Those who know me, know this: I HATE POWERPOINT! I just do. There are too many wonderful programs out there that allow kids to be more creative. I think PowerPoint will be a thing of the past by the time my students enter the workforce. OK maybe not, but that would be awesome – no more PowerPoint lectures!!! No one reading from the screen! What a dream world! No more teachers giving assignments that begin with “The students will make a PowerPoint…”and calling it technology integration! Prezi is one of the many PowerPointGoAway-ators (If you watch Phineas & Ferb you got that, right?).
Last winter I tried Prezi for the first time. I remember the first time I tried it, it literally kicked my butt! It was tough. Everytime I use it, I feel like it was a new learning experience. Thanks to my nemsis PowerPoint I think linear. Prezi is outside the box! It turns, it zooms, there is no order until you put it there. Its a geometric plane. A large surface, everything on one level. You choose the order. YOU choose!
Not long after discovering Prezi I had a teacher in my school ask me to help with her student’s projects. She told me that she wanted to do more than PowerPoint (yes she knew of my hatred toward it) and wanted some Web 2.0 projects. So I put together a list of presentation websites on a wiki. http://tinyurl.com/yjjowfj On the list was Prezi. I traded classes with this teacher one day and gave brief descriptions and explanations of the sites listed. The kids then were given the opportunity to choose their presentation method. I knew how hard Prezi could be at first and was very curious to see how the kids did, or if they even chose it. They made AMAZING Prezis. They embedded videos, pictures, links, etc. I was surprised!! When I asked the students if they thought it was hard, they acted as if I was crazy for asking. Then I asked the “lightbulb” question, “Was it easier to use then PowerPoint?” Here’s the shocking part, ready? The answer most of the time was “I don’t know, I’ve never used PowerPoint that much” No wonder they did not have such a hard time, their brains were not trained to think in the PowerPoint – straightline – linear – format. They were fresh! There was no previous knowledge to draw from because Prezi was so new, but there was also nothing to compare it to.
Yes, Prezi is difficult to learn the first time you sit down with it, but for these students there was not much of a learning curve.
This past weekend Prezi launched a EDU license for teachers and students. This is great! It now allows teachers and students to keep their projects private or viewable by certain individuals. That is HUGE! It also give 500 MB verses the 100 you could receive on the public free account. I am excited about this upgrade and cannot wait to use it with students in the future!
Why on Earth would you use a PowerPoint when you can use Prezi?!!