“Prezi.” In the past few months, I have heard this mysterious one-syllable word uttered in various contexts, often being compared to Microsoft Powerpoint, sometimes referred to as a mind-mapping tool, almost always pointed out as a revolutionary website. After all those weeks of unforgivable ignorance, I finally decided to sign up to Prezi and to see what all the fuss was about. After trying out the site and reading a few articles and reviews on the matter, here, my friends, is what the fuss is all about.
Prezi is a presentation service that is available for free online. It can be used to prepare digital presentations of various forms and styles. Once you have signed up, you can create your presentation very easily, either starting from a blank page or from one of the many suggested templates. From then on, the possibilities are endless; you can add text zones, images, symbols, videos or even background music, and you can organize all of these in any way you want, using arrows, titles, colors, highlighting and much more to guide your reader through the presentation. The size of your Prezi is not limited to a regular screen-sized page like with PowerPoint; a Prezi can be huge, and you can zoom in on any part that requires focus, as well as navigate through your presentation easily, in whatever order seems fit. As the author of this article nicely summed up, “[Prezi] is sort of like Powerpoint on steroids”. A Prezi presentation can also be made to go from one thing to another in a predetermined order, a bit like with a Powerpoint but in a much more attention-retaining way. One of the articles I read, which holds a lot of good information on Prezi, gave a link to a presentation which uses this feature very effectively. All of these optiosn make Prezi a very good tool for education. As pointed out in this article I found on Teachers First, teachers have to deal with “the popularity and educational benefits of using graphic organizers with your students”. And Prezi goes much further in that direction than any other tool I have seen so far.
Although I have not experienced this yet, being new to Prezi, I have read in this article, amongst others, that a Prezi presentation can be shared and edited simultaneously by many users. This can be very usefull, as it allows collaboration without having to meet up and work on a single computer.
This website can of course be used in many ways in education. Teachers can use these presentation to make their classes ever more lively and complete, and the zoom in/out feature can be used in various ways to help students understand better, as is demonstrated in this very interesting Prezi presentation. Just as teachers can work with Prezi to prepare their classes, students can be made to use it when they prepare oral presentations, or it can even be used a a means of presenting the conclusions of a research project.
I have only discovered this site a few days ago, yet I am already in awe as I see everything that can be achieved with it. I am certainly going to use it as a language teacher, and I hope that any teacher who discovered Prezi by reading this article will barely finish reading me before signing up.