Removing the Prezi Motion

30 01 2012

Whilst watching the keynote presentation (given in Prezi) at the University for the Creative Arts Learning and Teaching conference last week, Curtis and I were really struck that it didn’t have any ‘bounce’.

As mentioned previously I have followed various tips and tricks and experimented in Prezi to reduce the ‘sea sick’ motion, also described in a Prezi community post as a ‘pogo-stick’ motion. However there is still a noticeable slight bounce between the path nodes.

At the end of last week I experimented with Adobe Captivate, screencasting software. The result is completely flat – no motion at all. This could be good or bad depending on what you want to achieve with Prezi, i.e. this might work for some people who find Prezi more attractive than PowerPoint but don’t like the Prezi motion? To achieve this, first of all create a Prezi; then in Show mode record a screencast using Adobe Captivate; make the slides move forward via a mouse click; finally present using the resulting Captivate SWF file.

Note: a few hours after writing the above post, I also remembered a much easier alternative – you can of course select Print and ‘print to PDF’; and then present using the PDF – this is probably what the keynote speakers did! (I also presented from a Prezi PDF for the ‘The Art of Presentation’ Learning and Teaching event back in May 2011.)

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Prezi Triple Whammy at UCA!

30 01 2012

The Create Curate Collaborate! project team were delighted to have an abstract accepted for the University for the Creative Arts Learning and Teaching conference, held at the British Library on Wednesday 25th January 2012. This conference is always really inspiring and a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues across the University; this year’s opening keynote was even given in Prezi!

Our session titled ‘Considering blended communication- creative thinking, writing and image making- through initial explorations of Prezi non-linear, digital presentation tools.’ comprised of three very different Prezis:

The audience arrived to the sounds of ‘Walk the Line’ on vinyl, and white grapes; Curtis Tappenden, artist, author and poet, presented a ‘Prezi Poem’ titled ‘Prezi Hesi Tate’:

I provided some background to our project and how the use of Prezi has changed my thinking from a linear example using a screencast of PowerPoint slides, to the Prezi non-linear; ‘Create Curate Collaborate!’:

Two of the students from Curtis’ Creative Writing Group at Rochester: Annabel Giraud-Telme and Benjamin Viney gave an outstanding presentation on their own personal experience of using Prezi; ‘We walk the line’:

I have learnt so much from my colleagues Jac and Curtis, and also from the students. Unfortunately Jac Cattaneo wasn’t able to attend but her contribution was very much evident in terms of the paper we co-wrote together in Google Docs, and also particularly in the cross-over between Curtis and Jac’s creative writing groups.

Next step, an interactive poster Prezi for University of Brighton!





When PowerPoint is good

14 01 2012

To be honest, I am starting to get nostalgic for PowerPoint. I subscribe to the school of thought that it is the presenter not the tool that makes it a good presentation. Although I don’t discount the role some tools play in creating the presentation e.g. mindmapping and Prezi allowing certain patterns of thinking, whereas PowerPoint is a linear mode of thinking (more on this to follow). I also still agree with an earlier blog post that it is ‘horses for courses‘.

In researching about Prezi, I have mentioned thewikiman already (blog post, November 2011), however I haven’t mentioned that I am a fan of his PowerPoint presentations, available via SlideShare. My favourite two are below:

Stop Breaking the Basic Rules of Presenting

How to use Prezi and win: thewikiman’s 10 top tips to make a good one

The only problem with doing learning resources on Prezi is that it updates so frequently that things get out of date really quickly. Or to look at it positively, Prezi is always improving and responding to user feedback. I have been working on a short guide for the Create Curate Collaborate! project but keep hesitating about when to complete it as it could be out-of-date quite quickly, or I could just re-issue new versions as Prezi do with their learning materials (see blog post with Prezi learning links).





Death by Motion Sickness

13 01 2012

You’ve heard of ‘Death by PowerPoint’, well ‘Death by Prezi’ seems to be around the corner with ‘Death by Motion Sickness’. From searching the Internet for ‘Prezi’ and ‘motion sickness’ I found Tom Walton’s blog post from a year ago (Prezi for presentations, 22 January 2011), where he states:

We have “Death by PowerPoint”; “Death by motion sickness in Prezi” is an equally likely scenario.

This has not been an issue for me previously, but I have recently had a comment from someone about this effect of Prezi, which has actually caused them nausea for up to one hour after using the tool. We have set a plan in action in case this occurs with any of the students who are collaborating with us on ‘Create Curate Collaborate!‘, and we will be able to offer alternatives if the need arises.

Doing a bit more research into Prezi and motion sickness throws up the following recommendations:

Although this makes a slight improvement, to be honest the Prezi motion is starting to irritate me, even when moving very slightly in a straight path from one identically sized object to another. These tips have also not solved the problem for my colleague at all.

springerspandrel from within the Prezi Community website has written a really good post about one month ago, about what needs to be done to solve the ‘bounce’ issue: Path trajectory (and zoom) options to reduce bounce and sea-sickness and I quote:

 “pogo-stick” feel of the path animations

and

In general, the little “zippy bounce” effect along every bit of path (even between same-size nodes) is a bit too cutesy for me sometimes.

Sorry Prezi, but I have to agree. The great thing about Prezi is that they are constantly changing and evolving and respond to user requests much faster than any other presentation software programmes that I am aware of – so watch this space!





Google Docs presentations reconsidered

6 01 2012

When I first started researching presentation tools, one of the first I looked at was Google Docs presentations. Despite one impressive animation created using the tool (Google Demo Slam: Epic Docs Animation), I discounted it as it seemed to have less functionality than PowerPoint and was also a linear tool i.e. it didn’t really have anything special to offer IMO.

Google presentations upgraded in October (see blog posts under ‘Links’), and now has more features, including:

  • Transitions to move between slides with simple fades or spicier 3D effects
  • Animations to add emphasis or to make your slides more playful
  • New themes to create beautiful presentations with distinct visual styles
  • Drawings to build new designs, layouts, and flowcharts within a presentation
  • Rich tables with merged cells and more options for adding style to your data

(Ref: ‘A fresh start for Google presentations‘)

What is interesting about these features is that they are apparently some of the most requested by users. Questions:

  • Who are these users? what kind of demographic/background? how do they use Google Docs?
  • Why did they choose these features? To make Google presentations more like PowerPoint? Delibrately or subconsciously?
  • How did Google Docs select the ‘most wanted’ features?

The improved collaborative feature is what interests me the most; now character-by-character collaboration is possible, akin to that previously offered in Google Docs documents. Not only does this bring presentations up to the standard of the other Google Docs, but it also poses a challenge to Prezi as it could be argued that Google Docs is more powerful for collaboration than Prezi. I will be watching the development of Google Docs presentations and Prezi with interest.

Links





Scouting for learning spaces at the V&A

6 01 2012

Curtis, Jac, and I (with my son in tow) met at the V&A during our Christmas holidays to explore the V&A learning spaces that had been recommended by Leanne and also scouted out by Jac on her previous visit. The learning spaces were chosen in order to inspire creativity and also for practical reasons to ensure we could use them with a group of students.

This Prezi was a collaborative effort with my son: ‘V&A visit‘. The reasons for creating this were:

  • explore the idea suggested by Jac about using Prezi to create a ‘journey of a visit’
  • explore the idea suggested by Curtis about engaging my son with Prezi (why not!)
  • potentially produce a template that could be used by the students if they would like to use it
  • record our visit in order to document our project work and support the visit with the students in early February