Interesting because the author of this Prezi has imbedded videos of himself discussing the poetry and providing information to the students.

Special Journeys

A really nice example that’s an RE lesson activity on pilgrimmage. This shows how you can include lesson objectives and assessment levels into your Prezi as well.

 

I’d love to see examples of great Prezis you’ve made for teaching in class. If you have any do comment below or tweet me a url.

 

 

  • Hi,
    Interesting blog post, but I think you missed the most powerful aspect of Prezi, i.e. the ability to share a prezi with mutiple users and simultaneously edit it! You can then set groups that focus at a certain aspect of the topic and carry on working anywhere and at any time!
    I have used Prezi as a Mind Mapping tool here http://blog.ngfl-cymru.org.uk/?p=326 and I think it is very powerful used in this way, especially when it is the learners who are mind mapping with it collaboratively.
    However, I am not too convinced Prezi is the best presentational tool available, and I am even less convinced that it is that must better than PowerPoint. In fact, it is a time consuming process to upload images, as they need to be saved on your desktop first and I have the feeling that this has in some cases encouraged some teachers to make the usual mistake of writing lengthy paragraphs and still kill their students, if not by PowerPoint, by Prezi! See this for a laugh :-) http://prezi.com/bvyf8hisdohu/death-by-prezi/
    I think it matters little what presentation tool you are using, because if you are a great communicator your presentations will be awesome on any platform, but if you are lousy, they will be poor even on Prezi ;-)

    • Tom Hesmondhalgh

      Ha – that’s great I love it. I didn’t realise about the simulatenous editing aspect, I can see how creating collaborative mind maps would work really well. Definitely Prezi’s not quicker than Powerpoint, and maybe it’s less relevant to teaching, but I’m still amazed that presentation software could come out of the box dull! Check out Monday’s post on top science tweeters by the way – you’re in there twice!

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  • I have been experimenting on some prezi’s about math…here is one I camp up with:

    http://prezi.com/31bynaucl8gy/parallelogram-theorems/

    I also created a YouTube video using it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSC374_Kdm4

    Feed back would be welcome! Remember I am just learning.

    • Tom Hesmondhalgh

      Thanks for sharing. Thought that was great. Very clear and concise – not even a whiff of death by Prezi!

  • Jennifer Barker

    I use Prezi too but have never been able to find a ‘check spelling’ tool. Do you know if this exists?

    • Tom Hesmondhalgh

      No – not as far as I’m aware. Seems like a pretty big thing to be missing though!

  • Hi everyone, check out this post on Prezi, which provides a 30 minute professional development lesson on Prezi as well as examples of how to use the tool in teh classroom: http://teachbytes.com/2012/09/24/learn-prezi-in-30-minutes/

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