This blog is now archived

4 02 2014

Thank you very much for your interest in this blog. The blog is now archived and no longer being updated.

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Prezi at Staff Seminar UCA Epsom, 14th June

26 07 2012

Curtis Tappenden and Marie-Therese Gramstadt gave a short presentation about Create Curate Collaborate! at a UCA Staff Seminar, Epsom College, 14th June 2012. This included our different perspectives as lecturer and de facto learning technologist respectively.

The ‘Lessons Learned’ Prezi is available here:

Unfortunately due to several factors (which will be discussed in our final report) we were unable to arrange a second visit to the V&A Museum, London. However it was possible to gather additional data from the Creative Writing Groups which will be analysed with the questionnaire data and presented as part of our project findings.





Meeting at the V&A, 27th April 2012

28 05 2012

Fil de Fer by Catellani and Smith (lighting in the Gamble Room, V&A Cafe, London)
Photo: MTG

A really productive meeting at the V&A in April led to an application for the UCA Research Fund which was submitted in May. Other bits of news:

  • The Creative Writing Groups had their last sessions for the teaching year in May.
  • We are looking to arrange a second visit to the V&A for the end of June.
  • Curtis and Marie-Therese will be presenting at a UCA Seminar in June, Epsom campus.
  • The three of us will be presenting at the University of Brighton Learning and Teaching conference on 13th July.
  • Our UCA Learning and Teaching Research Grant funding will complete by the end of July.




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)




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.)





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!





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!