Reflections on Prezi

17 02 2012

I have had good feedback from two recent presentations using Prezi (JISC funded Kultivate and eNova projects). These were both end-of-project presentations, so Prezi let me take a range of material – a few PowerPoint slides (PDF); some images and screenshots; a couple of screencasts (which play fine on the offline version as I imported SWF files) – and then pull this together with Prezi’s own tools and features into a narrative.

This has inspired the following new list of pros and cons with Prezi:

Prezi is perfect for …

  • telling a story
  • providing context
  • opening up new modes of thinking – ideal for research thinking
  • providing a canvas, which is great for creative people
  • Prezi really works beautifully with PDF, SWF and FLV file formats
  • even though more and more people are using Prezi it is still possible to provide that ‘wow’ factor, which is always a bonus

Prezi could improve …

  • stop showing the bracket frame and ‘Double-click to add text’ EVERY time you select ‘blank canvas’ from the templates dialogue
  • allow more than three types/styles of font at one time
  • give clear warnings if the file sizes are too large which makes Prezi crash (Prezi’s that download for offline use at about 25 MB or less seem okay, but 40MB + just doesn’t seem to work)
  • part of me thinks it would be great if Prezi could enhance tools like editing images and creating shapes; but the other part of me appreciates the simplicity i.e. you can do effects in other programmes and then import them – but maybe more integration with the Adobe family of products would be good (e.g. this is something Extensis Portfolio offers for example)
Advertisements




CCC at University of Brighton Pedagogy conference

4 02 2012

Yesterday Jac Cattaneo of Northbrook College presented the project’s Create Curate Collaborate! interactive Prezi poster at the University of Brighton’s Annual Pedagogic Conference.





CCC at the V & A

4 02 2012

Our Create Curate Collaborate! project continued apace with the first trip to the V&A with the students on Wednesday, facilitated by Leanne Manfredi of the V&A. A day’s exploration into Creative Writing at the V&A, designed and presented by Jac Cattaneo and Curtis Tappenden, was the primary focus for the 21 students, from Northbrook College and University for the Creative Arts.

As part of the programme for the day I was invited to do a session on Prezi. This was in four parts, and I share it here in case it is useful for anyone else to use/re-use/adapt/amend. Feedback is definitely welcomed!

Part 1. Verbal introduction
I introduced myself and explained what we were going to do and how long it would take (45 minutes). To enable us to evaluate the project the students were also asked to complete brief paper (1 side of A4) questionnaires. This had already been mentioned as part of the project consent forms they signed before undertaking the trip. Chocolate as an afternoon ‘sweetener’ too!

Part 2. An analogue introduction to the concept of Prezi

You will need (per two students): one sheet of A3 plain paper, three different colour felt-tip pens, a block of post-it notes, some printed out images from the V&A Collections website

The explanation: the sheet of paper represents the Prezi canvas; online this is almost infinite (the paper is limited as one student wrote down); the post-it notes represent the text boxes that you can have in Prezi (click anywhere to add a piece of text then move this around like a post-it note); the images from the V&A were designed to show how Prezi could be used following our visit to the V&A; the felt-tip pens were for writing on the post-it notes (although the students naturally drew arrows as well which demonstrates another Prezi feature too!).

The brief: students were asked to work in pairs with the materials, the object was to define relationships and links between the images (V&A museum objects) based on their own feelings and expressed with phrases of creative writing on the post-it notes. One student was happy to talk about her analogue Prezi to the others and communicated her ideas really clearly to the rest of the group.

Part 3. YouTube demo

I let the following screencast (which I had prepared earlier) play, and described verbally what was happening.

Part 4. Demo of example Prezi

The students were shown the ‘interactive poster’ Prezi that we had created for the University of Brighton Pedagogy conference. They particularly liked the zoom into the Moon Stone jar on the V&A map. This then led into any questions. I gave a one-side-of-A4 handout for their reference: download Prezi handout (PDF).

Follow-up

Jac and Curtis will now support the students getting signed up with Prezi EDU Enjoy user accounts (a few are already signed up), and then I will visit each group of students for another Prezi session.