Prezi Kicks the @#$% out of the Traditional PowerPoint


Prezi has been around for a a few years now, and with its simplicity, elegance and sheer wow factor it’s a wonder why we are still forced to sit through endless PowerPoint presentations in this day and age. Simply put, there is no comparison between the PowerPoint, or any traditional slide presentation software (including SlideRocket, Keynote, Google Presentations) and what Prezi can offer in terms of user interface and final product: a kick-ass, zoomable eye-catching experience.

Judge for yourself. The presentation above was created “in class” as the Vocabulary words for Lois Lowry’s The Giver Chapter 2 or 3, I think. The students wrote them down, and while they looked for the definitions in dictionaries and online, I simply added the words. It’s as simple as clicking the screen and typing. You can quickly add images, YouTube videos, free-drawn scribbles, arrows, frames, and more by clicking the tool bar (which is no bar at all, but a spinning selection tool that should be a model for all future tool bars).

Then when you are done adding and embedding content on the fly, you can add “paths” by clicking in order from object to object. Prezi will then play and zoom, rotate, slide around the screen displaying the content you created in the order you want.

Change your mind? Want to add something in the “timeline”? Just pluck at a path and drag it to the new object, and immediately all the other objects are reordered.

By the second day, the students get to watch a movie with the vocabulary words. I can change the order of the presentation from definitions first to the word itself, or maybe give them picture clues first, then the definition, and finally the word.

English Learners can benefit just as much as anyone by creating an ongoing collection of new words, including pictures, sentences, videos, etc that bring the word into new contexts.

It works great for student projects, too.  How bored are students with making PowerPoints these days? With Prezi they can have a whole new  experience, and they can learn in minutes. Much faster than MS PPTs for that matter with all their useless bells and whistles.

Last year the student’s end of the year project was a team presentation about Greek Civilization. The results were mixed, but not because of Prezi, but because the content was not as developed as I would have liked. It’s important that if you let your students try it (and its free for educational uses) that they brainstorm and get feedback on what they want to add before they actually build it.  But once they start they won’t want to make any more slide shows.

They look great on interactive Smartboards, too if your school has the goods.

And beyond the classroom, a Prezi can help you stand above other job applicants, or can be a novel way of sending a message to a loved one (if that applies to you) or to simply peddle your wares.

Have fun!

Here is one more: